Saturday, April 26, 2008

Double-Banjo Double-Play

Well the day has come, and we survived our trip to Cleveland. I say "survived" because it was, indeed, a rather late night for the younger folk. It was game night in Cleveland, and I don't know that my kids have ever experienced anything like the activity that surrounds the ball field during and after a game -- not inside the ballpark, mind you, but the ancillary buzz and revelry that is part of the rare warm Cleveland evening when the lights are on the field.

We joined my friend G who had arrived much earlier and was still one of only a handful of souls at Wilberts. We ordered a couple of bites and a beverage and chatted for a long while as my natives became increasingly restless. It wasn't until past 10 p.m. that the game was over (Cleveland won!) and the fireworks began. It was a heckuva show, and no point trying to hear bluegrass over that, especially since most of the band had gone to the game.

What my daughter was least used to was the loud party buzz that spilled into the previously quiet venue. She's not used to obnoxious Cleveland sportsdrunks. Most of them just wandered in off the street after the game to use the necessary and weren't interested in paying a $12 cover to hear a banjo virtuoso. So we hearty fans stood our ground. Once the music started my daughter and I found a seat right up front and enjoyed the rest of the show with a big smile on our faces. Tony and his banjo double played Bill Monroe's Roanoke which actually made her giggle.

The longest part of the night was spent on a stretch of I-271 that was practically stopped dead with the return of spring construction in Ohio. No one expects to see this kind of traffic at midnight, but it took us an hour to go 2 miles. Thank goodness my son kept me awake with his cosmic questions. And we all seem to be no worse for wear this morning.

I couldn't find a recording of Tony playing Roanoke, but the band did play this sweet tune from the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectactular recording, which by the way features a swell lineup of talent from Earl Scruggs to Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Alison Brown, and Tony Rice. It's called Escher's Waltz and I hope it puts a happy banjo lilt into whatever you do today.

Escher's Waltz


At April 29, 2008 10:56 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Major league sports and bluegrass, or any acoustic music... not the best things to be experienced simultaneously, or to have their moods mixed.

At April 30, 2008 12:11 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Yes indeed, Blue, it was an odd combination. And yet, I felt oddly empowered. I don't really know anything about sports, but they clearly didn't know anything about the incredible music they were hearing, either, so it was kind of even!

At April 30, 2008 4:44 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I wanted to pass along this link, it's a fresh Youtube from Eamon of the Greencards about and featuring Tim O'Brien.

At April 30, 2008 4:45 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

D'oh! Here's the link

At April 30, 2008 8:28 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

OOO! OOO! Thank you!!! You rock. Oh hey, maybe the Greencards are bringing Tim to the show coming up and you can have a beer with him!

Mmmm -- Beer! Sierra Nevada pale is a favorite.



At May 01, 2008 2:39 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

They had a little mini-tour opening for him last month, and have played on the same bill several times previous. Maybe someday. They (The 'Cards) are pretty popular in Austin, to the point where he might even be opening for them. Sometimes this town is upside down that way, but we luvs our own!!

At May 02, 2008 7:04 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Seems to me the Greencards and Tim O'Brien on any bill in any order is only gonna be right side up. I love that they love him too! I may need to repost the link in a separate post as proof that I'm not the only one!

Tim just loves to play. He opened for Yonder Mountain String Band a few years back at a show I went to in Columbus. (Yes, Columbus. Eeek.) BUT, the place was PACKED and so he made a lot of new young friends. It's all good!


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