Last Sunday, Michael Daves hosted his Fourth Annual Bluegrass Bash at The Bell House, with a lineup featuring some of the biggest names in the world of Bluegrass alongside a mix of some fantastic local New York City talent. The first group to take the main stage was The Goodbye Girls, who were recently on tour opening for The Milk Carton Kids. Their haunting harmonies were outshined only by their sheer virtuosity. Guitarist Molly Tuttle showed off her blisteringly fast flatpicking, while Brittany Karlson tore up her upright bass.
Sierra Hull, a mandolin phenom, shared the main stage with upright bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, exploring a whole new acoustic sound. Cole Quest and the City Pickers, a NYC based group, brought the party to the front stage with their mix of classic and original tunes. Guitarist and vocalist Christian Apuzzo dazzled the crowd with his legendary tenor tone and dead-on harmonies.
The highlight of the night was the host himself, performing as Michael Daves and Friends. On this night, Daves’ friends included Tony Trischka, Sarah Jarosz, Brittany Haas and Larry Cook. Any regulars to Daves' weekly residency at Rockwood Music Hall know to always be ready for a surprise, and this night was no exception. As the night progressed, more incredible artists including vocalists Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek and Jen Larsen showed up to lend a hand to this all star lineup. The evening culminated with a monster jam, with every performer hopping on stage.
While there’s no doubt that Daves is one of the most prominent voices of bluegrass today, it’s his dedication to the community of New York City that sets him apart, and why the New York Times has dubbed him the “Leading Light of the New York Bluegrass scene.” This Tuesday, he'll be celebrating the ninth anniversary of his residence at Rockwood Music Hall, where he performs each week at 10:00 PM on Stage One. (Daves' new double album, Orchids and Violence, will be released this February.)