Founding member of the Grateful Dead and local resident Bob Weir recently re-opened the landmark roots venue the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA. As part of the opening month’s line-up Greensky Bluegrass stopped through on the West Coast leg of their tour for a sold-out show. Hailing from Kalamazoo, MI the newgrass rockers seem to be on a non-stop tour in support of their recent release, Handguns. With shining vocal harmonies and incredible picking skills the band has the ability to play a familiar track and take it outside the musical boundaries you thought possible and then bring it right back.
Coming off her well received 2011 album Follow Me Down, Sarah Jarosz is squeezing in a mini-tour before returning to Boston to complete the 2nd half of her junior year at New England Conservatory. During her stop at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston, TX, the new face of Americana picked and strummed a handful of fantastic covers throughout her set.
On Friday night, Sonoma, CA bluegrass band Poor Man’s Whiskey promised a very special night to celebrate the unique date. Headlining the historic Fillmore Auditorium, the band sold the show out and as a thank you the band came outside and serenaded the line of guests waiting to get in.
It was early 1986 when Pegi Young told her husband Neil Young that they would need to build a school to suit the special needs of their son, Ben. She then suggested that in order to pay for it, that Neil call his friend Bruce Springsteen and put together a concert to fund it. 25 years later, the Bridge School Benefit concert has become an annual tradition where superstars from all genres of music come to share the gift of music to support this amazing school. The Bridge shows are all acoustic and offer a unique setting where artists can experiment with their material and get the chance to sit in and play with friends and heroes alike.
There’s no shame in enjoying a dingy college bar with your buddy’s band rambling through a set of well-known covers over a fuzzy sound system. You just don’t expect that sort-of-rehearsed cover band to be We Are Scientists playing in Williamsburg. Wednesday night – supported by Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange, and (when not awkwardly facing the corner) Aaron Pfenning of Rewards – the Brooklyn-based duo loosely bumbled through all ten songs off Weezer’s 2001 The Green Album, before closing with their “two favorite Weezer songs.”
The evening was rife with sheepish grins between lead singer Keith Murray and Hynes – who supported on lead guitar – as the two dropped chords and lyrics. Whatever missteps were made along the way didn’t deter the enthusiastic crowd, which was small enough that when Pfenning offered to buy a drink for whomever could predict the two encore songs, you could easily hear someone yell, “Aaron, you don’t have any money.” No one else ventured a response.