A Bird Of Many Talents

It was another incredible evening under the stars at the Lowell Summer Music Series as Andrew Bird took the stage.

Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird

Everyone was eager for the show to start, in part because the staging was so unusual (at least to those of us who had not seen Andrew perform) that we wanted to see how the props were going to be used.

One of the unique props

One of the unique props

Andrew took the stage for a few solo numbers with only one of the large spotlights illuminated for most of that portion of the set. He regaled us with his full repertoire of instruments – fiddle, guitar, and a little percussion accompanied by either his voice or his whistling.

Andrew

Andrew

Andrew is best known as a fiddler and whistler, but his voice is quite lovely and his guitar playing very good.

Andrew

Andrew

After several songs, the Hands of Glory took the stage for the remainder of the show. Tift Merritt on guitar and vocals, Alan Hampton on bass, Eric Heywood on pedal steel and guitar, and Martin Dosh on drums comprise the Hands of Glory.

Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt

Martin Dosh (possibly)

Martin Dosh

Erik Heywood and

Eric Heywood and Alan Hampton

There were several different portions of the set. In addition to Andrew’s solo numbers, about half of the set was more ‘produced’, with the lighting coordinated with the music and Andrew rotating the contraption behind him which looked like two Victrola horns. From my perspective they almost looked like angel wings; somewhat appropriate since his voice and fiddle are angelic.

Andrew

The angelic Andrew

My favorite portion of the set was when all but the drummer gathered around the old-timey microphone, singing and playing.

Gathered around the mic

Gathered around the mic

The set list drew from various albums in his discography, but mostly they played the music that is closest to bluegrass. This was true American roots music.

Andrew and the Hands of Glory

Andrew and the Hands of Glory

Initially I thought the production factor would be too strong and detract from the music, but as I reflect on the show I realize that the production enhanced the music instead.

Andrew and the Hands of Glory

Andrew and the Hands of Glory

The chemistry among the band members is quite strong, especially between Andrew and Tift.

Andrew and Tift

Andrew and Tift

Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition opened the show. Jimbo is the founder of Squirrel Nut Zippers, which Andrew joined a few years later.

Jimbo Mathus

Jimbo Mathus

Jimbo’s current style is quite different from Andrew’s, yet they both are purveyors of American roots music. Jimbo’s style is country blues and he plays it so well.

Jimbo

Jimbo

I was unfamiliar with Jimbo’s name until I saw his Extended Play Sessions show and was blown away. I realized I did know his music because I am a big fan of Squirrel Nut Zippers, and was thrilled I would be seeing him perform.

The Tri-State Coalition is composed of Eric “Carlos San Pedro” Carlton on keyboard, Ryan “Rando” Rogers on drums, and Stuart “StuBaby” Cole on bass.  They back Jimbo so well.

Matt "Pizzle" Pierce - guitar Eric "Carlos San Pedro" Carlton - keys Ryan "Rando" Rogers - drums Stuart "StuBaby" Cole - bass

Ryan “Rando” Rogers

Matt "Pizzle" Pierce - guitar Eric "Carlos San Pedro" Carlton - keys Ryan "Rando" Rogers - drums Stuart "StuBaby" Cole - bass

Eric “Carlos San Pedro” Carlton

Matt "Pizzle" Pierce - guitar Eric "Carlos San Pedro" Carlton - keys Ryan "Rando" Rogers - drums Stuart "StuBaby" Cole - bass

Stuart “StuBaby” Cole

This concert showcased roots music at its finest, made even better by the lovely summer evening and good friends.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on July 16, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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