First the Basie, then Bonnaroo
First the Basie, then Bonnaroo
A pair of legendary performers, David Grisman and Elvis Costello, will be bringing their tours through Red Bank's Count Basie Theatre in the coming week before heading down to Manchester, Tenn. for the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which is set to be held this year from June 11 to 14.
Born and raised in Passaic, Grisman is a musical virtuoso and one of the world's most well-known mandolin players. Grisman, who will be performing Friday (June 5) at the Basie, is known for leading his quintet through folk, country, bluegrass, jazz and blues without skipping a beat or a note.
"I think every individual musician wants to be known by their own identity rather than be lumped into some musical category," Grisman told the Asbury Park Press in 1999.
While the amalgamation of styles can sure feel overwhelming to a new listener, just use the term of the Grisman's own choosing to describe his unique sound: "dawg music."
The nickname "Dawg" came to Grisman from the late Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, a friend and collaborator of Grisman's over the years.
"People kept asking me, 'Well, what is this music?' and I figured if I just had a generic term, they wouldn't ask me that. Jerry gave me that nickname ‘Dawg' and I just decided to call this music ‘dawg music' for lack of a better term," Grisman explained.
Another artist known for his genre-spanning musical acrobatics, Elvis Costello has dabbled in everything from New Wave to opera over his long and storied career. The singer/songwriter released his latest album, the country-folk offering "Secret, Profane and Sugarcane" today (June 2), and he will be playing in support of that LP next Tuesday (June 9) at the Basie.
The new album was produced by roots-rock king T Bone Burnett during a three-day session at Nashville's Emporium Studio, according to a news release.
Burnett previously produced the classic Costello albums "King of America" (1986) and "Spike" (1989) and he also produced Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's 2007 album "Raising Sand," a collaboration which yielded five Grammy awards.
Among the tracks on "Secret, Profane and Sugarcane" are "Sulfur to Sugarcane" and "The Crooked Line," both of which were co-written by Burnett, and "I Felt the Chill," Costello's second recorded songwriting collaboration with country legend Loretta Lynn.
Continuing the thread of country and roots royalty on the new album, the disc also features vocals from famed songstress Emmylou Harris as well as a pair of tunes Costello wrote for Johnny Cash, "Complicated Shadows" and "Hidden Shame."
As if hitting the same venue before taking the trip down to Tennessee wasn't enough to link Grisman and Costello, the two performers are also set to play Bonnaroo on the same day, next Saturday (June 13), with Grisman playing the Other Tent from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Costello hitting That Tent from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m.
For any Shore music fan headed down to the ‘Roo this year, the only sensible way to make sure you catch both of these great acts without having to run between stages in Tennessee is to see them in the comfort of the Basie.