LIVE: Peter Rowan & Tony Rice @ The Egg, 10/4/09

They’re two great musicians who are deeply rooted in bluegrass, but have taken the musical roads less travelled and stretch far beyond the traditional paths.

And while Peter Rowan and Tony Rice are legendary within their circle of fans, they’ve both also seen better days. Rowan is 67 years old now, and Rice is 58 – although he looks about twice that old.

With no backing musicians to support them, the acoustic duo – just two guitars and Rowan’s voice – was a little shakey at the start, and they weren’t always in sync.

Go here to read my review in the Times Union.

Here are some additional thoughts on the evening:

Yes, Tony Rice is an amazing flatpicker. But an hour and a half of his non-stop nimbleness was, in truth, a little wearisome.

I know it’s going to sound like heresy to some, but opening act the Tony Trischka Trio stole the show from the headliners.

Trischka offered a new, as-yet-untitled song modelled on the song catalog of Jimmie Rodgers. He jokingly refered to it as “Blue Yodel Albany.”

The trio followed Bill Monroe’s classic racehorse saga, “Molly and Tenbrooks” taken at world land speed record tempo, with a virtuoso showcase. It was an instrumental medley of three songs penned by Trischka – each of which was performed on a single string of the banjo. Gimmicky? Of course, but the truth of the matter is that he didn’t tell you what he was doing before hand you might not have realized it. Which means that the songs themselves were good enough to stand on their own, especially the final Celtic jig-like segment.

Trischka’s fiddler Mike Barnett was fabulous, but guitarist-vocalist Michael Daves was even better. From Atlanta and now living in Brooklyn, Daves is the real deal. And the crowd was equally impressed. During the intermission, the merch table was sold out of Dave’s solo CD, “Live at the Rockwood,” within five minutes.

Run Mountain
Rain & Snow
Sally Goodin
(Untitled though jokingly titled Blue Yodel Albany)
Molly & Tenbrooks
(Instrumental medley)
Darlin’ Cory
Medley: Black Mountain Rag/Back Up and Push
Fox Chase

Panama Red
Jimmy Brown the Newsboy
Storms Are on the Ocean
Come Back to Old Santa Fe
Wild Mustang
Angel Island
instrumental (Shady Grove or a close cousin)
The Hobo Song
You Were There for Me
Walls of Time
Midnight Moonlight
Waiting for Elijah (Rowan solo)
Miss Liberty (Lay My Lonesome Down)

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