Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tony Trischka, Hot Mustard on Short Tour - NE & NY

Tony Trischka

 Tony Trischka and Territory will be playing a short four concert tour in New England and New York beginning this evening at The Linda in Albany, NY with succeeding concerts at The Bellows Falls Opera House in Bellows Falls, VT on Thursday, Club Passim in Cambridge, MA on Friday, and The East Hartford Cultural Center in East Hartford, CT on Saturday.  Regional quartet Hot Mustard will open for Trischka in all four venues. 

Tony Trischka has been an important force in banjo music for at least three decades. While know initially as a bluegrass banjo virtuoso, he was Bela Fleck's teacher, among others, Trischka's creative imagination has not allowed him to be limited by the constraints of any single genre.  He remains excitingly creative, while at the same time keeping his music accessible. His award winning CD of several years ago "Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular" gave vent to a range of banjo alternatives and won Album of the Year, Recorded Event of the Year, and Banjo Player of the Year at the 2007 IBMA Awards.  His most recent CD, Territory won the Best Americana Album at the 2009 Independent Music Awards show.  Recently, he has begun a revolutionary teaching program of online banjo lessons under the rubric Tony Trischka School of Banjo. His performances are exciting, creative, and fun. The video below shows his band Territory (a good name for a changeable unit giving Trischka room for a range of creative outlets) at this year's Joe Val Festival.  Notice his use of his cell phone as a slide on his banjo neck for part of the clip by Steve Ide. Watch in full screen for HD version.

 Brandon Rickman

For these shows, Tony will be joined by singer/songwriter Brandon Rickman.  Rickman is perhaps best known for his work as lead singer and guitarist with The Lonsome River Band under Sammy Shelor.  His singing has rough hewn quality often belied by the warmth of some of his ballads, which cross over from bluegrass into classic country songs. His song "I Bought Her a Dog" is pure humor, while others capture his deep love of place.  The clip below does an excellent job of capturing his song writing strength, but it's worth your while to get "Young Man, Old Soul," his recent solo album, which I reviewed here.  Brandon is not only a fine singer, but a first rate rhythm and flat-picking guitarist.  If you get lucky, you may also get the pleasure of seeing him break a string and change it on the fly without missing a beat.  I'm really looking forward to seeing this concert, which will also feature Michael Barnett on fiddle and Skip Ward on bass.

Brandon Rickman - "So Long 20's" - Video

Hot Mustard

Hot Mustard grew out of a cultural grant that allowed long-time regional banjo performer and teacher Bruce Stockwell (who won the 2005 Merlefest Banjo Contest) and Bill Jubett to work together on double banjo compositions and picking.  The work they did led to Bill and his partner (soon to be wife) April Hobart and Bruce's wife Kelly to join into a quartet that won the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival band contest in 2010.  In winning the contest they won a paid gig on Sunday. Their success in this contest spurred them on to building a performing schedule that has led to club gigs around New England and festival shows at this years Joe Val Festival as well as the upcoming Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival in Preston, CT, Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival in Tunbridge, VT, Mineral Springs Bluegrass Festival in Stafford, CT, and Ossipee Bluegrass Festival in Hiram, ME.  That's a lot of progress in less than a year.

Bruce Stockwell

April Hobart

Bill Jubett

Kelly Stockwell

Hot Mustard - Elk Horn Ridge - Video

Don't miss attending one of these four shows if you live within driving distance.  Should be a great time. Irene and I will be at Bellows Falls and look forward to seeing you there.  Check out the links in the first paragraph for information about locations, times, and prices.