Just a coupla guys sittin’ around playin’ whatever they feel like playin’ on their guitars…
But when those guys just happen to be David Bromberg and Larry Campbell, well, you can bet that there were plenty of fretboard fireworks goin’ on even during a relaxed front-porch setting like the recent one at The Egg in Albany.
Famed multi-instrumentalists David Bromberg and Larry Campbell played an inspiring two-and-a-half-hour set of sparkling acoustic music to an nearly jam packed crowd last week, kicking off their two-night stand at the Falcon in Marlboro.
The music encompassed the whole gamut of roots-Americana musical history, ranging from the bluegrass of Doc Watson, Bob Dylan covers, Celtic music and the blues of Skip James.
Unlike so many other award shows that seem to create dozens and dozens of categories in an effort to insure that almost everyone wins an award – yeah, we’re lookin’ at you, Grammys – the fourth annual Americana Music Association keeps their trophies valuable – if not positively precious – by only honoring musicians in a mere six categories.
The nominees have been announced for the 12th annual Americana Honors & Awards, which will held at the historically cool Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, September 18. Jim Lauderdale will once again host the ceremonies, while Buddy Miller will lead the all-star band.
Among the nominees for Instrumentalist of the Year is Larry Campbell, who was previously honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his multi-instrumental work in 2008, the same year that his longtime boss Levon Helm garnered the Artist of the Year trophy.
I’d never been to one of Levon Helm‘s Saturday night Midnight Rambles at his home/recording studio in Woodstock, but over the years I’d heard lots about them. I knew it would be fun, but I never realized just how much fun.
Intimate? It really was like standing around in somebody’s living room and watching a world-class band crank out some of their favorite songs. For more than two hours, I stood no more than 15 feet away from Levon Helm as he churned through some of the funkiest backbeats I’ve ever heard. I was begoggled.