By Shannon Mooney
Rhythmic clapping, singing and cheering filled the basement of Dorchester on Tuesday night during a lively performance by the University of Maryland student band, The Walking Sticks.
The band, consisting of brothers Spencer and Maxwell Ernst, 22-year-old twins from Silver Spring, Maryland, was accompanied by guest singer Chelsea Lee during their performance at TerPoets. They played songs from their upcoming album, “World So Bright.”
Tuesday’s TerPoets was a singer/songwriter open mic, and host sophomore Jonah Potasznik jokingly quoted Taylor Swift lyrics to introduce the theme. Potasznik’s lighthearted tone and numerous questions directed at the audience created a welcoming atmosphere.
Throughout the evening, eight students performed musical acts and poetry readings.
One of the night’s most unique performances was by second year grad student David Yates, who played the hammered dulcimer, a stringed instrument with a flat surface.
Yates said he first discovered the instrument after seeing it played by musician Steven Wilson. He mentioned it to his father, who bought him the instrument.
“I didn’t think much of it at the time,” Yates said. “But apparently he remembered, and got it for me for Christmas.”
After a brief intermission, sophomore and Writers’ House student Hannah Methvin opened for The Walking Sticks. She performed four original soft and mellow songs on the acoustic guitar.
The Walking Sticks then took the floor, and they immediately created a friendly and personal relationship with the audience. They introduced their songs with brief anecdotes, including one about their experience riding the metro.
Spencer played guitar and occasionally the harmonica, while Maxwell played the bass and they both sang. Their music can be described as a combination of folk and classic rock and they manage to create a very raw and pure sound.
During their songs “Subway Train” and “Five Acres” they encouraged the audience to clap and sing along. For their fourth song, Lee sang “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” while the Ernst brothers played their respective instruments.
The band introduced an original song called “Make Your Own Record” with a story about their recording experience.
“We did recordings with people that took the life out of our songs,” Spencer said, explaining this is why they decided their new album will consist of their own live recordings.
After asking the audience what they would like to hear, the band decided to end the show with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
View more photos from the singer/songwriter open mic TerPoets here.