Is that a sacrilegious statement? Possibly, but even the most ardent fans of Bob Dylan (and specifically of his seminal album Blonde on Blonde) have to admit that Dylan’s vocals have never been what drew his fans to him.
Old Crow Medicine Show, a band that reveres Dylan, is currently touring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of Blonde on Blonde. They may be putting their bluegrass/Americana spin on the songs, but there is no doubt they are paying homage to one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
I first saw Dwight Yoakam perform last year and loved him much more than I expected. When he was added to the Americana Music Association Festival & Conference lineup, I was thrilled! And when I got the email announcing an interview and live performance by him in an intimate theatre, I knew I had to attend.
If you have been reading this website for a while, you might recall that a year ago I fell in love with the hip-hop bluegrass group Gangstagrass. Our love affair continued over the weekend at Johnny D’s where they appeared in support of their latest release, American Music.
Nobody was more surprised than the band when the album debuted at #5 on the Billboard bluegrass chart! They deserve to be known for more than the theme song for the television show Justified, and maybe now they will be!
Last summer, I enjoyed seeing The Gibson Brothers at the Freshgrass Festival (an amazing bluegrass festival, for those of you who are interested) so much that when their recent show at Johnny D’s was announced, I knew I had to see them again.
It was a bonus to find Twisted Pine, winner of the Freshgrass best band contest, opening the show for the Gibsons.
I decided to attend this show by the Irish quartet We Banjo 3 at Johnny D’s (part of the World Music schedule) because the combination of Irish music and bluegrass sounded irresistible. My intuition turned out to be accurate – this was a fantastic show!
I did not have a hard time imagining how Irish old-timey bluegrass music would sound, but I had no idea it would be as fabulous as is was! The band, at its first show ever in the Boston area, played to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd and stunned us with their talent and wit. I got the impression that they were surprised to have sold out the venue!
Barnstar! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name) is a bluegrass band based in the Boston area. They do not tour often, but when they do it would behoove you to see them.
I apologize that my photos are not as good as usual; there were a lot of mics on stage that proved tough to shoot around.