Sunday, January 19, 2003

First art post (and some personal history too) - I've been playing bluegrass the last couple of years, so a lot of the music related posts on this site will have to do with bluegrass rather than other types of music. That's not to say I don't like your jazz/metal/classic/rock music, just that a lot of what I listen to these days is bluegrass or bluegrass related.

Case in point is the concert I saw last night. Peter Rowan played in Mountain View under the sponsorship of the Redwood Bluegrass Associates (). The interesting story I heard about the show was that since the last time he played for the RBA it was only loosely related to bluegrass, he was offered a specific bonus if he played bluegrass this time. A number of people I know were staying away from the show mainly because of the last show (Hint: Nepalese flute players aren't always completely welcome at your average bluegrass show). And I think it was their loss.

The show was definitely bluegrass, and it was great. The band was Peter on guitar, East Bay banjo whiz Avram Siegel, Peter's brothers Lorin (Mandolin) and Chris (guitar, but mainly there for harmony), a fiddler, and a bassist (whose names I didn't catch). They did 2 sets. The first was all bluegrass with Avram Siegel showcased on the banjo. Lorin's ability on the mandolin was a surprise. Out of all the performers, his breaks got the most applause afterwords. The second set was a little looser and longer. In addition to a number of bluegrass pieces, Peter and his brothers did a couple of songs with his brothers from their latest album, one featuring Chris and one featuring Lorin. This last song, Crazy People was a great swing tune.

Some of the highlights of the show for me were Midnight on the Stormy Deep and Walls of Time, in addition to hearing Peter take a number of great guitar breaks. Hopefully, Peter earned his bonus since it was a great bluegrass show.

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