When I first came to St. Petersburg back in 1996, I found just about every genre of American music well known and being played actively… except Bluegrass. Today, it’s still taking baby steps but bluegrass music in Russia is definitely starting to happen. Last October (2011) I was invited by one of Russia’s most active bluegrass bands, The Red Brick Boys from Moscow, to sit in for a concert. It was held in the showrooms of a very nice acoustic instrument shop, “Musdetal” somewhere (I never did figure out exactly where) in Moscow. Not a huge venue, but the available space was packed to the max with a very appreciative audience.
This past weekend guitarist Alexander Dmitrienko was in St. Petersburg. We of course did some pickin’ and singin’, but he also dropped off a DVD of the concert shot by the folk at Musdetal. I’ll be posting several tunes from that. Here’s the first installment… enjoy!
Though it might seem odd to anyone who knows how long I’ve been messing around with the banjo, this show was actually the first time I had ever played as the only banjo player in a bluegrass band. I don’t consider bluegrass my strong suit, especially banjo breaks, so I went into this with a certain amount of trepidation. The secret is to “woodshed” ahead, then just go in, relax and have fun. Which I most definitely did. Hard not to have fun when you’re playing with a guy like the irrepressible Iskander Telyashev and his harmonicas… if you watch this vid you’ll see what I mean.