An all-request, interactive sing-along show featuring dueling pianos has been making audiences part of the show at a north Gwinnett venue now for more than a decade — the Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos have been playing at 37 Main in Buford since 2011.
“Playing there is a lot of fun,” said East Point resident Damian Cartier. “The owners really let us be ourselves.”
Cartier, a Rhode Island native who started playing piano at the age of 7 and went on to begin playing professionally at 19, is one of the original members of Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos, alongside Mark Kovaly. Cartier and Kovaly used their shared middle name — Andrew — to form the group in 2002. They are now two of four musicians who sub in and out for shows, along with Mark Larson and Daniel Deal.
Cartier said 37 Main’s Buford location boasts professional lights that sync with the music, and cameras record and broadcast the shows for virtual audiences.
“We can’t hear them singing along, but we’re pretty sure they do,” Cartier said of those watching online.
Those enjoying the show in person get an opportunity to request their favorite music — Cartier said the most requested song is “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
“We get ‘Piano Man’ a lot too,” he added. “And Lizzo was popular before the pandemic. We’re kind of a jukebox.”
Knowing the music and lyrics to more than 2,000 songs comes in really handy when audience members request obscure selections.
“As long as we know three of the chords and five of the words, we’ll give the song a shot,” Cartier said. “That can be anything from Cardi B to Sinatra to Bon Jovi.”
For those who haven’t caught an Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos show, Cartier said audiences can expect the unexpected.
“Every night is different,” he said. “People not only can request a song, people can stop a song if they don’t like it.”
College fight songs are one example of renditions that might get halted, depending on the fans in the crowd on a given night.
“This show is very unique,” Cartier added. “It’s not your normal show in the sense that you have no idea what you’re playing before you get there, you have no idea what the audience will be like.”
The goal for Cartier, though, is always the same — to get the audience “singing along, smiling, laughing and having a good time. It’s just really nice to help people get there.”
If you go
• What: Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos
• When: 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 18 and 25
• Where: 37 Main, 37 E. Main St., Buford
• Cost: Free for general admission and $40 for seat reservations for four people
• For more information: Visit buford.37main.com
— Deanna Allen