BFTV’s concert is a rocking hour of cover tunes, and for guys who have pretty full day jobs (and even for guys who do music full time), they gelled very nicely on stage. Going from tune to tune (from “Mary Ann” featuring Laurie on vocals and piano to “Devil Went Down to Georgia” featuring Jesse Spencer on fiddle and “Walking in Memphis” with Grimes’ sweet vocals) BFTV gave each of the band members a moment to shine—and a moment for their fans to see their favorite television actors in an unfamiliar role.
They are all fine musicians and Guiney, who handles most of the vocals has a great voice. He was particularly effective on the ballad “Don’t Try to Explain,” a new piece just added to their repertoire by Laurie. Because they are all actors, they really know how to milk a song to good effect, but they were all clearly very into the music, and everyone put their collective heart and soul into all three sets. They clearly all take the music seriously, and even after three shows (one in blistering daytime heat and humidity) they had as much energy after the Vic show (which was more than an hour) as they had at the start of the weekend--something even more impressive when you realize that they’ve made not one nickel from their performances or the CDs and T-shirts they hawk outside the venue. It’s all for charity.
Laurie is an excellent jazz and blues pianist (as many of his fans have known for years), but he surprised many by bringing out an electric mandolin for one song (“John O’Reilly”). Spencer, who’s only just come to country fiddling in the last few years after training classically, bowed the heck out of his strings on “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” handling those difficult breakneck fiddle solos with deft ease. The band delighted the Vic audience closing the night with the Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” challenging the audience to guess the song with very first synthesizer note.