CAC welcomes Scarborough Fair
Simon & Garfunkel and their classic discography have undoubtedly had an immeasurable impact on popular culture.
With their soft and introspective, yet jolly songs like “Cecilia” and “Mrs. Robinson,” their ballads are timeless and familiar, allowing for many generations, old and young, to enjoy, resonate with and hum along to.
The Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., will bring a slice of that old familiarity with the Simon & Garfunkel tribute show, “Scarborough Fair,” as performed by the Guthrie Brothers, a brother duo who seem to emanate, through a phone conversation with the Sun-Gazette, similar introspective qualities as Simon & Garfunkel themselves.
The duo, with only their vocals and acoustic guitars, will channel their inner Simon & Garfunkel starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The show will benefit K’s for Cancer, a Montoursville-based nonprofit charity that was established in memory of founder, board member and vice president Rexford Hilton’s son, Justin Flannery Hilton, who passed away as a result of stage-four colon rectal cancer at age 26.
The goal, Hilton said, is to raise around $10,000 between this event and two or three other large-scale events.
“While we can’t stop the disease, we can help in a small way, (to) ease the financial burden created (by health costs),” Hilton said. He also is a Simon & Garfunkel fan.
“Who can forget ‘The Graduate’?,” he said, “I am guessing folks that don’t know much about the duo, regardless of their age, will find they recognize most of their songs.”
Jeb and Jock Guthrie have been playing music together for around 30 years, and are what Jeb calls a “tight knit situation.”
“(We’re a) sibling combination that sounds much more like a band than you would think,” Jeb said, adding that they have the ability to “make a lot of nice noise with few resources.”
The duo pride themselves on their ability to draw in the crowd for a more active show, adding that they “don’t do it like we’re on stools in a coffee house.”
The Guthrie Brothers do this by incorporating trivia and history about Simon & Garfunkel, engaging the audience with questions and answers.
The group emphasized that they try do do this for all of their shows – the Simon & Garfunkel tribute is not the only type of music that they do, they also write and perform original material.
“Part of it is that not only have we played this material (Simon & Garfunkel) in the past, but generally speaking if we like to do a song, it’s because we really identify with it,” Jeb said.
“… when we first heard Simon & Garfunkel music, their sound was a sound that we identified with,” he said.
Jock Guthrie added, “Our sound is a really tightly knit two-part vocal sound with a lot of guitar. There’s a lot of tradition with that coming out of the southern tradition, and Simon & Garfunkel added a lyrical sophistication.”
The brothers grew up with parents who instilled in them the value of intellect and diversity, which naturally gravitated them toward musicians like Simon & Garfunkel, calling their point of view (Simon & Garfunkel’s) – that of attempting to educate their audiences – similar to their own.
“Our parents listened to a lot of different stuff,” Jeb said.
“Broadway, rock ‘n’ roll Simon & Garfunkel was the influence that brought it all together.”
They also acknowledge the ability that Simon & Garfunkel have to appeal to such a wide audience.
“Part of it is the baby boomer group is getting older and just wants to hear their music done again, and it’s interesting because it exposes that period, the 1950s through even the ’90s, to a whole different audience. Parents will bring their kids; it keeps that stuff alive.”
The brothers have performed many charity events and looks forward to this one as well, especially the anticipated friendly warmth and feedback that they often receive from audience members after the show.
“Really we do have a dialogue with the audience,” Jock said, “A lot of times after the show we get this great unexpected (feedback). It helps us as artists.”