The first time that Jock and Jeb Guthrie ever played a Simon and Garfunkel song they knew they had something special.
With intricate guitar work and an effortless blend of vocal harmonies, the Guthrie Brothers bring the American songbook of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel back to its original, intimate setting where the legendary duo’s music was most profound, recreating the hits with perfect pitch such as “Sound of Silence,” “Homeward Bound,” “I Am a Rock,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “America” and, of course, “Scarborough Fair.”
On March 1, at 7 p.m. the Guthrie Brothers will present “Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience” at The William H. Wakeman, III Cultural Center Theater.
On March 3, at 6:30 p.m. the Guthrie Brothers will present “Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience” at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda.
“It’s really a labor of love with these (kind of) artists because we connect so strongly with them,” Jeb Guthrie said. “It’s not just that we can play it but the songs mean something to us as well. The more we play them, the more we discover the different aspects of the music. Instead of it getting boring, it just gets deeper.”
Jeb and Jock started playing together around 8th Grade, according to Jeb. The duo grew up in Green Bay, WI. At the start of their musical prowess, Jock played guitar and Jeb manned the drums.
“We had a garage band thing going on,” Jeb said. “It became evident shortly after we started to play together that the harmony-based music was really a strong thing for us.”
After a run of bands with names like Woeful Existence, Antique Shoppe, Community, Steak Nite and “the almost famous” On The Edge, the two brothers realized they weren’t always playing to their strongest suit.
“We realized that (although) we had a good run with a couple of rock bands and it was a lot of fun, it sort of made us more faceless. So, we went back and played more as an acoustic duo. It was easier and we kind of read each other’s minds when we played.”
Fast forward to now, the Guthries have been performing as “Scarborough Fair” for almost 11 years and the overwhelming audience reaction to their performances continue to confirm their feelings.
“What we have found is that there are not a lot of people that do these kind of artists,” Jeb said. “It’s a very popular thing now to have a tribute band. That particular audience tends to skew from the Baby Boomer generation and up. When you come to Florida, that’s pretty much the demographic.”
Audiences of their shows are not limited to just those demographics, however, according to Jeb.
“When we play a show, there are a couple of generations there,” Jeb said. “Sometimes, where the older folks bring their children and grandchildren which is very interesting. There is a larger pool to pull from.”
The biggest benefit of bring the Simon & Garfunkel songbook to life is that the music resonates personally with so many people no matter the demographic.
“The audience is pretty rabid because artists (like Simon & Garfunkel) had a pretty large effect on them when they were younger. Given that their music is not played as much as a Beatles tribute or Eagles tribute … where there are more bands doing those people … I think we have a little more of a leg up on reaching the audience because they are not quite as burned out on it.”
Jock and Jeb always enjoy interacting with their audience. As deep as the music of Simon & Garfunkel may see, the Guthries keep the act light-hearted.
“There is a lot of back and forth and cracking jokes and kind of (even) embarrassing audience members into singing along with us,” Jeb said. “(But) it ends up being a really good vibe. It’s not just like we play the songs at them, it’s more like ‘let’s have a little get together’ there.”
For tickets or more information, call 863-494-9362 or visit www.sunevents.com.