by Gayle Chung
On stage, Bryan Redick improvised a jam on his violin with a frayed bow while Jesse Maxwell sang with a strong, reverberating voice about his love for a girl and fettuccini.
Some may remember Maxwell during last year’s talent show when he shared with Whitman College how he “likes fettuccini” and “likes it a lot.”
Some may also have been fortunate enough to hear Redick’s gift at the violin. Since last year, Maxwell and Redick have jammed together and have grown into two gifted musicians.
During their performance on Sept. 29 in Reid, Nicole Beier, one of the Coffeehouse’s many audience members, said with a smile, “They’re very talented.”
Maxwell and Redick started out the night with some well-known soft rock hits such as “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 and “Dizzy Up the Girl” by the Goo Goo Dolls.
After warming up the audience with these familiar songs, Redick dazzled the audience with fast paced solos on his violin. Maxwell later shares with the audience some classics like “American Pie” but with a slight twist.
After singing the second verse of this well-known hit by Don McLean, Maxwell began adding some of his own original lines about Jedi Knights and broken “battle droids.”
“I like how they’re playing popular songs,” said Dean Peterson, “but taking their own personal spin on them.”
The array of songs they chose to sing at Coffeehouse truly fit the quality of Maxwell’s strong, smooth singing voice and at the same time allowed Redick’s musically creative side to shine through. Alissa Lasron-Xu also saw the duo’s individual talents and said, “[The music] suits their style. I like how they pulled from new songs and classics. The violin solos were really energetic.”
Yet, the night did not end there. Maxwell and Redick then asked guest Larry Lier, a local musician from Walla Walla, to jam with them on stage with harmonica.
Soon, a “battle of the instruments” ensued. All three performers rocked out on their own instruments and ultimately ending with Redick and Lier volleying their own sounds of pure rock.
Surprisingly, Maxwell taught himself how to play the guitar (and over the last spring break, the ukulele) and has been going strong for four years.
One can only imagine how far Maxwell will go with his musical talents in the future. Redick, on the other hand, has unsurprisingly played the violin since, as Maxwell put it, “forever.”
It is nonetheless impressive how talented Redick is. After all, not only can he play the violin very well, but he can also jam with a recorder and a saxophone.
Towards the end of the performance, the musical duo invited two more guests onto the stage to play drums and bass.
The night ended with the collection of an electric violin, guitar, bass and drums rocking out to the Puddle of Mudd song, “She Hates Me.”