As Stu Larsen and Natsuki Kurai were finishing their set at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan I looked around the room thinking “How am I going to describe to people how good this show was?” In that moment the answer hit me, it felt as though walking out of the concert any of us could make friends with anyone in the music hall. What started as a concert transformed into a feeling of a group of friends on a summer night gathered to listen to our other friends play beautiful music.
Friendship was a theme throughout the night, and Stu and Natsuki have a bond that is easy to see on stage. Natsuki is a talent that is hard to put into words, it wouldn’t be fair to just call him a harmonica player. He performs in a way many would not know is possible, at points stealing the stage. Seeing a Natsuki harmonica solo is worth the price of admission itself. But the chemistry the two have create a perfect blend with neither overshadowing the other.
Stu introduced his song “San Francisco” and told fans this was the first song him and Natsuki played together upon meeting in Japan. As he sang “I don’t know where I’m going till I get there” it was coupled with an imagination of their first time playing together and not knowing what it would be and now being able to witness it as they tour together, sharing this beautiful blend of music.
Much of Stu Larsens music is about different areas of the world, and as he sings about places and travels you find yourself catching a little bit of wanderlust. Through his song writing and the lyrics he has about travel you get a sense of the beauty of the world as he has seen it. In the very last song of their set they give you the experience to feel as though you are traveling, as “This Train” starts and Natsuki’s harmonica is sounding identical to a real train. Just like much of the Stu’s songs it is time to all aboard and go wherever these lyrics take you, and that is the thing that is so great about his music.
A favorite song of the night was the #1 song on his Spotify “Thirteen Sad Farewells” As the concert ended it felt like a sad farewell that is within the lyrics of that song. But the good news is the tour continues and there will be plenty of opportunities to be apart of another night of incredible music. Any folk loving music fan should mark these acts on their calendar.
Make sure you don’t miss Stu and Natsuki’s music and see them when they come to a city near you. Get tickets at: