"It's kind of a luxury to have that time and that space to work with," says Pam Bricker of the voice-guitar format that she and Charlie Byrd will bring to Annapolis' Maryland Inn, Friday through Sunday. Bricker has also sung with guitarists Emily Remler and Paul Bollenbach and in the '70s played guitar herself. "Everything is exposed and wide open -- there's no drums covering over things -- but as we know, the spaces in between can be as exciting as the notes themselves." (Bricker will stay at the inn for a second week, April 30-May 5, with pianist Dave Kane and bassist Paul Bollenback.)
"It is a challenge to get a real full sound out of just two pieces, but guitar and voice is an ancient tradition and I very much enjoy it," Bricker says. "One thing I admire about Charlie is his repertoire -- he finds those chestnut tunes, which is what I look for." Bricker's own repertoire, for that matter, is nothing to sneeze at; it includes the swing-era book of the vocal quartet Mad Romance, of which she has been a member since its inception in 1983, generous helpings of Gershwin, Cole Porter and other classic American songs, be-bop standards and Latin material.
"We just naturally get on them and kind of float," says Bricker of the duo's Latin selections. "For ballads the tempo is slow enough so we can be listening hard to each other and room is there for something new to come up. When we really get frolicking we trade fours and do some contrapuntal improvisations and maybe I will sing a bass line. There are times when it's kind of a band sound with just the two of us."