Friday, February 7, 2014

Highway 41 South at the Blue Rooster

On Wednesday evening we stopped at the Blue Rooster (1525 4th Street, Sarasota) to hear our friends Highway 41 South play their regular gig there. You can find them on most Wednesdays, but not any more this February. They'll resume in March. The Blue Rooster turned out to be a delightful venue to have a light supper or a full dinner while listening to music, which is offered seven days a week, including what appears to be a sumptuous gospel brunch on Sundays. The restaurant receives 3 1/2 stars on Yelp, where you can see reviews, too. Food is, as advertised, southern style, but with an imaginative twist. This is NOT your usual barbecue joint, but a stylish and very pleasant neighborhood pub with good food and good music. The music tends towards blues and jazz, but has plenty of variety. Check the schedule online.


Highway 41 South
We're used to seeing Highway 41 South at bluegrass festivals in Florida and Georgia, but not in such an intimate setting nor with such good sound. Under the leadership of Mark Horn on mandolin and often lead vocals, the band has continued to develop and to work hard. Horn is a serious mandolin student studying under mandolin master Wayne Benson. Meanwhile, his voice has deepened and become more sure. Jr Davis, a relative newcomer to bluegrass, has a statewide reputation as a country singer, and has consistently improved his bluegrass chops and his rhythm guitar playing. Donny Harvey is a fine, tasteful banjo player, never allowing his versatility or virtuosity to overcome his strong backup skills. He's a good baritone singer, too. Dave Beaumont on bass is steady and stylish along with offering a wicked sense of humor, which the band could use to more advantage.  Stop in at the Blue Rooster some Wednesday evening to experience classic bluegrass and country. You're sure to come away tapping your foot with a smile on your face.

Mark Horn

Donny Harvey

Dave Beaumont

Mark Horn & Jr Davis

How to Get to the Blue Rooster
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If you're looking for a dose of bluegrass music in the Sarasota region or just a good meal with a varied menu of both good food and good music, the Blue Rooster might be just to your taste.

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