Béla Fleck - Notes from The Road - April/June 2012
A couple of months in the life: late April to late June 2012.
Post Flecktone time came on me fast.
All of a sudden I was doing so many different things that my head is still spinning.
Almost immediately after the last amazing show with the Tones in Louisville, I was back in orchestra land, playing my banjo concerto with Chattanooga Symphony. I really enjoyed my time with them, and the orchestra played great.
Then I was playing music with Abigail Washburn at the wedding of some of our dear friends in Carmel Valley, Ca.
Then I was on tour with the Marcus Roberts Trio, featuring Rodney Jordan and Jason Marsalis. Holy cow that music got off the ground, honestly it exceeded all of our expectations. We did a nice pile of dates, finishing our first 14 dates (21 shows altogether - with two per night on 7 of the nights) at the Blue Note in New York City.
On one of our shows, at Delfest, I also did a very traditional bluegrass set with mandolin wizard Ronnie McCoury, fiddle fundamentalist, Jason Carter, lock’er down bassist and singer, Adam Bartram and the intense and wonderful vocalist and guitar man, Danny Paisley. That was culture shock in the middle of a jazz tour, but holy cow - what fun! We have to do that some more…
On the day after the Marcus tour ended, I was on the train out to Brooklyn to meet up with Brooklyn Rider, a fantastic string quartet that I am collaborating with.
I brought a pile of sketches along to see what they they sounded like, eventually I will be composing an extended piece and doing some performing with them.
It’s a very promising situation.
The next day I rehearsed with Chris Thile for a duo improv set that we will do at Telluride to open the festival on Thursday. We have a lot of fun just playing free form, but we are learning how to do it better, and trying to develop a strong concept to jam straight thru a one hour set.
The next day I was preparing for a solo concert at the Clearwater Festival in Croton Harmon. This is the festival that Pete Seeger has played a huge role in establishing, and they have done a lot of good for the Hudson River, while creating a home for folk music of many styles.
At any rate, I did two house concerts to get rid of my jitters, and then did the set at the festival. It was a great experience, and the idea of playing more solo shows is becoming intriguing.
Now I am in Telluride, Colorado where I get to play with Chris, do a set with Marcus, Rodney and Jason, do a workshop jam with Edgar Meyer, and do a bluegrass type set with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan.
The next week I’ll be on my way to Europe to play with African goddess Oumou Sangare, with a mostly Malian band, but also with drummer Will Calhoun of Living Colour fame.
No wonder my head is spinning…
Join me for some of this crazy stuff, ok? I need some company out there.
Also you might check out the Bela Marcus CD just out on Rounder/Concord called Across The Imaginary Divide. We are really pleased with it.
All the best to you all, and thanks for your support and for making this insane (but rewarding) life possible,