In your face, fun bluegrass
BOND – The first-ever Pickin’ on the River at State Bridge will be like hearing a jam session in the parking lot of a bluegrass festival, but professionals will be manning the instruments.Nine Pound Hammer features John Frazier (fiddle) and Aaron Youngberg (banjo) of Hit and Run, Rich Zimmerman (mandolin) and Paul Waitinas (bass) of Slipstream and independent guitarist Adam Redder. All are friends and had been waiting for an excuse to jam together when State Bridge General Manager Scott Stoughton offered up the venue. Attendees can expect to hear all their favorite bluegrass standards.
“Sometimes when you’re in a bluegrass band you avoid the standards because you want to work up material that defines your band as different,” Zimmerman said. “We’re not a band trying to define ourselves, so the dynamic changes. It won’t be ultra rehearsed material – but it will sound that way – because we’re doing a bunch of standards that we have all been playing for years.”Waitinas promises the weekend to be high energy.”People should be able to boogie all night long, which is good for State Bridge,” he said.
Frazier and Youngberg’s band, Hit and Run, gained notoriety when they won the 2002 Rockygrass Band Competition in Lyons and then took first place at the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, making them the only band to win both competitions.KC Groves of Uncle Earl, an all-female bluegrass band, and David Long will be playing as a duet tonight to open the weekend.”They both play mandolin and guitar, so it’s going to be more like an old-time duo thing,” Waitinas said. “KC Groves’ band has just exploded into one of the biggest bluegrass bands in the country, and David is a critically acclaimed mandolin player.”
Local band Laughing Bones will kick off Sunday’s festivities. Tickets are $7 per day or $10 for the weekend. For more information, call State Bridge at 653-4444.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or email@example.com.
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