Saturday, August 28, 2010

Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys (wrap up)

By Greg Pool
Here's a wrap-up of the visit by Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys to Tree House Concerts (pictures and after-show interview/encore):

* The band was Belle Monroe (vocals, guitar), Ted Silverman (mandolin, vocals), Jordan Klein (banjos, vocals), Diana Greenberg (fiddle, vocals), Tom Drohan (bass) and Will Fourt (dobro).

band

* I don't know about you, but when Belle and the Boys started up, in that wonderful heat and view of Carmel Valley ... I got a little choked up. Bluegrass in the backyard has never sounded better!

* Belle and the Boys came down from San Francisco, where the post-modern explosion of roots music has come and ... well, not gone but definitely hanging out on your front porch asking for a beer.

* When Belle sang "Fire On The Mountain" in full view of the remnants of the old Robles del Rio lodge across the valley, which just burned down last May, I got goosebumps. Here's the view before and after from our deck.

* Belle (aka Pam Brandon) and the Boys are a fixture at the Strawberry Music Festival, and are lucky to be able to perform with almost anybody at any camp, including some well-known Main Stage acts.

* Although I had known of her for years, I first met Pam in 2006 at the Chickwagon's All Girl Revue, a Sunday afternoon tradition at Strawberry at Camp Cowlick. Here's what I wrote in 2006.

* I saw Tom (bass), Jordan (banjo) and Ted (mandolin) back in 2008 in Utah at the (old) Founder's Folk & Bluegrass Festival at Snowbird, performing in the kids band, Toodala.

* As usual, real musicians have day jobs, and Pam's is structural engineer. She helped build the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Wow!

* Look for Pam in her other band, Lost Weekend. It's western swing and they play mostly in the Bay Area but sometimes get down to Santa Cruz.

* Look for Will Fourt in Lady A and The Heeldraggers. And Diana Greenberg in Female Trouble.

* Belle and the Boys are playing next at the Hobb's Grove Bluegrass Festival in Sanger, near Fresno CA, from September 24-26. Also look for then at Amnesia, 853 Valencia in the Mission.

* As they revealed in the after-show interview, this was their first house concert performance but they have plenty of experience with acoustic shows (e.g. Parkfield Cafe last May).

* For the first time, we used reusable plates and utensils for the potluck. We picked them up at Eco in Carmel, and they're made by Preserve.

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