Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bluegrass, Etc...Etc.

For months I've been trying to come up with some sort of show-and-tell on the band Bluegrass, Etc. Their website is informative regarding the careers of the individual musicians, John Moore, Dennis Caplinger, and Bill Bryson, and you can listen to a few clips from their CD's (though believe you me, you are missing out not to be able to hear their rendition of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring;" it is not a complicated piece, and they don't complicate it, but it is a mighty nice arrangement). The Etc. is part of what makes this band such a kick to listen to--for example, you might not have guessed that all these years you have been sorely missing banjo accompaniment to "Jamaica Farewell;" once you get a taste of it, you might consider that the definitive arrangement. The rest of what makes the band slightly addictive is that they're just plain good musicians. I take that back. Not plain good. Crazy good.

There aren't many videos available of Bluegrass, Etc. and of the few existing, the sound quality does not do them justice. Here's a taste of an instrumental, however. Dennis Caplinger on banjo, and John Moore on guitar play "Don't Try This at Home."

John and Dennis are currently involved with another project as well, a group called Greenbroke, (MySpace page here) which includes John Cowan on bass and Brad Davis on guitar and vocals. From what I have been able to hear of them, they are on average a little more bluegrass than Etc, in this case, but likewise insanely musical. Here (despite what I just said about them being "more bluegrass") they toe the line of Texas Swing with "Panhandle Rag," John Moore on mandolin, this time.

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