About two years ago, I enticed sunspiral and eeblet to join me for Dry Branch Fire Squad's second live album recording, at a live show up on the north shore. I did this on the strength of their first live album, which I bought after discovering it at WBRS several years earlier. The show was every bit as engaging, fun, and hilarious, as the live album suggested it might be. Now, that second live album is finally out, and they're coming back to do a CD release show at the same venue where they recording it: The Firehouse Center in Newburyport, MA.
Dry Branch Fire Squad was founded almost 30 years ago by Ron Thomason, a veteran of the Clinch Mountain Boys and the Wilson Brothers. He's the one at center stage telling the stories between songs, stories of southern Appalachian culture full of self-ribbing, banjo jokes, and family history. Other members have changed over the years, and currently comprise Brian Aldridge, Dan Russell, and Andy West. Dry Branch have been the regular on-stage hosts of the Grey Fox bluegrass festival (formerly known as Winterhawk). They come up to MA to record their live albums because their label, Rounder Records, is based in Cambridge.
As a sort of bluegrass supergroup, picking from among the best in the field, they excel at playing the music, from hard driving fast picking, to slow and mournful, to oldtime (and even hamboning!). Their singing satisfies estheruth as authentic southern Appalachian bluegrass singing - she can tell when someone who grew up somewhere else tries to sing bluegrass. It's among the best of good solid bluegrass and a cross between what traditionalists newgrass experimentalists like to do, satisfying to both IMO. And Ron's banter between songs makes the show as hilarious as the likes of DaVinci's Notebook and the Arrogant Worms, even though the songs themselves are usually not humor.
- Dry Branch Fire Squad live album release show
The Firehouse Center, One Market Square, Newburyport MA
Thursday, Jan 27, 7:30pm
all ages, $20 ($19 for students)
pre-show CD release party at Agav&eacut;, 6:00pm
and that's when they started fightin' the war on poverty, right on our land. Matter of fact, my grandmother tried to surrender... she uh, she went down inta Russel county Virginia, at the county seat, walked right up the courthouse said I understand y'all'sa fightin a war on poverty, they said thasright, she said well howcome I'm still poor? and they sayd well you lost, she said well are ya takin any pris'ners?
P.S. The Nerissa Nields house concert from last weekend got rescheduled due to snow. It will be this Friday evening, January 28th, at 8pm. That means I can go, yay!