All posts tagged: Alison Krauss + Union Station

Oh Happy Day! – Merlefest 25 Wraps Up

Sunday is “Go to Meeting” day in the South, so it figures that the final day at Merlefest has a heavy gospel flavor. But because it is Merlefest – and therefore eclectic – you have your choice of shape-note singing, bluegrass gospel, Sunday blues (which should appeal to the non-believers and sinners alike), and black gospel. I opted for the black gospel sound this year, mostly by default.  (Not surprisingly, I was “late” for church because I slept in after a night of the blues with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.) But the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  And with the Benedict College Gospel Choir (photo at top of post) the Lord definitely moves! By the time I arrived, the choir had an enthusiastic crowd at the Watson Stage swaying and singing to that gospel standard Oh Happy Day!  There was testifying by some of the best voices of the weekend (and that’s saying a lot).  It was the perfect way to kick off Day Four – the final day – of Merlefest 25. The only …

The (Musical) Circle Never Ends

This is a post about music.  But it begins with swimming. Earlier this summer, I wrote that I was going to savor the last swim team season.  And I did just that, up to and including adding an extra meet onto the calendar to watch Andrew and his relay mates set a new team record in the All-Star meet.  We were thrilled he got to compete in that best-of-the-best meet in a hotbed of swimming! But this past Saturday got off to a great start, helped by the fact that I didn’t have to be at the pool at 7 a.m. for the first time this summer! So here are a few remembrances from a nice summer weekend that kept bringing thoughts (and connections) back to music. Candice and I were at the local farmer’s market on Saturday, looking to get some great Evensong Farm eggs from our friend Julie.  (Quick aside:  I didn’t realize how tasteless store-bought eggs are until we missed our Evensong eggs for six straight weeks!)  Julie’s father is bluegrass bass …

Eating Our Way Through New England

From Blue State Coffee in Providence, where Claire and I are enjoying a couple hours relaxation after an early morning wake-up and drive, here are some reflections on the good food found in New England on our trip. Sorry Blue State, but the best coffee we found – hands down – was at Bard Coffee in Portland, Maine.  (That’s not really fair to Blue State, since neither Claire nor I are actually having coffee here…she’s into a great blueberry smoothie and I’m having a delicious iced tea, so we’ll rate them best smoothies and tea…but I digress.) We had breakfast at Bard two days in a row and our various cups of coffee and pastries were terrific.  Everything is fresh and the staff is incredibly friendly.  Plus, when I came in on Thursday, they had Nickel Creek’s The Fox coming out of the speakers, and on Friday, it was Old Crow Medicine Show followed by Alison Krauss and Union Station playing the great Jerry Douglas tune We Hide and Seek.  How can you not love …

Sleep is Overrated When You’ve Got Music to Fuel the Soul

At the end of a busy first day at the National Preservation Conference in Nashville, I took off to the Grand Ole Opry House with about 20 close friends for the taping of a PBS special celebrating 40 Years of Rounder Records.  (Look for the show on March 10, 2010.)  While it started late and ended even later, it was an amazing evening of music. Here’s just a few highlights: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas playing that great accordion-driven dance music from Louisiana, where the “crawfish got soul and the alligators got the blues.”  My accordion-playing friend Jim Harrington would have loved it.  As my colleague and seatmate  Caroline Barker said, “If I could move my feet like Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas I’d be a dancer instead of a preservationist (perhaps).” Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn singing and playing Keys to the Kingdom.  I heard them do the tune at Merlefest, but it was even better in the controlled setting of the Opry House.  Then Bela and Jerry Douglas played a duet …