As Ten Bartram took the stage Friday night at the Square Room, the audience grew hushed, eagerly anticipating the folksy, bluesy sound they'd come to love from the Knoxville band.
Ten Bartram, named by the group's founders after the road where the two's grandmother lived, was started by sisters Eleanor Angel and Rebekah Angel Rapp.
Band members include Angel on guitar and vocals, Paul Canestrari on drums, Peter Hagemeyer on cello and banjo, Rapp on mandolin and vocals and Ashton Williams on upright bass.
Openers Garrett Sale and David Platillero set the mood with a unique mixture of jazz, folk and blues before Ten Bartram took the stage.
The band started with a set of toe-tapping songs from its self-titled EP and culminated with a medley of popular songs and a reggae-inspired tune called "Cecilia," which brought the crowd to their feet and even inspired impromptu dancing.
With the growing Knoxville music scene, bands like Ten Bartram are playing a big part in growing that exposure. Gideon Klein, senior in music composition, thought the band brought a unique sound to the table.
"Their performance was very authentic to original Knoxvillian style – it was a show like none other," Klein said. "It was an amazing concert."
The diverse selection of songs attracted an audience of multiple generations. Ranging from folk to jazz to blues to Americana, each song had a distinct sound that was brought to life by the powerhouse vocals of Eleanor and Rebekah.
Although each song had its own individual sound, the overarching theme seemed to be one of triumph, with one song in particular that said, "He comes knocking on my door, telling me to sing no more, that I've been here before, I ain't scared anymore."
This triumphant energy was key to the success of the group's show. Beth Aaser, junior in speech pathology, said she thought the energy brought to the stage by the Angel sisters is what made the concert so entertaining.
"Their music just has such a great beat," Aaser said. "Everyone had their foot tapping, and there were even people swing dancing in the back."
As the show progressed, the sisters shared anecdotes about some of their music, ranging from songs about their mother to lyrics written by Rapp about her husband called "Daily Berries."
The evening drew to a close with a standing ovation and cheers from the audience clamoring for one more song. Aaser explained why the show had been such a pleasant departure from typical concerts.
"The relaxed feel of the concert made me wish it didn't have to end," Aaser said. "It was like I was sitting on someone's back porch in a rocking chair and listening to them play guitar."
When it comes to music, Ten Bartram has done something that many strive for: making each listener feel comfortably at home.