The Infamous Stringdusters

20 April 2015 - “Flashpick" on Pearl Street Mall - Boulder, CO

for The Lot Scene by Parker


What a stunningly gorgeous afternoon for a “flashpick” from our favorite Duster lads!!  The latter day sun was warming a sea of smiles and the air flashed fragrant from countless blooms and blossoms along Boulder’s lovely Pearl Street Mall as the band cracked their cases, grabbed their signature tools-of-trade, and delighted us all to some unplugged fast pickin’ under a grinning azure sky.  Never fancied I’d see a Dusters street performance — now I am so happy I have!  “God bless America, God bless Colorado!” were Jeremy Garrett’s fired up words leading into a great half hour of great music. First up was John Hartford’s “Steam Powered Aereo Plane” which they chose to follow Jeremy’s rallying cry.  Definitely a favorite song of mine regardless of which band is playing it, Travis did a fine job on the vocals and we all danced along to this merry newgrass tune.  Given the holiday, there was much celebrating in the crowd (as the show started at 4:15PM…you do the math) evidenced by the hoots and hollers and puffy white clouds drifting up from those assembled at that oh-so infamous time.  Just have to love the expression of freedom…even certain members of the band thanks to a certain “prop” supplied by an audience member.  It was a free and blissful moment for all of us and it was just utterly and thoroughly enjoyable.  Another favorite song of mine came up in the queue as well (lucky me!):  that rollicking bluegrass standard  “Hit Parade of Love”.  It was my first opportunity hearing the Stringdusters unplugged and I relished the chance to savor their vocal harmonies sans microphones.  It certainly is no secret these fellas can sing and sing well but to hear them like that, organic and bathed in the afternoon glow of both sun and fan adoration, it was a special treat, no doubt.  In a set well-populated by great cover song choices Phish’s “Free” seemed to be a perfect addition.  I mean, I get it!  A FREE show, right?  Get it??  Yeah, the Dusters sure got it.  And we got a musically tight, vocally perfect version of a clear crowd favorite.  And we loved it.  Thanks for that little handout, boys!  A lively, grassy, foot-stomper sung by Andy Falco sped us headlong straight into a ripping instrumental closer (whose name, alas, I do not know).  This was absolutely the right choice for my afternoon.  And what a perfect way to celebrate the holiday:  with music and great weather and the ISD Jamily.  Talk about your musical appetizers!  That was definitely the way to prepare for more of the same later at The Boulder Theater.  Thanks for the free show, guys!  Top notch!!