Bluegrass, For Real

I guess it’s time I stopped trying to be cool and started to write about the only music that matters in this world: Bluegrass. Surprisingly enough, Chicago is a great bluegrass town.One big reason for this is the Bluegrass Legends concert series, put on by a big crazy guy named Chip Covington. These shows take place at the Evanston VFW hall, and they’re an absolute blast, especially if you’ve never been to a bluegrass show before. Chip has become a friend of mine through the bluegrass that I play around here, but I was going to these shows before I knew him as anything other than ‘that big crazy guy’.This Friday, February 23rd is Honi Deaton and Dream (sporting one of the better bluegrass websites, I’m sorry to say…) Yea, the name is stupid. Yea, she’s got hair from 1986 in that picture on the website. Yea, there’s even a banjo dirtying up those pictures. That’s all kinda part of the fun of the whole bluegrass thing though; it’s hard to explain. One of the things I love about this music is that, for the most part, there’s no image–No fashion to follow, no look you’ve gotta have, no age limit (high or low). As long as you can play and sing… REALLY well. And these guys can. Bluegrass is the closest thing left to a true meritocracy in the music world, and it’s a surprisingly amazing display of musicianship if you’ve never seen it before.But the music is only half the fun. You’re going to a bluegrass show in a VFW hall, so live it up:

  1. Go straight to the bar and drink a Bud (no PBR allowed, hipsters*, this is bluegrass) with the salty ol’ VFW regulars. Call the bartender ‘Tiny’
  2. Find chip and say ‘hi’ to him. Chip is the big tall loud guy with the buzzed gray hair, you’ll know him when you see him. He’s a great guy, and he’ll talk to you for hours.
  3. Claim a folding chair
  4. Scan the crowd. If you can find a 10 year old, one each of a 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 year old, 5 guys with JUST a mustache, and a pair of suspenders, give yourself 100 points.
  5. Get another Bud.
  6. Strike up a conversation with a girl (I promise there will be AT LEAST two there).
  7. Visit Tiny one more time.
  8. Enjoy the show.

I make fun, but seriously: If you’re a musician and you’ve never seen bluegrass live before (it’s much different live), check this out. It’s pretty amazing how diverse the crowd is, so if you’re into people watching, check this out. If you’re looking for something to do that’s fun, different and a little bit bizarre, check this out.Honi Deaton and DreamFriday, February 23rd$20Evanston VFW Hall* Hipsters, do we still drink PBR? Or am I out of the club?

1 Comment so far

  1. "Crazy Chip" (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

    Dear “Dobro Dan”-

    I gotta be crazy to promote bluegrass shows in Evanston! Rent some funky old hall…it’s like time travel to have real bluegrass in such a joint.

    It’s just simply cool!

    Thanks for the kind words, but to I really talk that much?


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