Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Evening with Tony Trischka

One of our favorite contemporary artists thriving in the bluegrass arena is Tony Trischka; although we hesitate to label him completely in this genre. For Trischka plays and is influenced by several music styles from the hillbilly music of A.P. Carter and the Stanley Brothers, to folk, to blues, to the traditional bluegrass of Bill Monroe. And his latest CD, Territory, showcases these influences. It includes a blues based fox chase, Celtic folk, classic Bill Monroe, an unlikely fusion of Earl Scruggs and Etta Baker, some West African kora and Hawaiian slide guitar, and, of course, some double banjo as in his Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. Plus plenty of Mike and Pete Seeger. No wonder it was awarded Best Americana Album of the year from the Independant Music Awards.

Music from this CD was on full display during his appearance at Jammin' Java. But what is also appealing about the artist is that it's just not Trischka and his banjo. This is a band - fiddle, guitar, and bass - all grouped around a single mic as in the old time style. Michael Daves on guitar provides most of the singing and can even get up there with the Monroe vocals. Besides several songs from Territory and the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, they also paid tribute to The Carter Family with Foggy Mountain Top and Bill Monroe with Close By. They also played a couple waltzes, even integrating a Vienna waltz to honor the venue's location. The show was well worth not only my cover but my son's - who loved the fiddle. We hope to see Trischka and his band later this summer.

No comments: