WILLIAMSPORT — When music is stripped bare of the synthesized, computerized and modernized trappings and all that remains are talented musicians, simple songs and a decent melody, music becomes a hoot.
Or more specifically, a hootenanny.
That is exactly what will take place Sunday evening, July 22, at the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport when a Fredericksburg, Md., duo breezes into the area for a few hours of singing and song inspired by the simplified beat of Americana, folk and hootenanny music.
“We play a mix of original and covers with a style that is based on Americana and folk with some hootenanny thrown into the mix,” said Karen Jonas, who provides both vocals and guitar for the duo. “It’s different music with some of the songs you can dance to and some you can’t. I’ve always been interested in folk music and it just seemed natural for me to get involved with this type of music, which is fun to play and fun to hear.”
The pair’s sound has been likened to a combination of the music acts of Drive by Truckers and the Civil Wars, yet Jonas and Don Dutton have found their own niche and style of playing that is folksy without being corny … simple without being stupid.
While Jonas, whose voice is soft and inquisitive, strums the guitar and coos out harmonies that run the gauntlet of emotions, Dutton provides a steady, yet strong underlying current of movement with his upright base.
Two musicians, two instruments creating music that begs for both attention and enjoyment.
A few of the artists the duo covers include tunes by Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams and Justin Townes Earle.
With their talents at putting words to song and song to music, Jonas and Dutton, at times, create musical stories that are intense, sorrowful and somewhat dangerous.
“If I did not have music or the ability to write music in my life, my life would be very, very sad,” she said. “Music is such a strong part of my identity and something that I love to do.”
Their performance Sunday night marks their first visit to the area although the pair performs between eight and 10 gigs each month around Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia.
As a solo musician, Jonas has served as opening act for such musical acts as Chris Knight, Spirit Family Reunion and Jeffrey Lewis.
Their performance this Sunday will include some of the couple’s most popular original tunes as well as covers for what Jonas describes as an evening you won’t want to miss.
“The show will be a lot of fun with a lot of really great Americana music with a lot of it being music you never heard before,” she said.
“It will be a really fun time.”
If you go:
What: Jonas and Dutton
When: 8-11 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Third St., downtown Williamsport
Tickets: Free show
For more information: Contact the Bullfrog Brewery at 326-4700 or visit www.bullfrogbrewery.com