The 9th Annual Itchin’ to pick happens at the Galt House on March 27 and 28. Bluegrass pickers from all over will arrive for a couple of days of nothin’ but pickin.’ A $5 donation is requested. Tune your guitars, mandolins, banjos and fiddles and get ready.
Neo-C&W, retro-folk string bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show rides back into town for a show at the Louisville Palace on November 14, where they will certainly sing “Wagon Wheel,” along with a number of original tunes and old-timey songs from back before WWII. They get the credit (or the blame) for a flurry of banjo-picking string bands that cropped up following their discovery by Doc Watson (while they were busking in Boone, North Carolina). They’ve done very well, thank you, having been frequently on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show, plus getting formally inducted into the Grand Old Opry last year. Not a bad trick, being popular with the checkered-shirt and Ugg boots-wearing hippie crowd and the country music folk. They’ve earned quite a few awards and honors, including a Grammy for Best Long Form Video in 2013. Anyway, they have a new album, Remedy, just this year, so take a lilttle extra money with you to show – if you have it to spare, that is. Tickets are $29.50-$47.50.
The 23-String Band has decided to detune and pack their instruments for the last time together. Wave 3 has the story.
Dailey & Vincent is a bluegrass band some of whose members bring a significant CV to the group: Dailey sang and played guitar for Doyle Lawson; Vincent played with Rick Skaggs Kentucky Thunder band and was part of the bluegrass family band The Sally Mountain Show, along with his sister Rhonda; B. J. Cherryholmes was the pater familia of The Cherryholmes. Everybody in the band is aces on their instruments; the band has won thirteen SPBGMA awards, thirteen IBMA Awards and a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group in 2011 and another for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013. Their last record was 2013 Brothers Of The Highway, which reached #2 on the Bluegrass Chart and #40 on the Country Chart. The upshot of this is to make it clear that what you’ll get at this show is top-of-the-line bluegrass with a bit of country stirred into, as they sing Statler Brothers’ tunes, too. Tickets for the show at the Paul W. Ogle Center at IUS, November 1, are $28 adults/$10 Students.
Here’s the official video for “When I Stop Dreaming”:
WFPK’s favorite “local” performer, Lexingtonian Ben Sollee brings his cello to the Bomhard Theatre on November 1. Essentially a cello-playing singer-songwriter, Sollee has made a considerable career out of hauling his cello on a bicycle and championing various good causes, as well as making music folks like. His latest record is The Hollow Sessions. You can hear him as well on November 2 at Comstock Hall at the School of Music at 3p. Either show is $25.
Here’s Sollee playing “Letting Go”:
Bill Monroe’s version of bluegrass has traveled far and wide but so has Sam Bush’s newgrass, which was mated with the music of the Grateful Dead to produce jamgrass, now a staple of festivals around the country. We see many jamgrass bands coming through town: Yonder Mountain String Band, String Cheese Incident, any of several configurations from David Grisman and now Greensky Bluegrass, which will be at Headliners Music Hall on September 16. Equipped with the usual bluegrass instrumentation (including Dobro), Greensky rips right along nstrumentally, with harmonies more in tune with various Americana country groups than standard bluegrass four-part harmony. If you like Newgrass, perhaps with the edges smoothed a bit, these boys will make you feel right at home. In fact, they are so good that they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in 2006, which is no small deal. They have a brand-new album, If Sorrows Swim, which they wil be performing. Swear and Shake will open. Tickets are $15
Check out “Demons”:
Lord have mercy – as if a show featuring Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs and Rhonda Vincent wasn’t enough to make any Bluegrass fan reach for his/her wallet, there’s a Jerry Douglas show on the same day – August 1. This one is at the Kentucky Country Day Theatre, which is very nice, new venue out in the East End. Douglas, for those of you unfamiliar with him, is, arguably, the premiere Dobro player in the world. He spends most of his time as a session player (1,600+ albums and counting), touring with Alison Krauss And Union Station plus recording his own records. His Grammy Awards total is a lucky thirteen and he has won the Country Music Association’s “Musician of The Year” award three times, plus a number of other assorted awards. His bona fides are beyond any doubt, even for a very picky Bluegrass fan. The only considerations are: 1.) do you like resonator guitar music 2.) Do you have enough money and 3) did you not get tickets to see Bush, Vincent and Skaggs? If you answered ‘Yes’ to these three questions, then you should be out a Kentucky Country Day on August 1. Tickets are $25-$35, which are a bit more reasonable than the tickets to the Creekside event.
WAtch “Little Medley”:
The Mayfield Family bluegrass band has been splintering and spinning off various members into separate bands (David and Valerie Mayfield, Jessica Lea Mayfield, David Mayfield Parade), all of whom seem to find Louisville a favorite place to play, particularly the two kids, David and Jessica. This time, it’s The David Mayfield Parade, which will hit Zanzabar on June 28. This configuration is also the most recent of the Mayfield manifestations, kicking off in 2011 with his solo debut, The Parade. Prior to that, he was a sideman but decided to see if his own particular brand of music with a comedic edge would find favor. This trip, he’s plugging Good Man Down, for which he did not rein in his weirder producer impulses. That resulted in horns in the bluegrass, among other things. Tickets are $10.
Watch “Human Cannonball”:
This isn’t a Waterfront Wednesday show, unfortunately, this one is a pay-for-it show, but, hey, it’s Willie Freaking Nelson, the genuine musical legend himself, along with the altogether amazing Alison Krauss And Union Station with Jerry Douglas, the fabulous bluegrass singer-songwriter and champion fiddler and her band, a headlining act itself. The Wild Feathers are an up-and-coming Americana band from Nashville that puts this (uncredited) summary on their Facebook page: “They’re like if Led Zeppelin & The Band had a baby in Joshua Tree that grew up listening to Ryan Adams covering the Stones 70’s country influenced songs.” Let’s cut to the chase: this is a show for acoustic music fans who like country and bluegrass and all of whom already know these performers and are aware of this show, set for June 6. You either have your tickets already or are just procrastinating in the matter. They are fairly steep for a Waterfront show at $55 adv/ $65 Dos but, hey, it’s Willie Freaking Nelson and Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas.
Watch the music video for “Blue Eyes Cryin In The Rain”:
Watch Alison Krauss & Union Station live at a show in Murray, KY last week: