Shane Cook, Joe Phillips and Joey Wright – Jazzgrass in Snow Road

Written by  Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10:33
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The trio of fiddler Shane Cook, bassist Joe Phillips, and guitar/mandolin player Joey Wright backed singer songwriter Alison Lupton on a tour last year. That gave them an opportunity to jam together during the down time on the tour. They kept in touch afterwards and decided to put on a few shows this spring. Since both Cook and Phillips live in London and Wright lives in Elphin, they booked a couple of shows in Guelph and London, then came to Snow Road on Thursday night, followed by shows in Cobourg and Trenton.

The Snow Road Hall was over capacity for the show last week, and the trio did not disappoint. They played mostly tunes that each of them had written but in a style that was built around the interplay between the three instruments. Because all three of them have a lot of facility on their instruments and enjoyed listening to and reacting to each other, it was a treat for the audience to listen and see where they were going.

The show was pretty relaxed since the players were intent on having fun and playing, rather than replicating the sound on an album. The styles ranged from Bill Munro style bluegrass, Brazilian samba, Romany jazz, Texas swing, and more. Both Joey Wright and Joe Phillips sang on a few of their own tunes as well.

Near the end of the concert, Shane Cook also admitted something that some of us have suspected for years.

He cut his teeth in the fiddle contests in Eastern Ontario, and knows the Ottawa Valley and other fiddle tune repertoire well. As he was about to play a tune that he said all the fiddlers at the Pembroke contest played, he said we would all find it familiar as well. Then he paused, and said “all fiddle tunes are the same anyway”.

“Aha” I said, and a bunch of the fiddlers in the audience glared in my direction.

Hopefully this mini-tour of three talented adventurers in music will result in some more shows down the line or even a recording. It would be nice to listen in again.

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