We had reservations, we got the special booth, the booth we thought was typically reserved for the musicians friends and family. We were literally a couple of feet from the stage. To open the show: Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show) and Mike Witcher (the duo also known as Tractor Beam) - Wow, Willie's voice... very soulful, he sang of drugs and murder in his twangy, yet melodious way. Good start.
Then came the Watkins, Sean and Sara (Nickle Creek), with Benmont Tench on piano (from Tom Petty), Greg Leisz on a slide guitar type of thing... And wow, they are so amazing. Sara has this voice, it's unique, it's high and raspy, it's soft and bluesy, it's delicate and loud. They sang songs by Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Jackson 5, a few Christmas hymns, and a lot more. They had a list of a few songs, but once they went through those they were just playing whatever came to mind. They would talk, tune, arrange, say "tune of A,... GO" ... and a song comes out. To me, a non-musician, it's magic. Sarah will sing, then tap Ben and he plays his part, then she looks at Greg he takes it away, Sean does a little solo and then back to her. I loving watching something like that unfold in front of my eyes. I can't imagine having that amount of talent. Not knowing a song, but someone tells me, play in the "key of F", they "hmm" the tune and off they go.
Like I said, I am not musician, I just appreciate. This is organic music to me. Nothing is processed. It's all natural and raw. It's better for you that way. It's more healthy. It's healthy for them to play that way, from their heart and spirit and we benefit from that medicine.
Half way through the night they call Jon Brion up, my smile got even bigger. Justin and I exchanged a gity grin. Jon Brion! ... They don't even discuss what they are going to play, he just picks up is instrument and jumps in. Then later David Graza comes up, plays drums, then Willie Watson and Mike Witcher come up and its music chaos!
This isn't last night but its Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz, Sean and Sara Watkins playing: "Different Drum"