July 7, 2017
Photos and re-cap by Whitney Lerch
Things weren’t looking great for Fridays at the Frick on July 7th, if you asked the weathermen, who were calling for thunderstorms all evening. But those of us who had faith and know JD Eicher is worth getting rained on and showed up anyway, were in for a treat. The clouds broke, the sun was shining and the earlier showers made for more comfortable temperatures all evening. Honorary Pittsburgher, Eicher, who is actually from Youngstown (but close enough that Pittsburgh sometimes claims him as our own) played an exciting set that night, filled with a healthy mix of original tunes and cover songs.
The lawn at the Frick was filling with people through the night, who settled into their chairs and blankets to take in the sounds as the sun set. Eicher performed originals from a variety of albums and EPs, including the title track from his 2017 released EP “Two By Two”, that was written for author Nicholas Sparks as a soundtrack to his novel, by the same name. He also pulled from his 2016 full length album, The Middle Distance, with “Lines in the Sky”, “Not Everybody Runs” and more. JD is particularly great at writing songs that have a mellifluous and poppy sound while maintaining complex, genuine and weighty lyrics that explore a variety of life’s quandaries. The trio, which includes Jim Merhaut on bass and Dylan Kollat on drums, peppered their set that was broken up with a brief intermission, with a variety of cover songs that I had never heard JD perform before, like Coldplay’s “Yellow” and and James Brown’s “I Feel Good”.
Throw in a little Bruce Springsteen and you can see how JD can put on a show that works for most anyone. Before wrapping up his set for the night, JD brought out his sign with a phone number that fans can text their email address to, to sign up for his mailing list and also receive a song. Having followed JD’s music for a while and seeing him play over the years, this was not surprise, as this is a standard part of his live sets. However, I was happy to see that his once hand written with a sharpie on a bent piece of cardboard sign has been upgraded to a lovely, non-damaged, printed sign that was much easier to read (albeit slightly less entertaining). JD and the guys closed out the night with my favorite Eicher original, “Be Well”, which is quite honestly the perfect note to end on. So, I hope that each of you “stay young, make love and be well”.