Mark Schatz on Nickel Creek and String Masters

Noted bassist, old time banjo player and folk dance enthusiast Mark Schatz maintains a very informative web site which he updates periodically with news about his various activities in the music world. He has just recently posted a wealth of new material, including an in-depth look at a promotional tour he did with Nickel Creek last fall, a tour of the UK with the dance troupe Footworks, and a recent concert with String Masters in DC.

String Masters is an acoustic super-group that performs sporadically, and to which Mark refers as the Bluegrass Sessions band since this ensemble toured in support of B???la Fleck’s second Tales From The Acoustic Planet CD, subtitled The Bluegrass Sessions. The group consists of B???la Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and Schatz. They performed last week at The Kennedy Center, and Mark posted a diary-like overview of the days surrounding the show.

Here’s a snippet:

April 4, the day of the show, was a long one. We headed to the venue at 2:30P and it was a whirlwind of setting up, sound checking and working out some remaining segments (including the banjo/fiddle/dance number). We had to sort out who was going to use ear monitors or wedges, and we ended up using a mixture of both. There were some technical difficulties with the monitor system, but when they were trying to sort these out we”d just get off of the mikes and gather in a circle to play since we had so many things to run through. Our front of house and monitor engineers, Richard and Zack (who have been with us for most of the BG Sessions shows), ran hard that day, but finally got most of the bugs ironed out and did a great job for us “? thanks, gentlemen!

Read the rest of the piece and other Schatz news on Mark’s web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.