Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

Saturday, Oct. 2, 1:25 p.m.
Arrow Stage
Reviewed by Aimee Spanier

Local bluegrass jam band the Waybacks welcomed the post-lunch crowd to the Arrow stage, joined by genre-crossing fiddler Darol Anger. Tall and wiry, with his salt-and-pepper hair swinging in the Pacific breeze, Anger led the band in what he sarcastically described as "another smoky bar gig for the Waybacks."

Big, blond frontman James Nash described "Been Around," from 2000's Devolver, as being in "D Minor - the saddest key of all." It was a very modern song, fast with a lot of rock and roll in it. Jams like "Been Around" and "Compadres in the Old Sierra Madres," a jazzy and dramatic song also from Devolver, were complimented by the Irish folk tune "The Blacksmith Courted Me." Throughout the set Anger's fiddling and a couple face-peeling solos by Nash, and solid rhythm and melody by Joe Kyle (bass), Chuck Hamilton (percussion) and Stevie Coyle (lap steel guitar) made for a satisfying post-prandial show.

The Waybacks blend classic bluegrass elements with jazz, rock and folk, into an original-but-familiar sound that went well with the herbal scent in the air (from the surrounding woods, of course). Phish for the mountain crowd, if you will. It works.

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