And the stompin’ good times go on: The Redbucks Quartet their way at jiangjinjiu

So, you lose your guitar player and one of your lead vocalists/songwriters who happens to be one of the most charismatic persons/entertainers in Beijing and maybe more.. what do you do? If you’re the Redbucks, you shuffle a few things around, drop the mandolin and keep the stompin’ good times going.

While Ruby was having fun with the Dancers and the Buzzcocks, yours truly settled on catching some old fashioned hollering courtesy of my favorite ( and only) bluegrass outfit in town. There had been numerous speculations as to whether or not Beijing Daze would ever make it to another Redbucks show after the departure of the lovely and talented Daisy Sweetgrass… and just to prove them wrong, I did! because here at ‘daze headquarters, it’s all about the music man ( using my best Jeff Bridges impersonation)

The show is different for sure: the multitude of instruments they used to have on hand brought a certain dimension to a Redbucks show, sometimes a bit too much! now, it’s back down to bare bones basics with fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass or something like that. Some shades of the old bucks are back when Luke handles the singing but the harmonies had to change following the untimely departures and let me tell you folks, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Having lost Daisy, the band no longer has that single focus point that distracted an audience from their other songs.. no matter what they all say, that was the case! you could see a difference between a Daisy song and a non-Daisy song with the audience’s reaction. Now, the focus is on the whole band and their music, all the time.

Friday night, despite what i would consider a moderate turnout, they had fun! They played a couple of new songs as they usually do but also covered some of their own songs off of the “all that glitters” CD. Amy is taking baby steps out of her shell and had her first full song performance which came out amazing… Chris had a few as well and Two-shed managed to get a bit of time on the mic too (mostly shouting).

While at some point i feared we might see the bands become a sidekick, it no longer is the case! They’re a full blown unit and that is a good thing! Sure, I didn’t get the same amount of drooling in but I was busy enjoying the music instead.. ain’t that what we go to shows for?

I gotta say I’m not a big fan of this one mic setup they’ve been doing as of late… as soon as the audience starts chattering away, which has happened everytime, the vocals get drowned! bring on extra gear guys, trust me on this.

There was a bit of a surprise after their gig, once almost everyone took off, with one of the locals taking the stage for a bizarre set of weirdness that was strangely compelling but to me, weird enough to silence the crowd and just a little too much for e-head and Ruby who had just come out of the Buzzcocks show (references to “donkeys fucking” came out). I’ll put the video up later on during the week… it’s was an..ahem… ahem…interesting performance.

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