Concerts at Marsh Woodwinds are too few and far between, given that it’s the best listening room in Raleigh.
You can forgive owner Rodney Marsh for the infrequency: His priority is the instrument sales and repair store downstairs, so the shows in his second-floor space—lovingly decorated with a sensory-overload motif—are a bonus, born of his desire to fill the building with warm and radiant sounds when time and circumstances allow.
The next such occasion arrives Thursday, May 16, when Durham instrumental band The Third Expression sets up for a live recording in the room, sharing the bill with Raleigh jazz group the Bernie Petteway Trio. The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10.
The Third Expression’s artistic approach is a perfect fit for Marsh Woodwinds’ eclectic visual setting, in that guitarist Mike Krause and his bandmates may throw most anything into the mix of their music. Within a set, sometimes even within a song, they’ll travel from free-flowing jazz to twang-heavy country to soulful R&B to squalling surf to swaying reggae.
By way of example, check out Krause and his rhythm section of Jane Francis (bass) and Chris Stephenson (drums) riffing on Jimmy Webb’s classic “Wichita Lineman” at Slim’s. They drive the tune far afield from Glen Campbell’s country chart-topping version and toward prog-rock territory.
More recently, The Third Expression has expanded to a quartet with the addition of pedal steel guitarist Nathan Golub. That move promises an even richer sonic palette for Thursday’s live recording, judging from the tunes they played for host Frank Stasio on a recent episode of WUNC-FM’s "The State of Things".
There’s also a plan for some collaborative numbers on Thursday with Petteway, an exquisitely tasteful guitarist who Krause respectfully refers to as his “guitar senior.” The two acts did a few tunes together when they shared a bill at Marsh Woodwinds in the fall of 2011 and “it actually came off like gangbusters,” Krauss reports. “I was personally expecting a borderline train wreck … but when you have such seasoned players who also know how to listen to what’s happening around them, it’s no worries.”