This Sunday, November 29th, multiple generations of bluegrass musicians will come together at The Bell House in Gowanus for the 4th Annual Brooklyn Bluegrass Bash organized by celebrated and Grammy-nominated Brooklyn old time singer and guitarist Michael Daves.
Daves, who founded the Bash to benefit the restoration of Old First Reformed Church in Park Slope, has managed to wrangle an exceptional lineup for the event every year since it began in 2012. It’s not only one of my favorite musical events of the year because of the music, but also because of the cause. Old First, which suffered a ceiling collapse a few years back, is a landmark in my neighborhood, big supporter of the arts and runs a great shelter for New York’s homeless.
This year, Michael Daves & Friends perform as we wait for more details on the Twin Albums project, which Daves launched on Kickstarter last October and recorded at Old First shortly thereafter. While Punch Brother Noam Pikelny performs on the album, Tony Trischka will perform with Daves at the Bash. Also on the lineup are Sierra Hull, The Goodbye Girls, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Brittany Haas & Lena Jonsson, Cole Quest & The City Pickers, and The Bilger Family Band.
Nashville-based mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull, who will perform with bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, makes her Bash debut just a couple months out from the release of Weighted Mind, her new Bela Fleck-produced album featuring accompaniment by both Fleck and Jodziewicz, as well as vocal harmonies from Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn and Rhiannon Giddens. Krauss welcomed the mandolin prodigy on stage at the Grand Ole Opry when she was just 11. Now at age 24, she says her new album, set for release on Jan 29, is a step away from her roots.
Boston-based string-band The Goodbye Girls, who released their first EP last year, performed at the Newport Folk Festival earlier this year and just wrapped a tour with Milk Carton Kids, joins the Bash shortly after recording their full-length debut album in Nashville. Upstate folk legends Jay Ungar & Molly Mason also make their Bash debut this year. Ungar, father of Ruthy of Mike + Ruthy, is best known for his composition, “Ashokan Farewell,” the Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated theme song of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary series, The Civil War.
Brittany Haas returns to the Bash with fellow fiddler Lena Jonsson, with whom she recently teamed up with for a great new self-titled album. Haas, who twice performed at previous Bashes with Haas Kowert Tice, has been on tour with David Rawlings Machine in support of Nashville Obsolete, the Machine’s latest album that features Haas on a couple of tracks. Haas will join Michael Daves & Friends as well.