Mike Marshall & Darol Anger and Väsen
pre-show Q&A at 7:10 pmFriday, February 26, 2010, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)exploring string virtuosity from Appalachia to Sweden $24.50 advance / $25.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
February 26 8:00 pm

Oh baby—we're in heaven! Fans of strings of all stripes should drop everything and sprint straight over to the Freight to catch this jaw-dropping, eye-popping double whammy of virtuoso plucking, strumming, picking, and bowing.

Wild invention reigns supreme whenever pioneering fiddle maestro Darol Anger and mandolin wizard Mike Marshall get together. On albums like their recent The Duo Live: At Home and On the Range (Compass), and even more so on stage, their duo playing, brimming with passion, prodigious technique, and goofy humor, is not to be missed. Darol has spent the last 25 years or so reinventing the American string ensemble to incorporate his explorations into American traditional, bluegrass, jazz, and world musics in groups he helped found, such as the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, and his Republic of Strings ensemble. Acoustic string virtuoso, Mike is the leading proponent of an ebullient and fascinating brand of folk-jazz-classical music that explores territory stretching from Brazil through Appalachia to Europe and Africa, by way of Manhattan and the Florida swamps. He first gained acclaim for his groundbreaking "newgrass" work with David Grisman, and more recently founded the Modern Mandolin Quartet and the Brazilian ensemble, Choro Famoso. Together, Darol and Mike have created amazing music in groups like the avant garde bluegrass quintet, Psychograss, and the folk-jazz fusion group, Montreux.

The Swedish word Väsen has three meanings—essence, spirit, and hullabaloo—making it the perfect name for a band that is part Nordic tradition and part whirling dervish. To its roots in the musical traditions of Uppland, Sweden, Väsen brings playfulness and vitality, transforming venerable polskas and marches into modern groove masterpieces, yet retaining the consummate playing skills and ageless appeal of the best traditional music.Väsen's unique sound showcases the playing of Olov Johansson, a virtuoso of the nykelharpa, a bowed, 16-string instrument related to both the hurdy-gurdy and the fiddle, along with violist Mikael Marin and guitarist Roger Tallroth, in a ensemble that swings through dense, sinuous arrangements with amazing intensity and deft interplay, on stage and on albums like their recent Väsen Street. Public radio's All Things Considered said of the group, "The absurdly broad term 'world music' is rendered useless in the face of these musicians who play with such passion and glee that everything on the globe seems to disappear except their hometown fires. This is 'local music' in the best sense of the word—believable, human-scaled, and fluent in the international language of musical interplay." As one member of Väsen put it more succinctly: "We can promise you one thing. You never know quite what's going to happen."

Tonight's double bill brings the two groups to the Freight stage for a show that focuses on innovative quintet ensemble pieces like the ones the five included on their self-named 2007 CD.

Visit Mike's website

Visit Darol's website

Visit Väsen's website

Listen to a track from Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, and Väsen:


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