Last minute weather-related cancellations made way for a “big break” for the newly formed band, Buc Ridge, at the February 6th Song of the Mountains show featuring Kathy Mattea. According to the band’s bass player, Andrew Blythe, the band had only played together for 3 days! Yes, DAYS!! They were awesome . . . and hopefully were reassured of that by the standing ovation they received.
It all came about late Friday night. Marion had gotten some ice and snow late in the week and a couple of the original opening groups canceled. Tom Cecil, banjo extraordinaire of the group, joked about having received a phone call about 10:00 PM Friday night asking if he and his fellow band members would like to come open for Kathy Mattea Saturday night. He said he was given about 20 minutes to confirm whether or not they’d be able to come. My guess is that he didn’t have to think about it very long at all.
The rest is now history and hopefully their performance here at The Lincoln Theatre will give this young group a jump-start toward a very successful future. Rounding out the band were Cara Oliphant playing fiddle and Adam Worley on guitar. All four band members currently attend East Tennessee State University and are pursuing degrees in the school’s Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music curriculum. So if you hear the name “Buc Ridge”, and have an opportunity to hear them play, you won’t be disappointed.
I also must mention the absolutely WONDERFUL performance given by Kathy Mattea. Aside from her and her band members’ exceptional musical talents (both vocally and instrumentally) she was just a HOOT!! (From where I come from that is a BIG compliment!). Seriously, though, Kathy Mattea was hugely personable, funny, witty, warm, and above all genuine. She sings with great passion and soulfulness and it quickly becomes evident that she not only sings songs because they “sound” good, but because they oftentimes have a deep and personal meaning for her. The audience loved her! We, being one of the official “Marionettes” (as she so cleverly referred to her Marion audience at one point), can only hope that she and her band enjoyed Marion, and performing at The Lincoln Theatre, as much as we enjoyed having them here.
The Song of the Mountains performances are taped, and the February 6, 2010 show kicked off their new season. The taped performances are aired on more than 170 public television stations throughout the country. Though this past weekend’s taping won’t actually be aired until sometime next year, keep on the lookout for it as it will be one you won’t want to miss. Oh! And if you get to see it . . . be sure and check out Kathy Mattea’s boots — they were stunning!