- Then, this evening, cos picked me up from school and spirited me away to a town on the coast, where I had the great good fortune to sit with him in the front row for the Dry Branch Fire Squad show. I was utterly enchanted. Dan recently observed to me that he realized he doesn't have any preferences for musical genres or styles - what hooks him is simply good muscianship. I am a little bit pickier than that, and have always liked bluegrass, but they also absolutely proved Dan's point in that I fell utterly in love with them not because of the kind of music they made but rather because of the way in which they made it. Heartfelt and sincere, they made the music powerful simply (or perhaps complexly) by believing absolutely in what they were doing. Furthermore, the lead singer tells fantastic stories and as we all know, I'm a sucker for a good narrative. The show lasted for almost 3 hours and I barely even noticed. I splurged and bought the cd and I can already anticipate the pleasure I will have listening to it, especially on these bitterly cold nights. These men made gentle fun of people like me, with my education and pretenses to sophistication, my urbanity and "polish." Their music, however, is anything but simple, and the passion they bring to it showed me more eloquently than anything else I can imagine that art really can unite people of radically disparate backgrounds, even if only temporarily. The warmth and friendship in the auditorium tonight was palpable, as present as our collective breath, as real as the many gently beating hearts, as distinct as the notes that fell from the banjo and the mandolin.
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