Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bela at the Bearsville

Banjo maestro Bela Fleck made a triumphant return to the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock Wednesday night. The New York City native and current Nashville resident tore it up during a show with the Sparrow Quartet, held as part of the WFF. His fingers were on fire and the unanimous decision from the hundreds who streamed out of the cozy Catskill Mountain theater afterward was an overwhelming thumbs-up.

That's a picture of Bela and WFF Executive Director Meira Blaustein, downstairs in the Bearsville Theater green room after the show.

Abigail Washburn's vocals were sweet like honey and smooth as velvet. Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee were sidemen who stood out and oh my goodness, the version of "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles that closed out the show, with Bela leading the way on banjo, was one that will be remembered for the ages, a truly historic moment in a truly historic theater.

I'm sure Paul McCartney would have liked to have been there for that one - where Bela's banjo creatd a crossroads where backwoods Louisiana met working-class Liverpool.

In the spirit of this truly interpretation of "Eleanor Rigby," click here to check out Ray Charles doing HIS rendition of this very sad song.


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