Archive for August, 2007

Bluegrass from Europe

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I can’t believe the summer has passed without any live music until now. Tonight we heard Fragment, the  bluegrass band from the Czech and Slovak Republics, as part of the Fiddling Cricket concert series at Mission City Coffee Roasting in Santa Clara.

The band has a new lineup since we saw them two years ago.  Jana Mougin-Dolakova, the lead singer, still sounds freakily like Allison Kraus, and Henrich Novak still plays a mean dobro.  Two new members, Petr Brandejs (banjo/guitar) and Ondra Kozak (guitar/fiddle) are quite competent, but I missed having a mandolin in the band.

They performed two sets of twelve numbers, and then performed ‘Steel Rails’, the old favorite that Allison Krauss popularized, for an encore.  My favorite tune was Cherokee Shuffle (2nd set, #10) — they were very hot. This was followed by ‘Polka on the banjo’, with the final refrain in Czech, which was fun.  Most of the two sets were standards or songs from fairly well know songwriters, like Claire Lynch.