The Bylines headed by Reece Marshburn on piano and Marianna Thielen on vocals.
CAUTION : ENTERTAINMENT AHEAD, PROCEED WITH GLEE
The Bylines have been performing primarily as a duo in and around the west Columbia River territory long enough to be familiar, but what may be lesser known is the tentacle-like reach of their prolific song-writing, as well as its ready wit. In addition, admirers in Hillsboro, Camas or Portland may be equally unaware of their entertaining elasticity when their number is tripled by suitably qualified additions such as David Evans on saxophone, John Moak, on trombone, Ken Ollis on drums, and Leah Hinchcliff on bass.
Their recent run at Third Rail Theater Company’s Imago Theater proved a resounding success, and I can count myself among the lucky witnesses. The format of the 90 minute performance, which ran for four days ending with a matinee, was two sets with original music by Reece and Marianna featuring heavily, supported by a guest actor and two outstanding dancers and movement-based choreographers in Cait Powers and Josh Murry :
The overall experience was akin to an intimate, fireside, large family gathering – without the turkey, cheese and whine. The tone was primarily upbeat, at times whimsical, self-deprecating but not uncomfortable (Cardigan Man was an audience hit), and just at the right moment, more reflectively emotional. The sextet ensured the musical standard remained engaging, entertaining, and always tasteful, while managing to keep the vintage authenticity in the present as our minds harked back to simpler times.
This was not a show the like of which you’ll see any week or even month of the year. It was warm-to-glowing, fun and thought provoking, musically interesting and creative, and superbly presented – in a theater, yes, but with regular, warm, sincere interaction from the two principles. The music has a jazz base, music you can latch on to. It breezes easily into pop, soul, a little funk too. Catchy melodies, lovable lyrics – you’ll be trying to recite them during your idle moments. You may not succeed but the process will be a joy. Sadly, you may have to wait another year for the next live installment.
However, you have ample opportunity to see The Bylines in their more customary guise very soon – just take a look at their packed calendar : http://thebylines.com/calendar/
There are also CDs in their online store – a debut album followed by a live performance recorded in 2014. The Bylines are a party that leave an enduring, indelible impression. And you’ve been invited.