A paradoxical side effect of the ongoing Americana, bluegrass and folk revival is that, in the midst of all this retro time-travel and costume-shop reconstruction of the old ways, the work of the renegades, rebels, progressivists and fusionists has been elevated as well – as if the new audience can’t quite tell the difference, a difference that used to be as world-shaking as Dylan’s homely Stratocaster. Consider the case of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion successor Chris Thile: a folksy fellow, sure enough, and a world-class mandolinist if not the world-class mandolinist; but his own five-piece acoustic outfit the Punch Brothers lives pretty much exactly as far away from traditional bluegrass as does Rammstein or Parliament Funkadelic.
Consider, on a somewhat smaller scale, the great progressive bluegrass banjoist Tony Trischka, whose name may not be quite as big as Béla’s or Grisman’s but whose contribution to the jazzification and reinvention of the form is just as vital. Like all those cats, Trischka can go as trad as you please, but he is moved by wider currents. He has also become a welcome fixture at Hudson Valley venues over the last few years.
Tony Trischka performs at the warm and intimate space at Unison Arts in New Paltz on Friday, October 12. Tickets cost $25, with discounts for seniors, members and students.
Friday, Oct. 12
68 Mountain Rest Rd.