A lovely post-Thanksgiving Friday night at Bob Stane’s island of acousticism, Coffee Gallery Backstage in the upper heights of the Altadena altiplano.
Bob Stane deserves a Folk Medal of Freedom for his unswerving and unerring taste in folk since 1961. He gets wittier and more acerbic every year. His microphone/mixer layout is based on ROY G. BIV, the visible light spectrum. Yes, his mic chords on his six channel board are color coded red orange yellow green blue (hmm, he seems to skip indigo), violet. If you need more than six channels you might be in the wrong place. And you’re going to get a light show: lights up. Lights down. Lights up. Lights down. Rock on, Bob Stane, for decades more, we hope.
In attendance tonight were a sold out familyfriendsfans lovefest, all recovering from the previous night’s feasts. Onstage were Rob, the Pauls, Victoria on snare drum, and our national treasure Brantley Kearns, on fiddle and voice of America.
Brantley’s orbit is wide, far ranging, and elliptical, and when it enters the Hawks gravitational field, events both familiar and unpredictable occur. On the cozy Coffee Gallery stage we played lots of songs from our very first and very last CDs–new folk and
old new folk. Brantley’s fiddle can go psychedelic if that’s what you’re looking for, and he took it to the frontier on “I Fell In Love With The Grateful Dead” and “River Run.”
And took it old timey, too. Brantley’s rich North Carolina voice led us through Jimmy Martin’s “Ocean Of Diamonds,” Flatt and Scruggs’ strange and irresistible “Loafer’s Glory,” and Bill Monroe’s “Christmas Time’s A Comin’.” Hog heaven for Hawks, who hanker for hollows and hot cider and bourbon.
It’s been twelve years since we first stepped onstage with Brantley and wondered what might happen. We still wonder and still wander and that’s the way it should be.