A few of Hollywood’s stars were rubbing shoulders with bluegrass musicians recently. The Mill Creek Boys played, last Friday night, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The gig was an end of shooting party for M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie, The Happening.
Shyamalan himself was there and the band tells me he is a “real nice fellow.” In addition to Shyamalan, the cast of the movie were also present and the female lead, Zooey Deschanel, joined the band on a number.
We were scheduled to play at 8 p.m., arrived at 6, and didn’t actually start picking until shooting ended around 10 p.m. We got to back up the female lead, Zooey Deschanel on an old country song. (She was quite good.)
Zooey has a background as a vocalist. She has performed vocally in several movies in which she acted, and apparently has a CD of country and rock songs in the works. You can read more about her musical endeavors on this wikipedia page.
The Mill Creek Boys, one of them is a girl, have been playing bluegrass in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania since 1998. Normally a four piece featuring bass, guitar, banjo and fiddle, they did hire Danny Stewart for this particular gig to play mandolin and do a little singing.
Ed Pollak, who plays fiddle in the band, described the scene as being a rather seedy section of the shipyards, but said the vibe was cool with a huge ship as a backdrop and “top flight catering.” I think the band enjoyed themselves.