Rhythm & Roots Fest Countdown: David Grisman Sextet

Ever since his iconic debut dropped in 1977, David Grisman has dedicated at least part of his life to expanding the newgrass vocabulary. That blend of jazz, classical, and bluegrass resonated with anyone who had a broad scope and yen for some jamming. The revered mandolin player has made a career out of bringing a sense of swing to all the above styles, and latest edition of his esteemed unit features a flute – but don’t freak. It actually fits the music’s temperament, especially on the bent tango that is “La Grande Guignole,” from Dawg’s Groove, and tracks from the new David Grisman Sextet (Acoustic Disc). I like the way the new album’s cover art apes that of his game-changing kickoff disc, made four decades ago – tradition, y’all. As a picker, he still keeps his extrapolations tight, and the dynamics the band generates retain an edge-of-your-seat temperament. They play on Sunday.

The Rhythm & Roots Fest takes place at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI, Sept 2-4.

Performers include Donna the Buffalo, Lucinda Williams, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with the Guilty Ones, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, and lots more.

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