The Blue Moon Coffee House report for March 29, 2013.
The ancient Channing Church was busting at the seams as a diverse crowd of young and old music fans packed the historic A-frame auditorium this past Saturday evening. Cars were lined on both sides of Webster street as Coffee House fans rushed to get seats for the evening’s venue. Rocklandnews.com reported that the Wide Open Spaces Band would be the featured act at 7:30 pm. Upon entering, we knew right away we wouldn’t be in the front row this time. In fact, nearly every table and chair were already taken and patrons were being directed to the balcony.
Cheryl Gardner commenced with the opening niceties as only she can; and before we knew it, the old hall was filled with the big beautiful sound of a genuine, five-piece Blue Grass Band. Fiddle, mando, bass, banjo and guitar – all in the hands of five blue grass marksman that hit the bullseye over and over again all evening long. Wide Open Spaces is made up of expert musicians who play a style of blue grass that is so fresh, so clean and so tight that it nearly lifts you right off your chair along with your spirit. Peter Anick – Vocals, Mandolin and Fiddle; Matt Carlen – Guitar, Vocals; Marie Rocheleau-Demers, affectionately known as Mudd – Vocals, Guitar; Chris Dombrowski – Bass; Glenn Nelson – Banjo, Vocals (and Stand up comedy) meld together to play “bluegrass without borders.” Using incredible bluegrass instrumentation to play a wide range of music, Wide Open Spaces follows in the tradition of groups like Claire Lynch and the Punch Brothers, who use bluegrass instrumentation to play a wide range of music that will take you to Caribbean islands, California gold country, Celtic ceilidhs and the Kentucky hills. They even did a Rolling Stones cover that was perhaps the best thing I have ever heard played live, ever. At times, you found yourself almost magically transported from the Kentucky hills to the middle of a favorite Beatles song that they masterfully masked into the score.
It was truly a fantastic show at the Blue “my mind” Coffee House Saturday. Never has our little metropolis been blessed by such great talent for such a meager fee. Big, bold and beautiful sound, stellar songwriting, heavenly harmonies and pleasant personalities.