Sweet music with Brian Vollmer

After not a ton of performing, though played with London McDaniel last summer and fall including subbing as a go-go dancing and singer in London's funky zydeco band Blue Sky Mission Club, in December I played an intimate show with Brian Vollmer at Chateau Dusseau, a winery near Owasco Lake, northeast of Ithaca. Playing with Brian was very sweet. He played banjo in such a pretty sensitive way and sang backup. Brian is primarily an old-time player, on a label, and busy in bands. With me, he infuses driving blues and just lovely, pretty arpeggios. This duo with Brian might lead to a trio with London -- or more, and we've talked about recording. Maybe something more country than usual for me, though it's hard to leave the jazz out. Or a Christmas album. Chateau Dusseau is owned by our friend Robert Dusseau, and the acoustics there are amazing. It was like playing in a small chapel. I'm a Buddhist, and Brian was once a Hindu student with an interest in Indian music. So improvising, we did my kind of driving Celtic version of the bluegrass standard "Shady Grove" to a tanpura phone app. And on the spot, as it was right before Christmas, we did some Christmas carols, including "Drummer Boy" with Levi Dusseau, a good guitarist himself, sitting in on drums.

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