by Quinn Miller
Unfortunately, we arrived late for "The Fencepost Sessions" at Hotel Utah on Saturday, and didn’t get to see the first act, Mirandaband. Judging from their tracks on MySpace, we missed out.
Tom Heyman’s band wove tight, snaky rhythms around his worldly drawl as he offered tales of life lived on the ledge, punctuated by the bends and vibrato of his Telecaster. Like any good outfit, they left us wanting to hear more.
Next up, Virgina Dare battled atonal lead guitar armed only with an autoharp and her voice which seemed to oscillate with emotion. Charmed by her deeply personal slice of post-modern Appalachia, members of the audience demanded an encore.
By the time McCabe and Mrs. Miller took the stage, the audience was buzzing with drink and anticipation. Their set began and ended with Heyman sitting in on lead guitar. The rhythm section of John Haynes and Paul Olguin played taut simmering grooves that bubbled over with the intensity of the classic Stax and Atlantic soul cuts. Jonathan Segel worked his usual magic with violin, an old Gibson A-style mandolin and a hollowbody guitar, prompting the question, “Is there anything you don’t play” to which he replied "oboe" without missing a beat. Every time we see him perform, we walk away with a new appreciation of Segel’s many talents.