Jesse Sparhawk & Eric Carbonara—Tributes & Diatribes (VHF)

Back in the 1960s, when widely disseminated recordings finally made it possible for Americans to get acquainted with music from around the world, novelty and mystery exerted a powerful gravity. Musicians like the George Harrison, Sandy Bull, Miles Davis and John Coltrane added ouds and sitars to their collections and their bands; the pungent buzz of strings in non-standard tunings implied cosmic consciousness or at least a correspondingly strong, chemically induced buzz.

Nowadays it’s not so rare for an American musician to have made it a point to study under an Indian teacher, as Eric Carbonara has done with Debashish Bhattacharya, and the music of the world oozes out of mainstream radio hits and the incidental music in clothing stores. The schooling is there, and exoticism isn’t worth much by itself — what now? 

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Jesse Sparhawk “Hummingbird” - Philadelphia, PA - 09/06/2012

Rigby Mansion, one of the more subtle and hidden gems of the Philadelphia music scene, is one that has an allure and majestic quality to its beautiful infrastructure, both inside and out. Walking up to the mansions grounds that evening, we were greeted by a vast front-yard filled with people, sitting on the grass and facing an elongated white, wrap around porch. In the center of the porch was the spotlighted musicians, to which everyone listened with the kind of patience and attention that one could only hope to be blessed with for a performance. 

Of the artists that played that night, we documented all four of them playing throughout the house. Marie Sioux on a lovely red velvet couch in an upstairs room, Philadelphia’s Bad Braids in an elegant claw footed bathtub, French musician Martin Rousselot on a piano and this session with Jesse Sparhawk playing to an intimate living room group. He performed a song called called “Hummingbird,” what to which Sparhawk responded once the song was over, “I don’t need to write any more songs. That’s the best one ever.” We kind of agree. Enjoy.


Arborea - Beirut (Sun Room Sessions video by Derek Moench

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A Patient Promise by Jesse Sparhawk & Eric Carbonara.

Lately, a nightly ritual.