Thursday evening kicked off the 2008 season of the Bluegrass Nights series at the Ryman. As you may recall from last year, I've become a big bluegrass fan since I moved to Music City and I really enjoy the series. For one thing, I'm still a novice fan, so going to the concerts, I get to have a good sample of new- and old-school bluegrass.
One of the benefits of the concerts is that Eddie Stubbs "hosts" them. Having him come out on stage and share a bit about the group or individual performing helps give me a bit of context for them as well as a bit of background on the group or person.
This week, we got a taste of the new-school bluegrass and the old-school bluegrass.
The evening kicked off with a set from the Infamous Stringdusters.
The sextet won several awards this year at the bluegrass awards and hearing them, I can see why. Their set was great. One thing I love about the series is getting to see a group play the Ryman for the first time. Or at least for what I figure was the first time. The guys in the group seemed honored that they were playing on the historic stage. But while they were honored and taking it seriously, they still had a great time. As they played, they were all bouncing off each other, working together and delivering some great music. I will say I thought their set was too short--but then again, it was an hour and it literally flew by. My only disappointment of the evening came when they didn't get enough applause to warrant an encore. So, I went and bought their second CD from them and am planning to order their first CD from their web-site.
xt came the act that I think a lot of people were there to see. It was the old-school bluegrass style of Earl Scruggs. I saw Earl last year and I came away impressed by the wide range and variety he had and also by my complete lack of knowledge about some of his songs. I hate to say it, but the two I recognized were the theme from Bonnie and Clyde and the theme from the Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, just as last year, Earl saved those for the end of his show and had the crowd rockin' along with them. (Well, to the Hillbillies theme, which has words). Before that, we got to hear some a highlight of songs from one of the guys who helped create the genre and is a legend not only in bluegrass but in all of music.
A great show and a nice way to start the season. And the best part--five more great shows to look forward to...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/28/2008 02:25:00 PM