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The Bee Eaters Are Spellbinding

Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME ~ Apr 29, 2010

May 7, 2010
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Whatan enthralling concert! The Bee Eaters are four, young musicians who specialize in instrumental acoustic music. Not knowing what to expect I went to see them in Portland. Their original compositions were like expeditions into the wild – unimaginable, penetrating and lush. National Fiddle Champion brother and sister duo, Tristan, (who also plays cello) and Tashina Clarridge, hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman and banjo master Wes Corbett, play together like a flock of birds, changing directions and weaving in and out with flawless patterns of coordination and grace.

Twenty-fiveyears ago, I first heard music from the Windham Hill record label, which showcased a traditional folk music sound played by a then-new generation of acoustic musicians. The Bee Eaters are carrying on their tradition and then some!

 EatersMostof the tunes were original, such as one that Tristan wrote during a parlor game that only musical prodigies can play: Players go off into separate rooms and come up with an original piece of music in 30 minutes. We’re not talking nonsense here, we’re talking something “Mozartian”! He won the challenge and called the piece, (what else?) “Thirty Minutes”! Other compositions were by Wes and were written in homage to cookies and Stoneground crackers. They also did a driving version of “Eleanor Rigby”.

Tosomeone who doesn’t have original music in her head I can only wonder at the minds that can conceive, capture and play music like this. They have individually toured with greats such as Darrol Anger, Mike Marshall, Dave Grisman, Bill Frissell, Natalie McMaster and others.

DarrolAnger joined them for their last piece on stage, his face grinning as wide as the Cheshire cat. It must be a comfort to a seasoned musician to see such a crop of young’uns growing up and joining the musical journey with such excellence.

Youcan read more and listen to samples of the Bee Eaters’ music at and

For music lovers visiting Portland, Maine, I highly recommend
One Longfellow Square ~ "Portland's Premier Arts Venue"
Check them out at

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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