With Greensky Bluegrass
03.18.11 | Fox Theatre
Greensky Bluegrass and the Infamous Stringdusters concluded their two-night Colorado run last night at the Fox. Greensky kicked things off with a ninety-minute set. The band has spent a great deal of time touring through in our state. And clearly, it's paid off. The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based out has built up a strong fanbase here, as evidenced by the sizable early turnout for the openers, who filled the house by 9:30 p.m.
The five-piece bluegrass band taunted the crowd with a mixture of creative covers and originals, weaving between traditional bluegrass licks and covers by artists such as Peter Tosh, The Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin. Adam Aijala, Yonder Mountain String Band's quick-fingered guitarist, joined Greensky for two songs towards the end of their set.
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Paul Hoffman, mandolin player, opened the set with a soulful original, "No Idea." Hoffman's songwriting recalls Van Morrison and Dylan. He paints a portrait with words of nostalgia and grace. With the banjo accompaniment of Dave Bont and Dobro licks of Anders Beck, the original sound of this bluegrass band depicts black and white images of cowboys and Indians.
Greensky did an excellent job of igniting the Fox with energy and quickness for the headlining Infamous Stringdusters, Bluegrass Music Association award winners. The Dusters, per usual, entertained the crowd with traditional bluegrass during their ninety-minute set. Mandolin player Jeff Austin, also of Yonder Mountain String Band, joined the band during their set, as Aijala also returned to the stage for a bluegrass breakdown.
To close out the evening, Stringdusters and Greensky combined forces during the encore to grace he stage with Police covers, "Walking on the Moon" and "Roxanne."
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: Greensky Bluegrass has been in my musical repertoire for several years now, and I never miss the opportunity to see them on their several tours through Colorado each year. Although the group's energy can be touch and go, it rarely hesitates to show the crowd a good time. By the Way: The preceding night at the Bluebird, Greensky played both "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen and "Little Red Corvette" by Prince, exhibiting their musical diversity.