Concert raises funds for SART with bluegrass tunes

Watching professor of English Tom Greenfield strum on a neon-pink acoustic guitar and play a cover of Bob Dylan's “You Ain't Goin' Nowhere” was a highlight from the Student Advocate Response Team Benefit Concert on Saturday Nov. 3 at the Central Presbyterian Church.

Junior Rob Rubsam, member of participating band Drowned Valley, organized the event: “I like raising money and bringing attention to things that deserve it, like SART,” Rubsam said.

SART is a new student-run organization that provides victims of sexual assault with transportation to local hospitals free of charge. Trained student and faculty volunteers accompany victims to the hospital to help ensure that the victims can obtain medical services as well as to create a safe, confidential environment.

“Sexual assault is an issue that I think is really important,” Rubsam said. “They're a small, local organization and I figured no matter how much money we raised, it would be helpful.”

The show, which ran over three hours in the intimate church, featured folksy, blue glass music among great acoustics. Greenfield, along with his band Experimental Bluegrass - comprised of senior Abigail Marion on bass, junior Lydia Curran on fiddle and junior Ara Kim on acoustic guitar - started off the concert with rousing success.

Curran and Kim's duet on the instrumental piece “King of the Fairies” was hauntingly elegant, while Greenfield's original song “Better Than Nothing” was met with people bobbing in the pews and tapping their feet.

The second performer was Geneseo local Miché Fambro, who Rubsam said he saw play at Muddy Waters Coffee House at open mic night. Fambro has traveled all over the world, including Germany and Holland, playing his acoustic guitar with extraordinary skill.

Fambro's song “Dance in the Air” was incredibly tender, while his number “Man of Straw” had him soulfully tapping his guitar and dancing. Fambro's incredible talent and clear passion for his music made him a wonder to watch.

Drowned Valley came up next, with a strong folk sound that felt entirely unique. Rubsam played acoustic guitar and sang along with junior Sarah Ackerman, while junior Sarah Martinez played the clarinet and alumna Becky Meissner '12 played cello.

The group showed definite skill and love for its music, and its cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” was well done. But the highlight of the band's set had to be its wonderfully harmonized a cappella cover of “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts” by the Gaslight Anthem.

The Geneseo String Band closed out the show with several waltzes, Irish bar tunes and the up-tempo swing jazz standard “Everybody Loves My Baby,” composed by Spencer Williams. The group offered a more instrumental side of music but still kept up the folksy flair and foot-tapping tunes that characterized this impressive musical evening.