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Date of show: June 17, 2016 Location: Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC By Tori Biggs Photos by Nina Martin/ StellarPhoto When you think of the elements of solid folk music, it’s doubtful your mind conjures images of lush, green Ireland or rural England. Beat Root Revival is forever rewriting your expectations. Comprised of multi-instrumentalists Ben Jones from Kent, England and Belfast native Andrea Magee, the duo has been taking American audiences by storm with their utterly original sonic amalgam of folk, rock, country, and traditional Irish sounds. After landing in America two years ago, Beat Root Revival has stolen the hearts of captive audiences, most recently as support for the current Jonathan Jackson + Enation American tour. “It’s been really great,” said Jones, “because there are no expectations.” “No one knows who we are,” chimed in Magee. “All we can do is impress people. They’re mostly here to see Jonathan, so there are no expectations for the openers. Either they are pleasantly surprised, which is great, or they’re not, which is fine because we’re just sort of unknown openers. Luckily, the response has been mostly great.” Based on the reaction at the Charlotte, NC stop of the tour, great may be an understatement. Jones and Magee’s soulful voices and folksy blues vibe took the crowd by surprise. Anxiously awaiting Jonathan Jackson, everyone’s attention turned to the stage as soon as Beat Root Revival started their set with the song ‘Instincts’ off their 2014 EP Waiting On a Miracle. The unreal chemistry between Jones and Magee is undeniable. The two of them look to be enjoying themselves more than anyone in the room, stealing glances and grins at each other throughout their set. Their voices come together in a once-in-a-generation harmony unmatched by any other vocal duo since Stevie and Lindsay. Along with original tracks from their EP and new self-titled album, Beat Root Revival incorporated a trio of cover songs, giving each a trademark spin with Magee’s traditional Irish bodhran and pennywhistle and Jones’ spell-binding guitar and vocals. Aside from the mystical rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ and up-tempo interpretation of KT Tunstalle’s breakthrough ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’, they executed a heart-stopping adaptation of the Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ that elicited and pulled the souls right out of George and John. Despite having only been in America for two years, the band has garnered respect and attention throughout the country due to their amazingly positive attitude. “We always say yes to everything… Even on this tour, there have been a few times when we’ve had a few days between shows and Ben and I have gone to play a show completely out of the way, so we’ve been traveling and working while the guys get a bit of a break. But it’s been working for us… We wouldn’t be where we are without that sort of mindset,” said Magee. Touring with Jonathan Jackson + Enation has been a huge boost to their career, giving them a solid crowd and fresh minds to impress. “We’re getting to see a lot of cities we’ve never seen before on this tour. I think we’re both very grateful to Jonathan and the guys for bringing us along,” said Magee. “It’s been such an amazing experience”. When an unknown opener elicits every bit as much crowd reaction as the headliner, you know something great is going on. With their unique sound, hypnotizing live presence, and astonishing work ethic, Beat Root Revival is unquestionably a band to watch out for.

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