Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crooked Stillness

The Boston-based contemporary bluegrass folk group Crooked Still played the first night of spring at the Somerville Theater. The old gang was back with

Aoife O'Donovan: vocals, guitar, baritone ukulele, piano, glockenspiel
Brittany Haas: five string fiddle
Dr. Gregory Liszt: banjo
Tristan Clarridge: cello, fiddle
Corey DiMario: double bass, tenor guitar

Well, that’s not quite the old gang. Cellist Rushad Eggleston left the group in November 2007 after a well-received farewell tour. Brittany Haas and Tristan Clarridge have joined the group. The joke of the night was that the band had to bust Brittany out of Princeton classes for this spring break tour of sorts. Brittany was also described as having contributed tracks to past albums. Maybe the band has just been waiting for Brittany to grow up.

The sound certainly had a different, more serious signature than when I last saw them. And Aoife has grown into a more mature singer. In the old days they could always rouse the house. Today they can bring a room to a quiet stillness too, with songs like Come On In My Kitchen and Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.

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