11th Annual San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival Feb 12-21

Redwing has been a staple of the Bay Area bluegrass scene since the band formed 5 years ago, and its members have played regularly at the Freight & Salvage, Jupiter, McGrath’s, Berkeley Spice of Life Festival — even a stint at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Loaded with veterans of the local bluegrass and old-time bands, Redwing boasts soaring harmonies and fancy picking on traditional and original tunes. Redwing has formed a unique sound, mixing elements of country, bluegrass, folk and old-time music into a delectable music smorgasbord. The duet harmonies of Rick “Red Rick” Horlick and Alan Dreyfuss are a big part of the band’s appeal. They deliver Louvin Brothers / Lily Brothers style vocals that really grab your attention. Lacking a banjo to lend a traditional Bluegrass “drive,” the songs are propelled by a mix of imaginative chops from the guitar, mandolin, dobro, bass and guitar. Bob Johnson’s dobro often bookends the tunes, setting the pace on the first solo, and providing an authoritative coda at the end. Dreyfuss’ guitar stays steady and tasteful, and the interplay between that and deft bass playing provides the bedrock upon which the other instruments can contribute. Frizzell, Johnson and Horlick all manage to mix up styles and attacks to keep things interesting and serve the mood of each piece perfectly. Polly Frizzell even swaps her fiddle out for a viola for a special touch on a few songs. They swing easily from tender waltzes to a very hard-driving “Kentucky Mandolin.” The band’s choice of material is a nice mix of standards and obscure gems.

Saturday, February 20, 2010
4:00 pm
Bluegrass & Old-Time Revue
Swedish American Hall, San Francisco
Old Tunnel Road
West County Professional Tea Sippers
Bay Island Ramblers
Anderson Family Bluegrass

School Shows