Thursday, September 22, 2011
Seems there’s not one instrument on the planet that Loch Lomond frontman Ritchie Young won’t tackle. He plays everything from the mandolin and concertina to percussion and guitar.
“I’m really stubborn,” Young says. “I was dating a violin instructor and she was trying to teach me how to bow and I put the bow down and started strumming it like a mandolin.”
Young may not technically play any instrument in text book fashion – he’s never had a formal lesson in his life – but the result always seems to come out attractively.
“When you hand someone an instrument, they always want to play it correctly,” he says. “I’ve always done the opposite.”
His group plays Fernwood on Saturday with opener Brooke Parrot. Late last February, Loch Lomond released its second full-length album, Little Me Will Start a Storm. The nine-track LP – which has garnered favorable reviews from outlets including Spin and Brooklyn Vegan – perfectly represents Young and the band’s ability to utilize a barrage of instruments to create a union of musical elegance.
One of the standouts, the environmentally conscious “Earth Has Moved Again,” begins with a simple acoustic guitar riff before slowly erupting into a complex chamber-like harmony featuring several voices. Eventually, the rich harmony transforms into spacey, ambient pastures reminiscent of Enigma and Enya.
In December, the sextet will head to Europe, where Young hopes to pick up another instrument, the glass armonica, a Ben Franklin innovation that uses several different-sized glass goblets to create musical tones through friction.
Expect the armonica to appear on the next album – and for Young and company to keep making rich friction with audience expectations.
LOCH LOMOND plays 9pm, Saturday, Sept. 24, at Fernwood, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. Free. 667-2422.