Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bluegrass Birthday

My birthday is coming up next week, so my husband and I sent the girls to their grandparents' and are spending the weekend in Nashville. Last night was My Pick of Activities, so we ate BBQ and then went to a little club downtown to see some bluegrass. The place is called the Station Inn, and is wayyyyyy old school. They serve frozen pizza and beer, and for dessert you can have a Moon Pie or a Goo Goo Cluster (that's how you know it's Southern old school--that, and the only chips they have are Lay's, a Southern brand if ever there was one). It's a little cinder block building with cobbled-together hardwood floors worn smooth from all the feet over the years, and the folks there are the nicest you'd ever, ever hope to meet. My Sweet Husband shot the image above with his phone just as the band began their first set, and I'm glad, because it just kept getting better, and we wouldn't have wanted to stop listening so hard to take a picture later on.

We've still got our clocks on Eastern time, so we headed over at what we thought was 8.30 for a 9.00 show, only to realize we had over an hour to kill once we arrived--but we got to listen to the band and the owners talking while we waited, and I got an Abita ROOT beer to drink, which I didn't know existed, and made me feel like one of the cool kids again instead of the constant (pregnant) designated driver.

The music was AWESOME--even better than I was anticipating. The show had been given the Critic's Pick in the local arts paper, so I was sure it'd be good, but it was such a good time that my face hurt from the grin that got stuck there, just from sheer enjoyment. I can't say I;m a huge country fan, or that I've always loved bluegrass, but I've always had a very quiet love of the banjo--something about the pitch of it, and the speed of the pickin'. (Growing up in Alabama, too, you learn to appreciate some of the finer aspects of Americana, and bluegrass is certainly one of those.) They also had a mandolin player who was outta this world, and to whom we got to speak before the show--he's from Michigan, where he studied political philosophy, and had been to Atlanta to attend some conferences at Emory, so we had a teeny bit of common ground. He was the crazy nicest guy, and knowing he was academic and geeky AND plays a jillion instruments REALLY WELL added a cool other level to the show.

Most of the members are also in a band called Lonesome River, and the guy singing up front was named Kevin Denny, and every single one of them was outrageously talented and a joy to listen to. Check out their stuff--you won't regret it! I'm throwing in some You Tube of them--the first Kevin Denney is a live recording from the Bluebird Cafe here in Nashville earlier this year, and the second is the Lonesome River Band from a little over a year ago, also live.

And now, packing and driving back home, collecting our children, and the slow, quiet return to real life. Hope y'all enjoy a restful Sunday--here's to a good ol' bluegrass week!

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