03 February 2011

Jerry Douglas Band @ Bear's Den

Jerry Douglas is without a doubt one of the greatest dobro players in the world. But for some reason, I went into the show with caution. I had never seen him lead a band before. He's always been amazing in any bluegrass lineup I have seen or heard, and he is almost the only reason I would want to see an Alison Krauss show these days, so not too sure why I had any doubts about this show. As you might guess, the doubts were totally unfounded. The show was a marvel, pretty much perfect in every way. He played music across the spectrum of his career, playing some Skip Hop and Wobble, Strength in Numbers, some new material, some music commissioned for an art exhibit, and even a Weather Report cover. And through it all, he played within the music, never taking it to pure showboating, as is often the case in his Alison Krauss appearances. His young backing band really proved their worth throughout the evening, especially with Jerry's propensity for breaking strings. The venue, inside the Seneca Niagara Casino, was also nearly perfect. Amazing acoustics, comfortable seating, great sight lines, extremely intimate, and a somewhat cheesy ornateness that for whatever reason seems to suit bluegrass very well.

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