People love Bluegrass. I mean, I love bluegrass too, but some people love it so much that they'll park themselves in a hotel lobby for four days straight, in the middle of February, and play music with everyone and anyone who comes through the door.
Indoor bluegrass festivals such as Wintergrass in Tacoma, WA generate a kind of hive mentality, with musicians and fans swarming to listen to and play as much music as they possibly can before they have to go back into hiding before the summer months. I think because it is indoors and the frenetic energy can't escape outside, it creates a sort of human equivalent to sonic feedback. It's actually pretty cool.
Anyway, Wintergrass was an amazing time! It was Crooked Still's first festival appearance with the new lineup and it went great. We had Casey Driessen filling in for Brittany Haas on fiddle (she's in panama studying sloths or something). For a cool review of our set check out www.festivalpreviewblog.blogspot.com. Here's the view of Mt. Rainier from my hotel room:
I also heard some great music, the highlight of which was a late night jam session in a hotel room with Darol Anger, Mike Marshall and the Swedish band Vasen.
Before heading to Tacoma we were in Big Sky, Montana a week earlier where our ride to the airport was a SUV stretch limo! As if the SUV wasn't obnoxious enough, someone had to create this beast:
I have to say, it was pretty awesome to ride in it!
Other than all the great music at Wintergrass, the high point of the weekend was taking a trip with Aoife O'Donovan, Kimber Ludiker and Margaret Glaspy up to Seattle to an espresso place called Vivace. Seriously, there is no better espresso in the country. If you are within a hundred mile radius of Seattle, you have to go!
I also got to visit the Fremont troll, which is very cool, if not a little creepy. That's a real VW bug it's holding on to.
This week I went into Boston to participate in Rose Polenzani's crazy monthly event at the Lizard Lounge called Sub Rosa. It is sort of a curated open mic. Well, actually, it's more of a closed mic, but I think that's a good thing. Different people get up and sing a song or two and nobody knows it and you have to learn it on the fly. It's awesome and so is Rose. Check her out at www.rosepolenzani.com.