Cyclism Sundays and King Wilkie

25 May

Dang it. I just wrote up a big long post and forgot to save it, so after I checked the links to make sure they worked, and closed the window–poof! Gone.

Oh well, I made some good progress on the Hourglass sweater on Sunday while Chad and I were watching Cyclism Sunday and the highlights from the Giro d’Italia (it’s so fun to listen to Bob Roll butcher the pronunciation of that). I’m halfway to the second increase, and it’s really starting to look like something.

I almost did some more knitting before the King Wilkie show at the Sweetwater last night, but I did work instead.

Part of my lost post was a review of the show, but here’s the long and short of it:
The show wasn’t nearly as packed as Erika and I thought it would be (or as packed as it should have been, for how good of a band they are). The first set wasn’t as good as when I last saw them–they didn’t have quite the same groove. The guys in King Wilkie can play, and I’d venture to say that even beyond their individual musicianship, what really sets them apart is the groove they get. There’s an edge to it that seems to have more to do with punk or indie rock than bluegrass, yet it totally works. They’re in their early 20s and already playing the Grand Ole Opry. Sick! The second set was great, though, although I got the giggles during “Lee and Paige,” the saddest song in the world. (It’s Spielberg or Scorsese sad, completely manipulative in its artistry, but it still gets you.)

But the new material–I have to say I have some concerns. Ted Pitney seems to be trying to be another Dave Rawlings. Now, let me say, I love Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. Their harmonies are transcendant, her songs are amazing, and his guitar work is both adventurous and melodic–a rare combination. But they’re not bluegrass, and those non-chord tones in the guitar breaks stick out a bit in bluegrass. Plus they did a Gram Parsons song, and again, I love Gram Parsons and there are few sounds more pleasing to the ear than his harmonies with Emmylou, but that’s country-rock. Once you veer into that territory, you’re an alt-country band, and that’s not where I think they should be heading. Not that they care what I think, of course. Plus with the drive they get, they just make such amazing bluegrass music.

Chad and I are heading up to Mendocino for a nice relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I hope to get some more knitting done on my sweater!

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