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Friday, September 10, 2010


scott manring

This Scott is another musician of many instruments, multiple styles of music, old-time, jazz, swing. Tonight's show was these two Scotts, Scott Manring and Scott Freeman, met musically in a mix of what they played, playing around with rhythms, playing around musically, making this stretch and that stretch. Sometimes it sounded like a Django Rinehart playing jazz guitar, not that he was playing like Django, but that free-floating jazz sound he has. Manring has paid close attention to a lot of different kinds of musicians, guitar, banjo, dobro, fiddle. It seems like his own sound has become a fusion of every music he's ever loved, which would be about all of them. He played blues, he played old-time, he made his own songs, he played jazz. Scott Freeman with the mandolin, sometimes fiddle and sometimes guitar, could travel over that range of music comfortably with him. There were times his mandolin sounded like he was playing jazz. They had a sound together that was a mix of their individual sounds. They were equally flexible musicians. Though they hadn't played much together, one would lead the way and the other would fall in and they'd be flowing together within a few seconds.

Mostly, the audience was 3. Regulars. 8 people came in who were traveling tourists. They stayed half the show and left in the middle. I made several videos and got several stills. The musicianship, again, was good as it gets. We watched and listened to a couple of master musicians jamming, picking tunes they know together. They were inclined toward 40s big band kind of sound. I'd have to say what Manring was playing would be called Americana as he drifts through styles from all over the country and varieties of times. He lives somewhere between Greensboro and Ashboro. I'd say the acoustic musicians of his area are glad to have him among them. He's played fiddle and guitar on the 2 albums by Hungry Hash House Ramblers where Scott Freeman played mandolin. That's how I knew of him.

I felt like it was an extraordinary show seeing two equally brilliant musicians get together and jam for an audience of a few, relaxed, making music they like to make. Manring played guitar much of the time and a banjo, clawhammer style and extraordinarily well, and a dobro he played beautifully. He told the story of how he found the dobro looking pretty bad, but when he hit the first notes, he said, Sold. Manring, like Freeman, is what you call a musician. Put them together and music is what happens. Dori Freeman played her Henderson guitar and sang After You've Gone. She fits right in with the music that went before her and the music that went after. It wasn't like time out for a recital. It was Dori singing After You've Gone. It was of the same musical era as the 2 Scotts were playing much of the time. She is right there, shoulder to shoulder with them, making her music. It reminded me of Nico singing 2 songs on a Velvet Underground album. I look back over the musical expanse I've listened to throughout my life, much of it I've loved of several varieties, but none better than what I hear at the Front Porch. Much of it was right up there with what we hear at Front Porch, but none I like better.

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