Sunday, February 24, 2013

Del and Sam in the Snow

Drove up to the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy ... a prep school in Derry NH ... to see two bluegrass gods, Del McCoury and Sam Bush, on Saturday night (2/23).  Really, these two are at or near the pinnacles of their respective bluegrass specialties and as soon as we heard there were tickets (this was a rescheduled show from October of last year), we snapped them up.  We also got tickets for Matt and Jeannie and we were all very excited to sit in this beautiful, wide theater with a big stage and listen to those guys.  It was only about two thirds full and I assume that's because of the total lack of publicity.

There was yet another snowstorm forecast for New England that day, but it was turning into mostly rain as it arrived, though it was pretty snowy in Derry when we got there and when we left.  The pair came out and were their understated, deferential selves, but absolutely ripped the air waves with their bluegrass pyrotechnics.  Sam stayed on mandolin all night except for one song on which he switched to a weird mandolin/mandola thing with a resonator plate.  I shouted out, "What *is* that, Sam?" and he answered "It's a weird mandolin/mandola thing with a resonator plate that Curtis Burch [original New Grass Revival member] invented."  Del stuck to his old Gibson all night except for one song on which he picked superb banjo.  The climax of the night was, of course, an incredibly hot take on Thompson's Vincent Black Lightning.

Staggered out to the cars in the snow and made it back South over the border before it turned to rain.  Just amazing that we had just been in this bluegrass bubble in a backwoods prep school theater with a couple of the finest musicians in the world, only 40 minutes from downtown Boston.

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