Live Review: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones @ Strathmore Music Center — 12/2/19

Bela Fleck
Bela Fleck performs at MerleFest on April 27, 2018. (Photo by cp_thornton)

We all have ideas and preconceptions about different kinds of music. We can’t help it; we’re exposed to something, and it fixes our notion of what it is. For years, whenever I thought of jazz, I pictured a saxophone in my mind’s eye, and I heard a particular sound. While that sound is representative of some jazz, it’s certainly not representative of all it.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, an all-star lineup of progressive jazz musicians, demolished and rebuilt my ideas of what jazz is and can be at the Strathmore Music Center recently.

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Preview: Béla Fleck and The Flecktones @ Strathmore Music Center, 12/2/19

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Béla Fleck and The Flecktones (Photo courtesy the artist)

In 1988, groundbreaking banjoist Béla Fleck was asked to put together his “dream band” for the Lonesome Pine Specials television series. The resulting band was The Flecktones, and they launched their first official tour a year later. Now, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones mark their 30th anniversary at the Strathmore Music Center on Monday, Dec. 2.

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Live Review: Los Straitjackets @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 11/3/19

Los Straitjackets
Los Straitjackets (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Asked about the humor in his music, Frank Zappa said that music is supposed to be entertaining. I imagine that the members of Los Straitjackets would say the same thing. Los Straitjackets, who played the Pearl Street Warehouse recently, lean all the way into their gimmick of luchadores-turned-instrumental rockers. Dressed in matching suits and Mexican wrestling masks, they address the audience only in Spanish.

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Live Review: The Travelin’ McCourys and Sam Bush Band @ The Birchmere — 10/23/19

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The Travelin’ McCourys perform at The Birchmere on Oct. 23, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Multiple award-winners The Travelin’ McCourys and Sam Bush played a double bill of bluegrass at the Birchmere Wednesday evening. The Travelin McCourys, formed from current and former members of the Del McCoury Band, took the stage first.

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