I fell in love with the music of the Two Man Gentleman band closing in on two years ago-I knew I loved their music, but was still vaguely concerned about meeting them, because as they say, never meet your idols as they're bound to disappoint you. And we all know I'll probably never meet Martha Stewart, Nigella Lawson or Ina Garten (calling all people who DO know these three, I am not beyond meeting my idols, introduce me! introduce me!) but as far as reachable, meet-able local idols goes, the Two Man Gentleman Band is it. So yes, I was a bit anxious about meeting them. But, as you could guess from their brilliant etiquette posts on their blog "Letters From the Gentlevan" the Two Men, Andy and Fuller are nothing but gracious, humorous, fun and polite.

In a very, very un-Jenny and un-Lovely move I was late. Bad, bad interviewer. I walked up to our appointed meeting point, Pianos a bit confused and befuddled (very, very Jenny). It was then I spotted two men standing out from the crowd--taller, yes. But also, well dressed, handsome and striking-- there is something about Fuller and Andy that just stands out. Something different in their air, their nature. Both men stood in front of me on this October evening in suits. In an ivory slim cut suit and button down, sans tie Fuller cut a perfect Nick Carraway. And Andy in a black suit with a sweater vest, also without a tie maybe Jay Gatsby himself.
We began chatting immediately, with an explanation of what "gentleman casual" (sounds very fitting with "tea party appropriate", and Olivia's favorite "cowboy casual") is: "basically it means we don't wear ties" Andy quipped. Andy points to Fuller's unbuttoned collar and explains that he usually accessorizes with a tie. Fat, stripped, bold, solid, bow-- these gents have them all, wear them all, and pull them all off. With suspenders too. Try and beat that.

Fuller points to his bare head and explains that part of their "gentleman casual" look for the evening included his lack of hat. The two men are often photographed and perform in vintage derby caps, fedoras, and boaters. The hats can transform their look from modernly stylized to undeniably rag time. When worn properly the hats are a fabulous accessory, for your gentleman, or for you, Ms. Annie Hall!

Standing next to the milieu of skinny jean-ed hipsters, punks and rockers which comprise the Lower East Side, Andy and Fuller stood out in the best way possible, they were noticeable for all the right reasons, for looking put together, yet artistic and most importantly approachable. This is not unintentional-- their wardrobes are considered, and hand picked. "We can afford to only go shopping like once a week," Andy tells me. "Oh, only" I quip back, "Quite the recessionistas, I see." Andy laughs, "We don't buy everything once a week, we just look around." And Andy makes a good point here, "just find clothes that [you] like" and invest in those-- keep your eyes open, but your wallet closed until absolutely necessary (like dresses from Modcloth, and Forever21, and luscious leather boots, and cashmere gloves from Lord and Taylor... and this is how you get yourself in trouble.)

Their sound is a mixture of "hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country, and tin pan alley to create a joyous two-man sound that is all their own" and from that I assumed their look followed. Form follows function, right babies? Dress to the music you're playing, right? Well, Andy quickly corrected that theory. Dress the part, he explained, even when you're playing music in Central Park for pigeons and trees.

"We knew we needed to wear suits because no one would give money to street performers who looked like bums" Andy said with a smile and vague shrug.

Stay tuned for "Lovely Meeting" part two tomorrow...

Visit Andy and Fuller at the Two Man Gentlemen Band, for more pictures, stories, information and tour dates!

All pictures courtesy of www.TheTwoGentlemen.com.

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