...I want to thank you for the wonderful concert you gave at the Kerr Cultural Center. The audience was enchanted and enthralled, and many of them made a point of sharing with me how much they enjoyed the evening. I have already been asked: "When will they be coming back?" ... I look forward to our next encounter.
At first it seemed like an unlikely combination. But it only took a couple of bars to show how the professionalism of [Nelson and Christiansen] blended into one of the most delightful concerts ever presented in this area ... the pair had the audience from the moment they began their hour and a half long concert...
Your new disc is absolutely flawless and a great pleasure to hear. You both can be proud of your accomplishment which can be appreciated by any and all civilized persons!
Thank you so much for your wonderful performance ... Hopefully, you noticed that the audience was riveted throughout the entire concert -- an unusual feat for an arts group in this area! People are still talking about it, still amazed that such a quality performance found its way to Richfield. Thanks also for the pre-performance clinic. The school principal sat in on that clinic; afterwards she said to me "If I'd known they were this good, I would have called a school assembly." We found you extremely easy to work with, even under the rudimentary conditions we offered, and we would recommend you highly for audiences of all ages.
The ensemble you have created is wonderful ... I'm sure that I will hear a lot more of The Lightwood Duo in the future.
[The Lightwood Duo's] musical selections run the gamut from jazz, rock, film music, and classics, but no "heavy metal" - hence their moniker "lightwood" duo. Their master class highlighted how two gifted artists can create a new medium using original works, arrangements, and transcriptions that appeal to a wide audience.
Mike and Eric, I'm delighted we purchased your CD, No More Blues! It's like re-experiencing your intimate and personal performance style all over again. Many thanks for all the work you put into your performance at The Goldener Hirsch and on the CD. We'll be looking for you on your next trip to the East. ...Phil C., Upper Montclair, NJ
"The concert presented here Wednesday evening by the LIGHTWOOD DUO was WONDERFUL! Our audience of some 750 persons was delighted. The Duo's artistry and comments quickly established audience rapport. I was already enamored with the group through their CDs, but I found them to be even more impressive in person.
Individually, guitarist Mike Christiansen and clarinetist Eric Nelson are very accomplished musicians, both technically and musically. But as a pair, they have much going for them and between them. Their versatility, virtuosity, technical precision, and ensemble were impeccable. They performed a wide variety of pieces, announced from the stage, with flawless precision and musicality. (No retakes or editing possible in a live performance!) Selections ranged from classically oriented pieces - including a setting of a lyrical aria from a Puccini opera and some recent pieces by a Swedish composer (Three Impressions of Spain, or something similar) - to jazz, blues, and just about everything else but Heavy Metal (living up to their name as the Light-Wood Duo). Many of the pieces played were not on the four available CDs, or were played differently. Their repertoire seems to be constantly expanding.
Audience enjoyment and participation were stimulated during the second half when the Duo played a piece comprising 37 theme songs drawn from TV shows over the years, with the audience being asked to call out the tunes they could identify. As Mike quipped, “If you recognize all of these, you need to get a life! You've been watching entirely too much TV! But then what does that say about us? We knew all of these tunes when we wrote the piece!”
We were able to provide very high quality sound reinforcement, thanks to a combination of audio equipment provided by us and some smaller components brought by the Duo. This enhanced the enjoyment of the concert. The two artists were personable and easy to work with. Their mini-concert that morning for some 700 students (mostly fourth- and fifth-graders) also went very well.
All in all, it was a most enjoyable experience! My only regret is that I should have been more specific to the Duo on how many CDs to bring. They brought only 30, which were sold to our audience in just a few minutes. They should have brought four times that number!"