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New West Guitar Group trio brings new life to acoustic instruments

Perry+Smith+uses+his+guitar+like+a+percussion+instrument+at+the+New+West+Guitar+Group+concert+in+Marsee+Auditorium+on+Friday%2C+May+4%2C+2018.+Photo+credit%3A+Jack+Kan
Perry Smith uses his guitar like a percussion instrument at the New West Guitar Group concert in Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4, 2018. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Perry Smith uses his guitar like a percussion instrument at the New West Guitar Group concert in Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4, 2018. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Perry Smith uses his guitar like a percussion instrument at the New West Guitar Group concert in Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4, 2018. Photo credit: Jack Kan

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Three guitarists took the stage, immediately grabbing everyone’s attention with their unique chemistry and vibrant sound.

The LA based trio, New West Guitar Group delighted attending patrons at the Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4 with their captive performances of both popular and original compositions with six different acoustic and electric guitars.

Perry Smith of the New West Guitar Group marks the beat at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Their musical tribute “American Rhythms,” inspired by their performances throughout America, rang true as musical selections by guitarists Perry Smith, John Storie and Will Brahm gave glimpses of railroads, subways, and cities across America.

The New West Guitar Group meet the audience after their concert at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Jazz, blues, folk, and pop were all present and familiar in their selections, yet performed in their own unique style.

Their diversity in style and appeal was matched by audience members as senior couples, groups of students, musicians and entire families filled the seats that night. All came together in one accord demonstrated by rousing applause and a final standing ovation.

Perry Smith uses his guitar like a percussion instrument at the New West Guitar Group concert in Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4, 2018. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Audible CD’s seemed an injustice that night as split second finger runs, precision picking and multi-rhythmic strumming could only be witnessed and appreciated through live performance.

“I had to remind myself that there were only three guitarist up there because their sound was so complete,” said audience member Penina Thomas. “I swear I heard an organ, steel guitar, and drum beats coming from that acoustic guitar,” Thomas said.

Although Smith, Storie, and Brahm performed each musical selection together, each demonstrated their own individual talents with the ability to switch in and out as lead, rhythm and background guitarist. Each one surprisingly demonstrated expertise and comfort in each role.

Will Brahm of the New West Guitar Group performs at Marsee Auditorium on Friday, May 4. Photo credit: Jack Kan

Through out the night each stage performance seemed to top the one before it.

So much so, that by the final impromptu musical selection, “Time Out,” which was not on the printed program, it was absolutely proven that the New West Guitar Group was the new homegrown American treasure.

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New West Guitar Group trio brings new life to acoustic instruments