End-of-the-year tours offer unique opportunities to see familiar faces in new and interesting settings. Sometimes, it will be artists with special music, like Jerry Douglas and John Cowan, who each are touring in support of new Christmas albums.
Or you may find sidemen touring together while their primary musical employers are taking some time off for the holidays. There are two such mini-tours for the end of 2009 that should be of interest to bluegrass and acoustic music fans.
First up, The Nedski-Mojo Show, which began this past weekend, and continues through next week. It features banjo picker Ned Luberecki, who performs with both Chris Jones and Larry Cordle, and guitarist Stephen Mougin, who works with Sam Bush. Both are superb musicians and singers, and Ned could easily hold forth for half the show as a stand up comedian.
They have a string of concerts and workshops along the east coast leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and you can be sure to catch a highly entertaining and musically challenging program if they stop near you. A full list of dates can be found on Facebook.
Then in December, mandolinists Adam Steffey and Kym Warner will tour together briefly in Virginia and Maryland, billed as Mandolin Sessions.
Steffey may be the most prominent bluegrass mando man in the biz these days. He has been named Mandolin Player of the Year six times by the IBMA, and his current CD and DVD releases are hits with the public. Most folks first came to know his music when he was a member of Alison Krauss & Union Station, and he has toured since with Mountain Heart and now, Dan Tyminski.
Warner is a founding member of The Greencards, a fascinating, genre-bending outfit of acoustic musicians who formed in the US, though none were native born. Kym hails from Australia, but lives now in Nashville.
You can find information about the Mandolin Sessions dates at Mandolin Cafe.