Dawgone Good

P.D. Kelley

It was 4-20, and another sold out show at the Rogue.  The crowd was ready to celebrate and warmly welcomed The Dawg Trio featuring David Grisman, aka “Dawg”.  This was an acoustic performance and the stage was simply set.  Grisman, his white hair flowing, came out with his fabled mandolin followed by his son Samson on the upright bass fiddle and Danny Barnes who alternated between banjo and guitar.   And the pickin’ began in fine fashion with a rousing ration of blue grass, country, and what Grisman called “old timey music.”  Grisman is somewhat of a legend in the business having played on at least one Grateful Dead album as well as with numerous other musicians.   He has founded several bands and I would guess there haven’t been many days in his adult life when he wasn’t playing something with somebody somewhere.   His longtime friendship with Jerry Garcia provided grist for some wonderful stories that the audience just loved.  Grisman’s delivery is laidback and his wit is dry.  Not so when playing the mandolin.  This is a master at his craft.  Son Sam on the bass showed that DNA, as they say, doesn’t lie and his chops were smooth and nimble.  He and his dad hugged and patted each other frequently and the pride and love showed clearly.  Grisman had high praise for Danny Barnes on the banjo and guitar and it was certainly deserved.  Barnes made it look effortless and he also sang a few numbers, at least one an original of his.  All three were true pros even though Grisman gave off a vibe of “Hey, it’s just me and the boys gonna play a few tunes for ya.”  When they gave their final bow following the encore (You didn’t need to do all that,” Grisman deadpanned, “We were gonna come back out anyways”) it was just sweet to watch.  

Catch you on the flip side. . .