Last night I had the opportunity to go listen to some mighty-fine bluegrass music courtesy of the Canterbury Historical Society who were hosting The Spinney Brothers at the Finnish Hall in town. My cousin Amy, who not only is a very active member of the CHS but is one of the hosts of the Bluegrass Cafe at the University of Connecticut's WHUS radio, had asked if I would be so kind as to come by and take some pictures of the show and - not being horribly averse to bluegrass music - I agreed though I wasn't sure how well the pictures were going to come out being that I do SO much better with inanimate objects than I do people. Still, nothing ventured - nothing gained so I made the drive up to my hometown and played photographer while the Spinney Brothers played bluegrass.
The Spinney Brothers hail from Nova Scotia where the band was first formed in 1992 and have been playing traditional, southern-flavoured bluegrass music ever since. The band is compromised of brothers Rick and Allan Spinney (hence the name!) along with Gary Dalrymple and Darryl Hebb. The oldest brother by exactly one year, Allan, plays guitar while Rick - Allan's one-year birthday present - plays banjo and harmonizes with his older brother.
Gary, who joined the band in 1993, plays mandolin as well as the fiddle while Darryl, the newest member of the band since joining in September 2010, plays the upright bass.
The Spinney Brothers played two sets for the good-size crowd that had assembled in the Finnish Hall and it was easy to tell that these guys were not only good at what they do but they had a good time doing it as they laughed and joked with not just the people in the audience but with themselves also. There's a lot to be said for doing what you love in life and these guys obviously love singing bluegrass!
I will be the first to admit that I don't know a whole lot about bluegrass but I will admit to having a great appreciation for good music no matter what genre it may be and these guys were good - very good. Granted, I kept waiting for them to break out into a chorus of "Hard Pressed" by Hot Rize whom I very much like and saw in Massachusetts back in November but that's probably only because a lot of bluegrass tunes seem to start out the same way. But in spite of that, how can you not like a band who sings "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore"?
I wish that I could say that the pictures I took came out as good as the Spinney Brothers sang but alas, that wasn't the case and I'm probably lucky I got the few good ones that I did. One of these days I'm going to master things like lighting and fast fingers flying across frets but that may mean going to a lot more bluegrass concerts to practice. Hmmm ... I think I could probably handle that!
Oh, and lest I end this post without one, I had one good picture of my cousin Amy who did an excellent job of hosting last night's event and it would be remiss of me not to put here for all and sundry to see. Good job, cousin, you have a knack for this sort of thing it seems!