Setting down his mandolin, Peter Ostroushko leaned into the mic and announced with a dead-pan facial expression that this would be the “Q & A” portion of the show.
“You are the ‘Q,’ and I am the ‘A,'” he reaffirmed.
“There are two rules to this, though,” he espoused. “No questions about what is Garrison Keillor really like, and no song requests.”
Of course, some smart-ass asked, “How come you haven’t played ‘Red Shoes?'”
Ostroushko composed himself and answered that he did not appreciate the indirect request and that his set list was predetermined and that he was going to play what he wanted to play!
Ostroushko is a mandolinist and fiddler of the first order in the folk music field. Last weekend’s performance was his fifth time playing the Eighth Step stage.
His frequent radio appearances on Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” have brought him into homes all across the country. And his gigs as a sideman gigs cover a who’s-who of world renowned artists from Willie Nelson to Taj Mahal to Robin & Linda Williams.
His Ukrainian roots are not far from his side, and when asked by an audience member what was his favourite “ethnic” food, he quipped back that it was a “Ukrainian meatloaf,” adding, “But few of you know what that is.”
Well, we may not know about Ukrainian meatloaf, but what we do know is that Peter Ostroushko is a monster on the mandolin and fiddle, too. Accompanied by Danny Gotham on rhythm guitar, Ostroushko’s music shined brightly, as he sang and played a retrospective of songs from his catalog of 17 albums, including his latest “When The Last Morning Glory Blooms.”
Review and photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk