It wasn’t the concert the Institute of Musical Traditions originally envisioned, but thanks to the professionalism and love for music the performers brought to the evening, it was more than advertised.
Andrew and I took in the regular Monday night IMT concert this evening, which featured Peter Ostroushko and Danny Gotham. However, they were delayed by a major pile up on I-70 that Peter later told us included a fiery semi that was completely incinerated. Thanks to quick thinking by the IMT folks, however, they called in friends Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer and in a delightful half-hour opening set they kept the evening moving and proved they’re much more than just children’s artists. Marxer’s musicianship was in special evidence on her cello banjo and in some sweet swing guitar solos.
Ostroushko and Gotham then took the stage and began with a mandolin duet of tunes learned from Norman Blake. The second tune in the medley, a Blake original entitled Jeff Davis, got Ostroushko in the mood for some political humor. He told of a time a few years ago when he read an opinion article in the Minnesota paper that said W. was the worst American President since Jefferson Davis. Peter said he was perplexed…because he didn’t think Jeff Davis was that bad.
Sly humor and major musical chops were in evidence throughout the evening. Peter played a beautiful arrangement of Bob Dylan’s Girl From the North Country, and then explored the “Minnesota Blues tradition.” (The headwaters blues.) While Andrew and I had to duck out before the end in order to get ready for tomorrow’s trek to see the inauguration, it was a very satisfying evening.
The IMT series has plenty to delight this winter…but guitar players will want to mark March 30th for the John Jorgenson concert.
More to come…