Dr. K’s Homegrown Roots Revue

  • July 10, 2019
  • By Admin: sfbluegrass
  • Comment: 0

Dry Branch Fire Squad plays aggressively traditional bluegrass music like no other band in the realm today. Their performances are not for the faint-of-heart nor the casual listener. Even their approach to modern songs (read: songs from the three most recent centuries) sound so archaic that physicists the world over have cited DBFS as proof positive that time warps not only exist, but that we moderns can experience them if we only talk slowly enough and listen as fast as we can. Band members are Ron Thomason (mandolin, guitar, & hambone), Brian Alridge (guitar, mandolin), Tom Boyd (banjo, dobro, bass), and Dan Russell (bass, banjo).

Heidi Clare & AtaGallop  “What you get here is MUSCLE, pure and simple, powerful and purposeful, seemingly limitless and untiring. Heidi Clare plays like she’s defining ‘bearing down’. This is athletic fiddling done by an athlete. To find fiddle chords and drone notes like these you’d have to listen to John Carson, Ray Cline, or G.B. Grayson. There comes a time in modern convention when even those with the strength, taste, and talent to muscle through a tune tend to lighten up for the sake of melody, clarity, or finesse. But Heidi just refuses. Once she’s in her ‘groove’ (her word) it would take an old-time southwest Ohio bluegrass bar fight to dislodge her. And those are as gone as the fiddlers who defined the standards that Heidi Clare emulates.” Ron Thomason – Cotopaxi, Colorado

The Wronglers (Warren Hellman, Nate Levine, Bill Martin, Krista Martin, Colleen Browne, and Chris Hellman) have now been performing together for some three-and-a-half years, much to their own amazement. They continue to expand their repertoire to include more original and old-time material, with various members now taking forays into the vocal arena as well (they are up to four vocalists!). 2010 was a particularly special year for The Wronglers as they were invited to perform at both SXSW and The Old Settler’s Festival in Texas, as well as return to High Mountain Hay Fever in Colorado for a second time. And there’s nothing a Wrongler likes more than spreading its love of music amongst the like-minded in this country. Of note is the fact that one member of The Wronglers is San Francisco’s beloved Warren Hellman, founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.