Saturday, March 18, 2006

A small island of culture in a sea of bluegrass

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the talent, skill, and hard work of any good musician, even if I don’t particularly like that genre of music (keeping in mind that I do not consider Rap to be music). Bluegrass music is extremely popular in this area. When the Lost River Boys play at the Star Theater on Friday nights for $5 a head, the cars are parked bumper-to-bumper up and down Main Street and for a several-block radius on the side streets. I occasionally enjoy listening to instrumental bluegrass music, it is the singing I can’t stand. At any rate, the choices for live music at a reasonable price are somewhat limited – or at least they used to be limited until the satellite university campus began offering programs sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council. And once in a blue moon, something really special passes through. One such concert took place last night – an ensemble of four wonderfully skilled musicians playing Baroque music on Baroque instruments -- flute, violin, cello, and harpsichord. The harpsichord was amazing. The inside of the lid had a beautiful reproduction of a Dutch landscape, which was a feast for the eyes. The musicians were amazing. These old instruments (or replicas of the old instruments) have a different sound than their modern counterparts. Softer, more mellow. It was just lovely. Baroque music is wonderful stuff. Light, airy, bouncy – makes one feel good just to listen to it. Beats the heck out of “I’m stuck in jail but my pimples are still breaking out.”

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