Monday, January 24, 2005

Wow. That last break was short, compared with this one. I got busy or something (who remembers after almost 2 years) and stopped posting. I might start posting again, but I really shouldn't promise anything.

The latest performances I've seen that I can comment on are Chris Thile/Edgar Meyer at the Herbst Theater in SF and The James King Band at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley.

Chris Thile was, as always, amazing. The seemingly effortless way he produces idea after idea, sometimes playing at breakneck speed, other times at a more normal human speed, is a joy to watch. I've seen him play with his band Nickel Creek and with Mike Marshall before and loved all three shows. This time he played with the bassist Edgar Meyer, who was also very fun to watch. They made an interesting pair - the middle aged, sedate looking bass player beside the very young, sometimes hyperactive mandolinist.

This was the second time I've been to the Herbst Theater. It is a very nice venue for acoustic music. The music at this show could have been a little louder since we were in the very last row of the balcony, but the audience got into the atmosphere every note could be heard. Some of the between songs banter was harder to hear but the music was un-diminished.

The other show, James King, was also a pleasure. I've seen James King 3 times now and I will continue to seek his shows out anytime he is in the Bay Area. He plays the kind of intense, old time bluegrass that is my favourite and seems to love to play as well. 2 of the 3 times I've seen him have been at venues less than a third full and both times it didn't seem to result in him holding back at all.

Other recent shows include The Barefoot Nellies and Grizzly Peak at the Blarney Stone in SF. I know people in both bands so it was fun to see them play in public. We were running a little late and ran into parking problems so we missed about half of the Nellies set but they sounded really good, particularly for a band that hasn't been playing together that long.

This was my first time seeing Grizzly Peak since they changed guitar and banjo players. The new guys fit into the band really well and the whole band is well worth seeing.

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