Ann Arbor Observer cover
Tattoos for Avalon Housing
Ann Arbor Weather:
Saturday October 19, 2019
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Wire in the Wood

Wire in the Wood

Bluegrass night

by James M. Manheim

From the February, 2018 issue

When farm-raised U-M undergrad Chad Williams started WCBN-FM's Bill Monroe for Breakfast program in 1995, it was a gutsy move: almost no one was playing bluegrass in our town. But the scene has grown consistently since then, and the launch of Detroit Street Filling Station's new Bluegrass Wednesdays in January brought a full house to the restaurant. With Michigan Radio moving the repeat of ace mandolinist Chris Thile's Live from Here music variety show (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) to Sunday night in a bid to capture younger listeners, bluegrass seems to be having a moment.

The Filling Station's house band, Wire in the Wood, describes itself as a "prog-bluegrass locomotive pulling a lonesome psych-folk boxcar and a swingin' Hot-Club caboose." Their shows are put together to draw a varied crowd; one of the players was involved with the popular Bluegrass Nights at the Circus Bar a few years back, so they know what they're doing.

In its root form Wire in the Wood is a trio, singing mostly originals by vocalist-guitarist Billy Kirst along with classic and traditional bluegrass numbers. The other members are bassist Ryan Shea and Jordan Adema, whose instrument is billed as a violin, not a fiddle.

Adema can play it both ways, sawing out the old-time numbers but cultivating the smoother West Coast style even with, at times, a bit of vibrato. For the second set the band brought other musicians aboard, turning in the direction of classic jazz tunes like "Exactly Like You" before veering back to bluegrass, now roughed up with a banjo, at the end. "Bring your instruments," says the Facebook event page, and this band has the vocabulary to adapt to whoever does.

The restaurant is set up nicely for acoustic music, with a single pillar setting the music area off but not blocking sight lines. The acoustics work: you can talk or listen, and neither group will bother the other. In January, solo guitarist Jake Reichbart was playing on other nights, and one night was booked for Lesbo Bingo. Whenever you go, the food's good, the kitchen's open late (a tough find downtown on a midwinter weekday), and the place is cozy without being crowded.     (end of article)

[Originally published in February, 2018.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Rethinking the Gateway Garden
A new exuberance brightens an iconic Ann Arbor landscape.
Bob & Jorja Feldman
The Relief at the Washtenaw County Courthouse
September 2019 I Spy
Sally Bjork
Year-round Holidays
Themed trees and more on W. Stadium
Anita LeBlanc
Government in Dexter
Hands On The Harvest
Lectures, Readings, Discussions, & Forums
Night Moves
Remembering the blackout of 2003
Irena Barbara Nagler
Shake Shack Arrives
Arbor Hills trades suits for burgers.
Lindsey Lincoln
Dress Barn's Bad Bet
And other August 2019 marketplace closings
Sabine Bickford
Cabbage Whites
These unassuming butterflies usher summer in and out.
Bob & Jorja Feldman
One of the finest university art museums in the country, UMMA holds collections representing 150 yea
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor