Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mando, Dawggie Style

Hey 'Grass fans, if you’re in Ohio and desire another exquisite evening of bluegrass players outside the box, stop by the Kent Stage this Friday, June 2 for the David Grisman Quintet.

Grisman, known affectionately to his fans as “Dawg,” goes a-way back. This 1966 treasure from the Dawg photo album features Grisman on the far left, Bill Monroe in the middle there, and that Free Mexican Air Force favorite, Peter Rowan, on the far right on guitar. I was a year old.

I enjoy keeping an open mind about the music within the music. Just as pop or rock has many subgenres, so it is with acoustic music, and within that, bluegrass, and within that, the use of bluegrass instruments in less traditional ways. I remember a few years back at Grey Fox, enjoying a set by Ruthie Unger’s Wayfaring Strangers, and thinking, hm, that’s not like anything else we’ve heard here, and it’s kind of cool. The friend I was with was not all that impressed but I secretly had to admit that I enjoyed their near-radical treatment of some of my favorite old songs.

While I have my limits, and certainly my tastes, there are performers across all genres whom I admire and consider great in their field. I happen to enjoy listening to bluegrass and its origins and offshoots – what some call “roots and branches” – more than most anything else. But as a performance by Grisman will prove, there’s an amazingly wide range there, too.

Check out what's in the Dawg house , including some streaming Dawg tunes with Jerry G (click on Dawg Tracks).


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