I must admit, I usually prefer to listen to BCBCSB in an outdoor setting by the light of a campfire. Tonight, the band performed at the Wild Bean and I was reminded, yet again, that this band has the chops to entertain in any setting.
By now, West Virginia is well acquainted with our beloved traveling bluegrass band, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band (BCBC). The band includes brothers Xander and Orion Hitzig, Justin Morris, and Matt Del Olmo. Much to the delight of both audience and band, the BCBC has added some new blood to the line up. The lovely Kat Fountain (whom the boys met in Maui) has been traveling and performing regularly with BCBC for the last 5 months. Her exceptionally smooth harmonica playing and brilliant singing voice adds a sweet layer of icing to what was already a delightful cake.
The first set was somewhat laid back, particularly on the part of the audience. Folks sat and whispered in a very relaxed environment while the band effortlessly entertained a crowd whose ages ranged from infancy to seniors.
Highlights of the set included a Kat and Xander duet of Steve Earl’s “Sometime She Forgets”, a tasteful nod to BCBC’s predecessors, The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys. Also, a playful solo-laden original called, “Layhewoo.”
Inevitably, the music took hold of the crowd and everyone began to stir for an upbeat second set of fiddle tunes, which included a guest appearance by Terrance ‘12 Fingers’ Zimmerman on 5 string banjo. The set officially ended with a perfectly executed version of David Grisman’s “Eat My Dust” (hats off to Orion’s mandolin intro and Del Olmo’s and Fountain’s solo spots, all of which had the crowd on their feet and cheering).
The band said farewell with an encore of Bill Monroe’s “Bluegrass Breakdown” sending home a very satisfied (and perhaps a little jittery) crowd. Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band returns to Lewisburg on June 15th at The Irish Pub and more info on the band can be found at www.brownchickentrain.com.
– Ian Lutz