Dusted in Boulder: A Weekend with the Infamous Stringdusters! | JamBandsOnline.com

Dusted in Boulder: A Weekend with the Infamous Stringdusters!

Review by Kayla Clancy300px-The_Infamous_Stringdusters_with_Instruments

Fri. Feb. 15

The Dusters get right into it with ‘One More Bridge’. Andy Falco pulls out an epic guitar solo, followed by some equally impressive dobro and banjo soling. What a way to kick off the show. The guys slow things down a little with ‘Night On The River’. Sultry vocals pair with Jeremy’s fiddle as the pace begins to quicken. An all out jam breaks out and suddenly the strings are playin ‘Well Well’. Yet again we change directions as the jam grows incredibly spacey. There’s nothing better than some psychedelic grass, and just two songs in we’ve already established the Dusters are pretty damn good at it. More chaotic notes build before the verse returns to conclude the awesomeness.

            Next up is ‘How Hard I’d Fall For You’. Falco’s guitar soloing brings a more traditional bluegrass sound this time around, worlds different from the space we were in before, and Jeremy is absolutely shredding on that fiddle as the song comes to a close.

            “So many great people are here on the road to Boulder…we’re gonna play a brand new song just for you guys”. On the ‘road to Boulder’, eh? I think I’m sensing some foreshadowing here. But, first, the new song.

            And with that rings out, ‘Coloradoooo’. It’s a soft song with a louder, catchy chorus. The following ‘Once You’re Gone’ has some brief, but killer banjo riffs from Chris. Then some ‘Love Lite’ and fiddle shredding, I’m seeing a trend here.

            Another jam gets going as the very appropriately named ‘High Country Funk’ offers some righteously funky beats. There are clearly no genre limitations with these bluegrass instruments.

            The rhythm slows back down as we start ‘Walking On The Moon’. Back are the bluegrass roots with just the right amount of dreamy, wondering riffs that you can’t help but get a little lost in.

            “What’s this, you guys all have little flags?…I like those, yes those are sweet!”

            Flags indeed they were. The lovely Michelle Schiller distributed a bunch of handmade flags throughout the crowd, all saying ‘Duster Love’. They white flags flicker across the crowd, contributing to the already fantastic energy inside the theater.

            ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ is next. It’s a feel good song, and everyone’s definitely feelin it as I glance around and see many smiling faces in the crowd. It gets a little louder as ‘Rain’ plays out. The boys take turns soloing in typical bluegrass fashion, and move around the stage, coming together to play off each other’s playing.  Once again it’s gotten spacey in the Fox.  Yet, the jam reaches an incredible peak, and the flood gates of epic grassy greatness pours through the crowd. 

            The guys take a quick set break, and are back in no time to start with some ‘Travelin Teardop Blues’. No energy has been lost, in fact we’re all groovin along. A quick (spaceless believe it or not) jam brings the arrival of ‘In God’s Country’. Jeremy takes the vocals on this one, and most of his songs seem to have a stronger country/traditional bluegrass influence. The song reaches yet another zesty peak, so many strings to keep track of.

            “The great song ‘Telluride’ by David Grisman” is announced next. And, great it is. It’s a dancin theater. These people came for their bluegrass, well, they got it. And, just as I’m thinking of Jerry and Grisman, ‘Jack-A-Roe’ is playing. Oh yea! I was hoping for some Dead this evening. What a song to pick. Yonder’s rendition of Jack is a personal favorite, and the Dusters pulled it off too.  The banjo comes in strong for the jam,  and the ever so familiar lyrics fill the space. Some seriously thoughtful guitar jammin ensues; It’s a good moment.

            All the guys sing along to a high energy ‘Keep On Truckin’. The mood gets a little mellow with the first few notes of ‘No More to Leave You Behind’, but don’t let that fool ya. Once again Jeremy is killin it on the fiddle. It’s clear that all the guys are incredibly talented musicians.

            The strings pave way for  a solid ‘Clinch Mountain Breakdown’. The sandwich is completed with a quick return to ‘No More To Leave You Behind’. Things calm back down a little with ‘17 Cents’, and at this point ‘calm’ is pretty relative term.

            ‘Long and Lonesome Day’ seems to be quite the Duster-head favorite as I see many bliss-filled faces around. A soft transition to ‘All The Same’ comes next. A mellow, heartfelt melody carries through the song, accompanied by some nice bass lines.

            The bittersweet love songs continue with ‘Time To Part’. Yet the beat picks right back up with the familiar ‘Ain’t Know Way of Knowing’. It’s a catchy little dancin number to which no objections are raised.

            Then, what is this? A ‘He’s Gone’? Holy awesome, yes. Not one, but two Dead covers this evening. We’re all singing to this one, and I must say, the Dusters really nailed it.

            A soulful ‘Something On The Wind’ is dished out next.

            “Hey, what are you guys doing tomorrow? Got any plans? Wanna hang out a little bit?” The Dusters invite their fans to join them for some skiing, with a careful disclaimer to “Bring treats”.

            This little journey we’ve been taken on continues with ‘Gettin Down The Road’. As we’re finding some ‘peace of mind’ the banjo and guitar join together, the other instruments chiming in momentarily. Once again clustered around each other on stage, the guys look ready to build this jam. It seems it can’t get any louder, and it does, constantly reaching new jam levels. When’s this thing gonna break? Damn, these guys are good. The grand finale arrives and cheers fill the theater.

            The only thing that could have made this show greater, I had thought a little earlier, was a nice ‘Steam Powered Aereoplane’. So, when the Dusters whipped this out as their encore I couldn’t help but smile. Travis was absolutely delivering on the vocals, and the other instruments followed suit.  They couldn’t have ended the night on a better note, and there was still one more night to go. 

Sat. Feb. 16.

The Ski Tour Continues…

The Fox is lookin packed for this second night of Duster’s and we start off the night with a very fitting ‘The Road To Boulder’. These Colorado fans enjoy the moment and before we know it the house is rockin with ‘Blaclrock’. Some really powerful guitar soloing, and then a sweet layer of fiddle and banjo. The next round of solos gets real dark and ominous. The quiet becomes the chaotic as the jam builds, and builds.

            ‘You Can’t Stop The Changes’ brings back the grassy roots. It’s impressive to see a transition from exploring a crazy jam to a traditional sound so quickly. The sound rolls on with ‘The Place That I Call Home’. The guys seem to be really in their element, which is quickly confirmed.

            “Oh Boulder, we are loving it up here”.

            They mentioned the group skiing outing they had earlier in the day. When the Dusters say ‘Ski Tour’ they weren’t kiddin around.

            One of the more recognizable tunes, ‘Don’t Mean Nothin’ is next. It seems to be a definite crowd favorite as everyone grooves around the Fox. The fast notes keep coming with ‘100 Years From Now’, and the guitar pickin continues to impress. Smooth fiddle riffs coarse through the air.

            We settle down a little with ‘Try Try Try’. It’s a slow ballad that gives us all a chance to catch our breath. Some real sweet melodies kick up the beat, and the high energy has returned just like that.

            A sweet ‘Deep Elem Blues’ is filled with some real jazzy bass lines. In fact this whole jam is continues to get pretty jazzy as Falco chimes in on the guitar and the other instruments follow suit, coming together on stage to jam back to song. These guys are covering some serious ground with their sound.

             A “1-2 ready go” from onstage kicks off ‘I Am A Stranger’. The strings move us along, bringin many happy faces. The good vibes roll un with ‘Summer Camp’. It gets us reminiscing  about those ‘shimmering’ summer days, ‘swimmin in the river’. It’s a real dreamy melody. The banjo riffs are passionate and soulful, the best yet.

            Falco gets a quasi-southwestern spirit in his playing as the beat begins to bump along for ‘Moon Man’.  It’s good to hear those bass notes pulling through strong. The sound is getting incredibly explorative in this jam. It’s spacey, but structured. They’re really breaking it down on stage. It’s an epic conclusion to the first set.

            Fortunately the Dusters take quick set breaks so before long we’re back with ‘Fork in The Road’. Another pretty recognizable song of theirs, it’s just the right amount of catchy without being too repetitive. ‘The Hitchhiker’ is equally as groovy. Sultry guitar strumming is echoed by some background fiddle. And, what’s this? The opening notes of ‘Shakedown Street‘? Sadly just a tease, but it sounded so great!

            Next is ‘Steam Powered Aereoplane’. Although they encored with this the night before no one was complaining; Hartford covers are always welcomed. It was great to be treated to this one twice. The energy was definitely a little heightened the night before being as it ended the set, but still great nonetheless.

            Andy Hall offers up some words of excitement to the crowd before a new one called ‘Money’ comes our way. The dobro and heartfelt vocals of ‘Tragic Life’ are great, and the banjo does some singing of its own.

            The banjo-dobro heat continues as we segue into a high energy ‘Machines’. Falco keeps a strong rhythm and Chris and Andy are really killin it this round.

            A quick ‘I Wonder’, and ‘Echoes of Goodbye’ once again highlight the more traditional side of the Dusters, their vocals harmonizing perfectly. 

            Then from upstage, “Yea people! Good times!”

            Now ‘Can’t Put Out the Fire’ gets a little funky, especially that dobro. And a subtle ‘China Cat Sunflower’ tease with that slide! So good. They really do great with the Dead covers, hopefully we’ go beyond a tease before the night was up.

            Time for another new one, ‘I Get Away’. Jeremy and Falco keep the fast notes of the rhythm going, definitely a fun little number.

            The following bass lines bring some curiosity, and it’s ‘I Know You Rider’! No teases this time. It’s true to its old traditional roots, and the crowd is lovin it.

            An instrumental ‘Bonapartes Retreat’ has Falco playing some abnormally fast scales. In fact, it’s just the Andy’s up on stage for this one and it’s one hell of a jam.

            The others get back up on stage for ‘Get It While You Can’. It’s the feel good song of the evening, and the audience sings along. The fastgrass theme continues with ‘My Destination’ before segueing into a mellow ‘Lovin You’. Towards the end the guys come together once again, really feeding off each other’s playing. Layer upon layer of string magic here folks.

            We’re back to the realms of funky dobro with ‘Cripple Creek, which also manages a southern rock feel. It’s quite the combo. Then, the shouting crowd requests are answered as ‘Y2K’ plays next.

            It’s the last song of the set, and the fiddle takes definite advantage. Jeremy is absolutely shredding! Some of the best fiddle playing I’ve heard, and of course everyone sounds amazing up there.

            Good thing we’ve still got that encore, and you better believe it’s Pink Floyd’s ‘Fearless’. The dobro is getting righteously psychedelic and the instrumental portion is spot on.  Well played Dusters, well played. 

            But wait, there’s more! An awesome ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ switches up the sound once again to end the evening. The crowd looked ready for more, but our time was up. See ya next time, Dusters! 

 

 

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