Upcoming shows at Wild Bear

Greg Ching Nederland

What: David Jacobs-Strain
When: 03/20/2014 at 7 p.m..
Where: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center, 20 Lakeview Drive Unit 107 (next to Carousel of Happiness), Nederland, Colorado
Please let us know if you can attend using this link:  http://www.e-rezz.com/reservation/accept/57340?authToken=uzxpksxrrnb7.

Returning to help us with our second Coal Creek Canyon flood benefit for Canyon Cares is a rising blues artist who last played my living room March 2006.

David Jacobs-Strain is a fierce slide guitar player, and a song poet from Oregon.  He’s known for both his virtuosity and spirit of emotional abandon; his live show moves from humorous, subversive blues to delicate balladry and then swings back to swampy rock and roll.  It’s a range that ties Jacobs-Strain to his own generation and to guitar-slinger troubadours like Robert Johnson and Jackson Browne.  “I try to make art that you can dance to, but I love that darker place, where in my mind,  Skip James, Nick Drake, and maybe Elliot Smith blur together.”

His latest album, “Geneseo,” speaks of open roads, longing hearts and flashbacks of Oregon; a record of emotions big and small, and lyrics that turn quickly from literal to figurative. “I’m fascinated by the way that rural blues inscribes movement and transience.  The music that frees a singer keeps them on the run; there’s a crossroads where a thing can be enchanting but dangerous; damaging but beautiful.”

Geneseo began as an experiment.  Camped out in a converted 1820s church, Jacobs-Strain recorded guitar and vocals on a laptop, rarely using more than one microphone.  “It was winter in rural upstate New York.  We had very little daylight but endless old instruments to try: a swap-meet banjo on one song, on another, the Conn Electric Band, an orphaned keyboard from the 60s, which seemed to sound best only on Tuesdays.”

A road trip to Los Angeles brought in Scott Seiver (Pete Yorn, Flight of the Concords) on drums, and, after a chance meeting in a Hollywood bar; Jon Flaughers (Ryan Adams) on bass; and David Immergluck (Counting Crows) on pedal steel.  “I had all the songs written but I didn’t have a budget or a plan.  I couldn’t stand waiting, so we just started recording ad hoc.” Caitlin Carey of Whiskey Town sent harmonies and fiddle tracks by email, Band of Horses’ Bill Reynolds Dropboxed a track for the impressionist blues, “Josephine,”  and long-time collaborator Bob Beach recorded harmonica solos in Philadelphia.

By spring, the record was an overwhelming collage of sounds and parts.  To pair the record back to its organic core, David enlisted two Oregon engineers, Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie) and Billy Barnett (Frank Black, Cherry Popping Daddies):  “Everything that would fit on twenty-three tracks was moved to analog tape, then we turned off the computer screen and mixed as if it was forty years ago.”

Jacobs-Strain began playing on street corners and at farmers’ markets as a teenager, and bought his first steel guitar with the quarters he saved up.  Before he dropped out of Stanford to play full time, he had already appeared at festivals across the country, often billed as a blues prodigy, but he had to fight to avoid being a novelty act:  “I wanted to tell new stories, it just wasn’t enough to relive the feelings in other people’s music.”

David Jacobs-Strain has appeared at festivals from British Columbia to Australia, including Merlefest, Telluride Blues Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival,  Hardly Strictly, Bumbershoot, and Blues to Bop in Switzerland.  He’s taught at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch, and at fifteen years old was on the faculty at Centrum’s Blues and Heritage workshop.  On the road, he’s shared the stage with Lucinda Williams, Boz Scaggs (more than 60 shows), Etta James, The Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Robert Earle Keen, Todd Snider, Taj Mahal, Janis Ian, Tommy Emmanuel, Bob Weir, T-Bone Burnett, and Del McCoury.

Joining David on this tour will be MichelleMcAfee,  http://michellemcafee.com

Optional potluck starts at 6 p.m. at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center Eco-Arts Lounge, Nederland, CO. Cost: $20 advance, $25 door (kids 12 & under free).RESERVATIONS: http://tinyurl.com/amhc14-djs


What: Taarka & Matt Flinner Trio
When: 03/30/2014 at 7 PM.
Where: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center, 20 Lakeview Drive Unit 107 (next to Carousel of Happiness), Nederland, Colorado
Please let us know if you can attend using this link:  http://www.e-rezz.com/reservation/accept/58754?authToken=fk1js73lz8wu.

Three of the five musicians have played my living room.  Matt Flinner first appeared in 2000 with the Judith Edelman band, Ross Martin backed up Caroline Herring in 2003, Enion Pelta-Tiller joined Darryl Purpose in 2011.  Now it’s time to hear them in a co-bill as part of Taarka or the Matt Flinner Trio!

Described by SF Weekly as a “collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman,” Taarka is the new acoustic “supergroup” (Flagstaff Live): “presenting masterfully deep americana and gypsyjazz string band music!”  Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals) Taarka is filled out by a rotating cast of masterful musicians on guitar; Grant Gordy (David Grisman Sextet), Ross Martin (Matt Flinner Trio), and Scott Law (The Other Ones); and bass Eric Thorin (Matt Flinner Trio, Open Road), Sam Grisman (Deadly Gentlemen, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience).

David, a versatile picker raised in Virginia on a steady diet of bluegrass, Celtic, classical and gypsy jazz, and Enion Pelta-Tiller, an award-winning classically-trained violinist who can switch seamlessly between Bartók and bebop (not to mention Gypsy jazz, punk, rock, bluegrass) began their journey together in 2001.  After meeting at a Brooklyn Browngrass gig, the two began a Gypsy jazz busker act in the New York City subway before hitting the road as Taarka.

Taarka balances between singer songwriting and instrumentals these days, expending on its beginnings  as a purely instrumental string band putting a modern spin on Gypsy and Eastern European folk music.  Taarka has drawn from wide-ranging influences over the past 10 years. Sophisticated listeners would be able to distill flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music all in a string band setting.  Taarka has lately been gaining notice for their songwriting, which is informed by traditional bluegrass, oldtime and folk from America and Europe, 19th century poetry, and rock inspired by performances with some of the greatest names in songwriting today, including Darrell Scott, Greg Brown, James McMurtry, and Nathan Moore, but which incorporates sweeping pop and popping gypsy elements.

Since 2006, when David and Enion landed in Lyons, Colorado, known for its bluegrass and new acoustic scene?their compositional output has taken on a decidedly American aura, with vocals added to enhance the stories told in their songs.

Taarka’s joyous recordings benefit from starry guest performances and David’s masterful production work, each a carefully crafted travelogue tracing a phase of the group’s evolution. Yet unsurprisingly, Taarka’s calling card is its colorful live show. Of Taarka’s performance at the Oregon Country Fair, Synthesis Magazine wrote, “Taarka began driving the painted and costumed crowd into a dancing frenzy; they combined Roma, Klezmer and jazz, infusing their rousing and exciting tunes with breakneck Zappa-esque breakdowns and insurmountable gusto. Regardless of your particular musical tastes, Taarka is a band that simply must be witnessed.”

The band is equally potent whether as a down-and-dirty duo act or a stellar extended line- up featuring a top-notch array of fellow travelers. David and Enion have performed with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band as well as Darol Anger, Joe Craven, ALO, Keller Williams, Danny Barnes, Steve Kimock, Taj Mahal, Widespread Panic, The Samples, and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Kaki King, Rob Wasserman, Tony Furtado, The Motet, Dan Bern and The Everyone Orchestra.

Since its inception in 2006, the Matt Flinner Trio has been performing its own brand of acoustic music around the country to rave reviews. Mandolinist Matt Flinner, guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin cover a wide variety of musical styles—all with the common ground of originality. Bluegrass, jazz and Celtic music are all present here, but not necessarily overtly or in a contrived sense. Call it Americana Music, or New Acoustic, or Chamber Grass, or just call it Great Music; whatever label you put on it, it is guaranteed to be fresh and original, and definitely something you’ve never quite heard before. On select tours, the Trio performs music that is as fresh as it gets—music written the day of the show. In these “Music du Jour” Tours, each member of the Trio writes music each day of the tour, and each day’s music is debuted on that evening’s show. The results are stylistically varied, unpredictable and always exciting.

Flinner Trio

Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Whether it’s with his own Matt Flinner Trio or with Phillips, Grier and Flinner, the Frank Vignola Quartet, Darrell Scott, Steve Martin, the Ying Quartet, Tim O’Brien, Leftover Salmon or the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Flinner’s style and compositional ability have established him as one of the most accomplished and musically diverse mandolinists in the world.

Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, Kansas in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year. He moved to Nashville in 1999, and his musical horizons quickly broadened. His two solo albums for Compass Records, “The View from Here” and “Latitude,” both featured bluegrass stalwarts Todd Phillips, David Grier, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas and Darol Anger, and received high critical acclaim. He was also featured on Steve Martin’s CD “The Crow,” which won the 2009 Grammy Winner for Best Bluegrass Album.

Ross Martin has established a reputation as one of the most exciting jazz and bluegrass musicians in Colorado, and his reputation is rapidly expanding around the country. After graduating from the jazz program at the University of North Texas, Ross moved to Denver and soon joined the Tony Furtado Band, with whom he toured for four years. More recently, Ross wowed bluegrass audiences during his stint with the Drew Emmitt Band from 2003-5. He also continues to tour the country actively with Mollie O’Brien, The Theory of Everything (with Michael Kang and Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident) and jazz trumpeter Ron Miles. Ross moved a few years ago to New York City.
A native Coloradoan, Eric got his start on piano and trombone at an early age from the prodding of his musical parents and later studied bass at the University of Northern Colorado. He played in salsa bands such as Kizumba and Conjunto Colores, toured extensively with rock act The Thugs, made up a third of the Flamenco/Indian ensemble Curandero, and toured with the Tony Furtado Band for four years. Eric also teaches bass at the Yellowstone Jazz Festival. He currently lives in Lyons, Colo., and continues to sit in with a variety of musicians including Hamster Theater, K.C. Groves, Leftover Salmon, Manuel Molina’s Combo Caliente, and Greenwich Gulch. He also has produced a collection of songs for Japanese elementary school children who are learning English. Eric was a member of one of the most widely acclaimed young bluegrass bands in the country, Open Road, from 2002-2006.
Optional potluck starts at 6 p.m. at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center Eco-Arts Lounge, Nederland, CO. Cost: $20 advance, $25 door (kids 12 & under free) RESERVATIONS: http://tinyurl.com/amhc14-taarka