A Bird Of Many Talents
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.
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 is best known as a fiddler and whistler, but his voice is quite lovely and his guitar playing very good.
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.
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.
My favorite portion of the set was when all but the drummer gathered around the old-timey microphone, singing and playing.
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.
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.
The chemistry among the band members is quite strong, especially between 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’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.
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.
This concert showcased roots music at its finest, made even better by the lovely summer evening and good friends.
Posted on July 16, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Alan Hampton, Andrew Bird, Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory, Boarding House Park, boston, concert review, Eric Heywood, Jimbo Mathus, Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition, Lowell Summer Music Series, Martin Dosh, music, Tift Merritt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.