Strange encounters and surprising sounds: Spencer Griffith on World of Bluegrass, Night One | Music
Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Strange encounters and surprising sounds: Spencer Griffith on World of Bluegrass, Night One

Folks from Alberta, outlaw roots from Nashville

Posted by on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Arriving yesterday in the early evening at the Raleigh Convention Center’s registration area for World of Bluegrass 2013, I first met a pair of young guys from Alberta. “We decided to come down on a whim,” one told me. I tried to imagine flying across the continent on an impulse to see bluegrass in Raleigh. I couldn't, but I didn't need to: I simply needed to walk down the street, to the Long View Center.

Indeed, I was anxious to hear something—anything—as soon as possible. Kristy Cox & Calder Highway were just beginning their set. Cox’s vocals and the complementary male harmonies rang crystal-clear throughout the sanctuary. It was only during the breaks between the group’s carefully arranged songs that you could tell Cox hailed from Australia, based mostly on the way she pronounced Raleigh in an accent that had been previously undetectable. With Cox and Irish folkies the Niall Toner Band sandwiching Raleigh’s The Gravy Boys and Virginia’s The Honey Dewdrops on the first portion of the Long View bill, I quickly learned that the festival is just as international as the association's name bills itself to be.

Based on the IBMA-related anecdotes I’d heard over the years, I expected mostly hard-line traditionalists and a sizable contemporary contingent to descend on Raleigh this week—that is, bluegrass “purists” in two different forms. I didn’t expect, then, that the best performance of my first night would belong to a Nashville-based group that wouldn’t be claimed by either camp. Disposing almost entirely of bluegrass conventions, Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys defied both the frontman’s surname and the name of his backing band, though they were damn good at whatever you call their brand of outlaw roots music. Folk’s high-lonesome voice haunted his dark, richly detailed tales, totally dosed with black humor.

“This one’s about heroin addiction,” he said, introducing an unreleased tune. “Raise your hands… anyone?” After that dead-pan delivery, I knew I’d be better off leaving my assumptions at home this week.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music



Twitter Activity

Comments

Goede dag, ik ben Josef Lewis, een particuliere kredietverstrekker die leningen verstrekt aan particulieren, bedrijven en overheidsinstellingen tegen een lage …

by Josef Lewis on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

Boots Riley has a Durham connection, including influence from the civil rights movement, worth exploring.

by Walter Riley on At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap" (Music)

Most Recent Comments

Goede dag, ik ben Josef Lewis, een particuliere kredietverstrekker die leningen verstrekt aan particulieren, bedrijven en overheidsinstellingen tegen een lage …

by Josef Lewis on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

Boots Riley has a Durham connection, including influence from the civil rights movement, worth exploring.

by Walter Riley on At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap" (Music)

So freaking talented. Unbelievable.

by April Miszler on Video: H.C. McEntire Celebrates Lionheart at The Pinhook (Music)

Enjoyed This, nice work Dan Schram! Thank you! ...gonna miss the Tom Petty...

by Michael Young on Video: An All-Star Durham Crew Pays Tribute to Tom Petty (Music)

Have to say Im onboard with this take on The Beatles influence and joy in my life... not at all …

by Liam Brady on David Bazan Discusses The Beatles and the Next Chapter of Pedro the Lion, Roaring Again After a Decade of Quiet (Music)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation