Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday music: If you don't love bluegrass, you hate America

Easy pick for my favorite bluegrass album of 2016-- Larry Keel's "Experienced."  Here's a performance of the first track.

Other goodies:  Michael Daves's "Orchids & Violence," which has both acoustic bluegrass versions and electric versions of the same tunes.  Here's the bluegrass version of track 1.

Finally, Sarah Jarosz is getting a lot of attention from hipsters these days.  Instrumentation and collaborations with musicians like Chris Thile get her lumped in with bluegrass on occasion, and the bassist here is Mark Schatz, which is a name that should mean something to serious bluegrass fans.  I wouldn't call most of her music bluegrass, and Bill Monroe certainly wouldn't, but whatever this is, and growing fame or not (as I choke on the conventionality of this pick), Sarah Jarosz is really good.  And this one is really, really good.  Nobody should be able to play as many instruments as she can as well as she can, sing as well as she can, compose as well as she can, and well, she's still a kid.  Damn it...

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