The Siver Family performed in Glens Falls last Thursday night as part of the Crandall Library’s Folklife Concert Series. Hailing from Crown Point, the group mined a variety of musical styles including traditional bluegrass tunes and old-time gospel favorites, as well as original songs that warmed the hearts of the over 200 people listening.
Opening the almost two-hour set with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe’s “Come Back to Me Is My Request,” they switched gears all evening, doing things like the traditional gospel tune “Almost Home” and a batch of well-crafted originals.
The Siver Family Band are bassist Ron (dad), guitarist-vocalist Jennifer (mom) and their daughter Dorothy Jane on fiddle, guitar and vocals. Rounding out the quintet are mandolinist Jim Bevins and banjo picker Steve Lutke.
Bevins is a former member of two famous bluegrass outfits: The Chilson Hill Gang and the Green Mountain Bluegrass Band, while Lutke – featured in the current issue of Bluegrass Review – was Vasser Clements’ banjo player for almost three years and was also Travis Wetzel’s (of the Ricky Skaggs band) musical partner.
It’s a good thing these guys never heard of the old adage, “Never share a stage with kids or pets; they’ll steal the show,” because
14-year-old (CORRECTION: she’s only just turned 13!) Dorothy Jane Siver – the winner of the Lake Champlain Young Fiddler of the Year award in 2007 – almost did just that when she took command of the stage. Dorothy has been playing a variety of instruments since the age of four, starting with the piano, picking up the violin at nine, and playing expert bluegrass fiddle and mandolin by 10. Her charming smile coupled with her youthful vocals brought both innocence and life to the old and new traditional-flavored songs.
Ron Siver kept the rhythm going solidly, while Jennifer and Dorothy’s voices blended together beautifully. Killer instrumental solos were traded between Dorothy Siver, Bevins and Lutke, which sparked waves of applause from the audience time and time again. It was a night to remember as this band continues to move on up the road to bigger venues and audiences.
Thanks to director Todd DeGamo of the Crandall Library’s Folklife Center for having the Siver Family Band on his radar, as well as a half dozen other amazing bands – including Red Molly. (Check the library’s schedule for more upcoming Thursday night shows.)
Review by Cheryl Jenks
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
NOTE: You can also catch the Siver Family Band at 7pm on Wednesday as part of the Emerging Artist Series at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs. Admission is only $5.