Archive for January 23rd, 2012
WC is not a huge fan of bluegrass music. As Frank Solivan described a jazz melody he and his band performed last night, “Earl Scruggs got ahold of it and blue grassified it.” To WC, most bluegrass music sounds like Robin and Linda Williams’ brilliant satire, “Marvin and Mavis Smiley and the Manhattan Valley Boys” doing their bogus infomercials for “Do-Tell Records.” Part of the joke – Marvin and Mavis do Broadway, Marvin and Mavis do Springsteen – is that all of the songs come out sounding exactly the same. And, candidly, all bluegrass music sounds a little flatt to WC.
But Trudy and Mase of Acoustic Adventures are diehard fans of the genre, and they’ve never steered WC wrong with a concert yet, so even though the show was at The Blue Loon, one of WC’s least favorite venues, Mrs. WC and WC headed out to Ester for the show.
Even if you don’t care for bluegrass, there’s no denying the quality of the musicianship, the sheer skill of many bluegrass players, and Frank Solivan, in the latest lineup of Dirty Kitchen, has come up with some wonderful artists, who can not only play as a group, but do some pretty impressive solos, too. These four guys can play.
Frank Solivan can set a mandolin on fire, and isn’t bad at fiddle, either. Mike Mumford is a terrific banjo player. Danny Booth is excellent on upright bass. But it was baby-faced, 21-year old Chris Luquette blew the crowd away with his guitar solos in his first show, ever, with Dirty Kitchen. The group wasn’t afraid to break away from traditional bluegrass, including a fine cover of John Stewart’s “July You’re a Woman” or topical songs like Solivan’s homelessness study from the other side, “Left Out in the Cold.”
Polished, tight and plainly enjoying themselves, there were moments when WC could almost understand why some folks like bluegrass so much. Props to Steve Brown & the Bailers for opening (with Robin Dale Ford filling in on bass).
A fun evening. Thanks to Trudy and Mase for putting it together.