Tuesday, August 28, 2012

shovels, kayaks, and rope

Thursday, 8/23 went for a kayak after work, downstream from the 117 put-in, through Fairhaven Bay, and a bit down river.  It was another hot, humid late-summer day in a succession of them, but we'd had some rain and the river and the life it supports were doing well.

Saturday, 8/25 had some friends over to harvest the hops and then play a cracking croquet game.  Went to see Shovels and Rope at Johnny D's afterwards and had a nice table.  There was quite a crowd, filling the dance floor with the standees.  They did a great job of keeping up the beats, sharing the same instruments (they both excelled on their dark tan guitar), and harmonizing in their take-no-prisoners way.  The distinctive thing about their set in my mind was that some bands will carefully edge their way into a chord change, but these guys went full tilt into and out of every one.  Sarah took a few videos, such as:

'Twas an excellent set and the crowd loved them ... especially when they came back out and encored with El Paso.  A woman standing next to me asked me afterwards how I knew them so well.  I told her this was the first time I'd seen them and she said, "But you knew all the words to that last song."  She needs to listen to a few Grateful Dead (or Marty Robbins) records.

The next day (Sunday 8/26) I put in late in at lower Mystic Lake in the beautiful afternoon ... the humidity had left and we had a couple of late-August days to die for ... and then paddled down the river and up Alewife Brook again.  Lots of huge carp as before, as well as gray herons all over the place, cheering from Dilboy Stadium, and car noise from Mass Ave.

Here's more Shovels and Rope:

Friday, August 10, 2012

2MGB at Passim

We were at the 2Man concert at Club Passim last night (8/9) and they were great.  Andy Bean had an electric tenor guitar and he really cooked on it.  And yes, it was very hot and they were dripping sweat but put on a great show anyway.  I reminded Andy of GRF last year and he said that that experience convinced them to ditch the suits when it's this hot.  They were in business casual ... with suspenders.  They did a bunch of tunes from their new record and encored with a great cover of My Blue Heaven, and then closed with Fancy Beer.

But as good as they were, what really knocked us over was the opening act, Tricky Britches.  They did a fantastic, Flatt and Scruggs-style cover of Salty Dog, a bunch of originals, and of course a Grateful Dead song.  Really fantastic to hear a young bluegrass band that can do authentic, hard-driving style, and also writes some wonderful originals.  They kind of reminded me of seeing Northern Lights when they were young and energetic, though Tricky Britches was more authentic than "progressive."