Another Enchanting Evening With An American Songster
Not only is he a terrific musician and ethnomusicologist, he’s a warm, personable man as well.
Dom is extremely knowledgeable about the history of American music, and specifically the music of black Americans, and enjoys imparting that knowledge to his audiences. He plays some indigenous instruments such as the quills and the bones, and makes it look so easy!
He took the stage for the late show that night and played the first couple of songs by himself, settling into a rhythm with the small but attentive audience.
He then brought his new band members to the stage – Brian Farrow on bass and Dante Pope on drums and percussion. This was a different band than I saw over the summer and I enjoyed the change. I felt that they must be very comfortable performing together because the performance seemed flawless.
Dom released an album earlier this year, “Prospect Hill”, and much of the set drew from that album. On that album, the American Songster delves deeply into Piedmont blues, ragtime, and folk music, to name a few styles. One of the songs from that album, ‘Hot Chicken’, inspired me to eat some hot chicken when I was in Nashville a couple of months ago (and yes, it is very hot even when ordered mild as I was advised to do)!
Even though I think Dom’s stories and explanations are fascinating, I appreciate that he does not do more talking than necessary because, after all, we wanted to hear the music.
How can anyone not love watching Dom play the bones???
Opening for Dom this night was a band from Tennessee called Grace and Tony. I had not heard of them despite them opening for a number of bands I love. I read that Grace comes from a bluegrass tradition while Tony comes from the world of punk, and was interested to hear their punkgrass music.
They blew me away! Grace has an amazing voice that filled the room! She told me after their set that she thinks her voice has improved since their recent EP was recorded – I think it sounds pretty incredible on the recording, but she might be right.
For this show they added a drummer and cellist whose names I unfortunately do not recall. They added a nice dimension to Grace and Tony’s music.
I hope they return to the Boston area soon (they told me they are homebodies, but they MUST let the world hear more of them for many years to come).
For the last song of the night, Dom brought Grace and Tony to the stage to perform one last song for us. Dom almost took a supporting role, letting Grace belt out the song!
Dom is one of those rare performers whom I will see repeatedly. He is worth your while to seek out when he’s at a venue near you.
Ticket courtesy of Dom Flemons; all opinions are my own.
Posted on October 22, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged American roots music, American Songster, Americana, boston, Brian Farrow, Club Passim, concert review, Dante Pope, Dom Flemons, music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.