Grisman and Little play it straight in DGBX
The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience headlines the American River Music Festival Saturday, Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in Henningsen-Lotus Park, 950 Lotus Road.
The band includes Georgetown’s own Keith Little on 5-string banjo, guitar and vocals, his longtime friend and collaborator Jim Nunally on guitar and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, Samson Grisman on bass and the big Dawg himself, David Grisman, on mandolin and vocals.
They shorten the syllabically intensive “David Grisman Bluegrass Experience” to “DBGX,” preferring the acronym to “The experience,” which sounds a little too retro-psychedelic to describe this band — which isn’t retro anything.
This is just plain bluegrass, plain and simple, not “new acoustic,” “newgrass,” “progressive bluegrass,” or any derivation thereof.
DGBX isn’t an evolution of the form, it IS the form. And that’s part of the challenge.
In a recent interview Grisman explained that it can be frustrating.
“Bluegrass music has been perfected … You can’t play better than Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and Stanley Brothers,” he said.
“So when I do bluegrass,” he continued, “I try to get the feelings right. Bill Monroe taught me to be myself. If I were to play like him, I would be out of business.”
Little grew up in Georgetown and by the time he was in high school, had developed a fanatical devotion to traditional bluegrass. He’s a perfect fit in DGBX.
“I appreciate being able to play what David calls ‘hard core bluegrass,’” said Little. “He appreciates where music came from and he can really play it.”
DGBX has ...