Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass in Cambridge, MA

This review is a contribution from bluegrass guitarist and educator, Tony Watt, who manages Bluegrass Tuesdays in Cambridge, MA.

This past Saturday, Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass headlined the first-ever Saturday night bluegrass show at Lily P’s Fried Chicken & Oysters in Cambridge, MA. Lily P’s is the new home of Bluegrass Tuesdays, and since moving across town, the weekly bluegrass series that ran for 27 years at The Cantab Lounge has been really thriving. This first Saturday show was presented in conjunction with the premiere bluegrass organization in the region, the Boston Bluegrass Union.

A little over 100 miles north of us, on top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, they were recording the coldest wind chill in the history of the United States… negative 108 degrees! But at Lily P’s, where the temperature outside was a balmy 15 degrees, the restuarant was as warm and toasty as the reception that the audience gave to Danny and his band. And while the crowd size was certainly impacted by the weather, those that braved the cold were treated to a top-notch show in an intimate listening environment.

This new Saturday show shared many things in common with Bluegrass Tuesdays, including jamming all over the restaurant both before and after the show. There were lots of old friends in the audience, and a handful of groups from neighboring states, including New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and many folks visited for hours over the course of the evening. Everyone I spoke with was very grateful to the band for driving all the way up to Boston on such a cold day to play for us. And Danny and the band sounded very happy with the evening, including the first-class meal which Chef/Owner Chris Parsons treated them to, as they mentioned how much they enjoyed the food multiple times from the stage.

Overall, it was a great success for a first Saturday night concert, even if the crowd was a little thinned by the cold. And we already have a bunch more great Saturday shows booked including Joe K. Walsh and Friends on February 25th, Mike Compton and Joe Newberry on March 11th, and The Foreign Landers on March 18th. All this while Bluegrass Tuesdays themselves continue to grow and attract top musicians in the area, with some bands already booked five months in advance.

With weekly shows every Tuesday and now two or three Saturdays a month, Lily P’s is poised to become the preeminent bluegrass venue of the burgeoning Boston bluegrass scene. Thanks to the entire team at Lily P’s and the Boston Bluegrass Union for co-sponsoring this first concert!