Chris Thile might've been in one of the lone crossover bluegrass pop acts, and solo or with his Punch Brothers, he might've covered The White Stripes and Mclusky. But the wild-haired, big-grinning, sunglasses-on Sam Bush remains the mandolin's rock star, both in personality and approach. Sure, Bush works well as a bluegrass session player, a competent fundamentalist able to tone down his florid playing and quick picking. But he's at his best when his chosen crew is figuratively electrifying the form, taking bluegrass out of its cedar-lined closet and going a bit crazy. To wit, this show was originally scheduled for three days prior, but Bush and his band needed to reschedule after Taylor Swift asked him to back her at the CMA Awards, broadcast on ABC. Here's to Swift fans worldwide, tweeting about the strange fella flitting about with a mandolin.
—Grayson Haver Currin