Monday, June 13, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011. A Great Year for String Players.

Written by: Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins
and Angie Newgren

Bonnaroo is an annual music and arts festival held in Manchester, Tennessee. This was it's tenth year. Hope everyone stayed cool and had fun!

Just in case you're a violin, viola or cello player, and need some inspiration to play outside the classical music box, here is a list of some of the musicians performing this year who include stringed instruments of the violin family in their performance. The genres vary to the extreme:

Arcade Fire - indie rock, 2011 GRAMMY award winner for best Album
String Cheese Incident - jam band
Allison Krauss & Union Station ft. Jerry Douglas - country
Gogol Bordello - gypsy punk
Kopecky Family Band - indie / melodramatic popular song
Devotchka - gypsy punk / indie folk
Railroad Earth - americana / progressive bluegrass / jam band
Old Crow Medicine Show - folk / alternative country / bluegrass / a
Americana / old-time
Ben Sollee - bluegrass / folk / jazz
Mumford & Sons - folk rock / indie folk / bluegrass
The Decemberists - indie rock / baroque pop / art rock
Deer Tick - alternative country / indie folk / indie rock
The Head and The Heart - indie folk / indie pop
Apache Relay - indie rock / Americana
The David Mayfield Parade - bluegrass
Greensky Bluegrass - progressive bluegrass
The Parkington Sisters - acoustic / experimental / folk
River City Extension - folk / lyrical / thrash
Sally Ford and the Sound Outside - 2-step / big beat / gospel
Uncle Skeleton - electronica / indie

While not suitable for every age or taste, Andy's favorite band in this list is definitely Gogol Bordello. Arcade Fire's interactive video that was made in partnership with Google Chrome is pretty cool too - See the interactive video here.

Although the concert was held June 9-12, many radio stations will play recordings of the event.Watch NPR music's website and app. They usually stream some of the concerts each year.

The artists who performed at this concert get lots of recognition. And many more gigs! Being a violinist, violist or cellist does not limit your performance venues to orchestras and quartets. Artists can take steps to have a career in any genre they choose.

Most of the string players are playing with a pickup or an electric instrument. Amy has posted several blogs here about that topic. Start here with Amy's blog on pickups. If you would like one, you can check out our shop to purchase a Realist pickup, our recommendation.

Get out there and play some music.

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