Horse back: Music series returns to Good Shepherd with 9 Horses band

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Their music will bring Marine Park together.

The improvisational three-piece band 9 Horses will bring its intimate sound to the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Marine Park on Oct. 21, for the second in a series of eight free Sunday night concerts at the holy hot spot. The three members of the group produce an appealing, genre-defying sound with element of folk, classical, and jazz, said the band’s mandolin player.

“It’s tough to put it into any one genre,” said Joe Brent. “Which may be an attractive aspect for me, the fact that it’s difficult to place.”

Brent writes most of the band’s music, but he leaves plenty of space for violinist Sara Caswell and double-bass player Andrew Ryan to add their own unique touches, he said.

“I bring in a piece that’s maybe 90% finished and then they’ll add their part. And Sara will bring in bits that are better than anything that I could ever come up with. It’s hard to describe our music, but when you put us together in a room that’s what comes out,” he said.

Brent, who previously toured with pop musician Regina Spektor, met Caswell while playing together in other projects. The two started 9 Horses in 2012 and released an EP, but quickly realized that they needed a bass to complement the higher registers of their instruments, eventually finding Ryan.

The band has since toured the country and held residencies at a number of colleges, and is currently writing songs for a new album. One of those new tunes, “The Water Understands,” hints at a more elaborate direction, with a more expansive rhythm section and an entrancing video.

Brent, a Queens native who now lives upstate, is looking forward to playing at the Marine Park church.

“The church is a gorgeous space and music sounds really beautiful in there. It’s spacious so sound fills the room in a beautiful way. But it’s also not too big so a small ensemble like us doesn’t get swallowed up in the space,” he said.

Brent has performed in the Good Shepherd fall music series for the last 11 years, performing with various jazz, bluegrass, and classical music groups, and he is excited to see the audience return year after year, he said.

“It is great to see that they still like me,” he said. “I hope to see a lot of the same people I see every year and more.”

9 Horses at Good Shepherd Catholic Church [1950 Batchelder St near Avenue S in Marine Park, (718) 998–2800,]. Oct. 21 at 5 pm. Free.

“Music From Good Shepherd” music series performs every Sunday at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Oct. 14–Dec. 9. Voluntary donations encouraged.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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