Summer Sounds: Heather Gemmel and Lindsay Cuff, at Cranbrook Rotary Park, Saturday July 9, 2016
A luthier friend of mine described BlueGrass Music as “Heavy Metal on acoustic instruments”. I think there is some truth in that but it needn’t be so. There are BlueGrass musicians out there that look forward to new musical adventures, Bela Fleck immediately comes to mind, and musicians that look back to the origins of the music. The latter group are digging deep into the mother lode of the early traditions that inspired the original BlueGrass musicians. Lindsay Cuff (Fiddle, Clawhammer Banjo, guitar and vocals) and Heather Gemmel (Guitar, Banjo, Dobro and Vocals) is a new duo on the local scene dipping into the early traditions. Heather has been ever present on the local music scene for years as a blues/rock/BlueGrass advocate. Lindsay is relatively new on the scene. The duo is so new that they have not yet settled on a name. Following some on stage chatter during tunes Lindsay was ruminating on the “the bump in the middle” (her pregnancy) and was wondering how that was going to effect her banjo playing. The duo is looking for a name and my vote is for Bump in the Middle. I doubt that there is another band out there with that name and they have a ready made back story for whenever a question should arise about the band’s name. The duo was the second act in Summer Sounds first concert of the season and they stepped out of the gate with some laid back material that included Lindsay’s original I Hear You Coming and a sampling of old time tunes like I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground. The mix of the melodic fiddle over the rhythm of the clawhammer banjo allowed for a lot of nice space in the music. We often forget that in music the space between the notes is as important as the notes played. In the pursuit of over the top virtuosity musicians sometimes forget that. So, “as the sun set in the west” the dulcet sounds of this duo added a pleasant ambience to the afternoon / evening concert. I am looking forward to hearing more of this duo in the coming days.