Mike Marshall/PsychoGrass

        Remember how I told you I had a med student this month?  If you recall, I said he could get an ‘A’ in my rotation if he treated my patients with respect and dignity, and honored their privacy and confidentiality.  He could only get an ‘A+’ by the demonstration of interest in bluegrass or acoustic music.

        Last night he earned his ‘A+.’  Mike Marshall and PsychoGrass were in Winston-Salem.  My Marfar and Marie thought it too far for the old man to drive alone, so he served as my chauffeur and we took a road trip.  I could get used to having this kid around.

        It was quite a show.  Any time an alt-acoustic band can play to a full house in a large but acoustically perfect room such as the Stevens Center, they have my vote for a Grammy.  They drew a diverse crowd that ranged from hip kids to grandmothers.  

        If you have any interest in music, regardless of genre, PsychoGrass is one to check out.  If you are a musician, consider it an imperative part of your education.  Anytime you can see Tony Trischka (he taught Bela Fleck) bow the banjo (yes, bow) on Jimi Hendrick’s ‘Third Stone From the Sun,’ you have run into an innovative outfit.

        There was bluegrass and swing, Brazillian choro mandolin and violin duets mixed with Django/Grapelli kinda jazz.  The tunes ranged from ‘Doggy Salt,’ an upside-down ‘Salty Dog’ canine hypernatremia statement reminiscent of a musical version of Frank Wakefield’s ‘talking backwards’ to ‘Stroll of the Mud Bug,’ a bluegrass tribute to ‘Flight of the Bumblebee.’  And you thought it was just old Dr. B who was convoluted.  See, all us bluegrass folks are this way!

        It was, as Mike said, Thelonius Monk and Bill Monroe with corn dogs and Kool Aide.  As before you get the wrong idea, these guys fuel their imagination with music.  The show is one fitting for anyone from spiked-haired kids with nose rings to your mama’s Sunday School class. 

        The fiddler, Darol Anger said they follow the Hippocratic Oath and ‘Do no harm,” but they do more than that.  They stretch the boundaries of musical imagination but no one gets hurt; the kind of cats who inspire me to carry on another day in a crazy world.

        The band members are Mike Marshall, perhaps the world’s most versatile mandolinist, along with Darol Anger, violinist, hot flat-picker David Grier, Tony Trischka, innovative New York banjo man, and Todd Phillips on the bass.  They have more awards than I can list and I don’t want to leave any out, so check out Mike’s website .  The world needs more PsychoGrass, not less, so go see them when they come to a theatre near you.  

The link is:   www.mikemarshall.net

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: favorite known bands, Mandolin Players I Know, Writing

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2 Comments on “Mike Marshall/PsychoGrass”

  1. small world coincidence — Tony Trischka is a friend/neighbor of mine here in New Jersey.
    And yes, his music is truly wonderful.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Hey there www,

    Yep. Tony, along with folks like Bill Keith, David Grisman, and Peter Rowan long ago laid to rest the stereotype you had to be rural and southern to play great bluegrass music.

    They brought a cosmopolitan flair to it that persists, and the music is all the stronger for their contributions.

    These guys took it to a different level. Old Doc can pick a little bluegrass music, but better keep his day job!

    Thanks so much for visiting- hope you’ll come back.

    Dr. B

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