One of the best album titles in recent memory is Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola’s “Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead.” It’s also a hugely entertaining work of virtuosity from two hard working and dedicated musicians. I had the pleasure of seeing this amazing duo in concert at The Independent SF in December. Touring the west coast on the heels of their latest record, “Pucker,” they played two full sets of instrumental music which were as musically astonishing as they were joyous and fun. No opening act, packed house, and these guys held the room from beginning to end. Between sets and after the encore, who manned the merch table? Charlie and Scott. They greeted everyone kindly, and when we spoke with Charlie before the show he gave us each our own Pucker Lip Balm. Here is proof:
Charlie Hunter and I have been friends since we were kids learning guitar, listening to records and starting our first bands. Among his many endearing traits was this thing where he would laugh while playing – just something would strike him about what he heard or discovered, and it would crack him up and he would keep playing. I’ve often said that if you’re not having fun playing music, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s just say Charlie does it right. Same with his longtime drummer and collaborator Scott Amendola, whose beautiful original compositions are core pieces in the duo’s repertoire. The joy that comes off the stage from these guys is contagious, and when I’d look around the crowd, I found I was not the only one there with a smile bigger than my face. Charlie still cracks himself up while he’s playing. We left this concert feeling happy and uplifted. I don’t know what more you can ask for in a show.
Here’s a tune from “Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead” called Blind Arthur:
Here’s a lo-fi cell phone shot of the hi-fi proceedings: