I’m a fan of Mark O’Connor's music, no matter what genre
he’s playing or composing. So when I
heard that he was performing on Mountain Stage with his group Hot Swing, I made
sure to find a way up to Morgantown to hear the concert.
It was a long trip on a rainy day, and I was passing up a
night in my own bed and the chance to hear the Peabody Trio play Mendelssohn
and Schubert a lot closer to home. I
started to wonder if it was worth all this trouble.
Once I heard O’Connor warming up during the
soundcheck, I knew I’d made the right decision. The moment he started playing, I lost track of whatever
conversation I was having and just listened.
Mark O'Connor and Hot Swing during soundcheck
This entire Mountain Stage show was amazing; each of the groups gave great performances, the venue was nice, and the audience was engaged throughout the night.
Larry Groce described this as a “picker’s show,” rightly so
with all the great guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass playing. But it was definitely also a “bower’s show,”
with some really cool fiddling/violin playing.* Mark O'Connor's playing was exuberant and just amazing. I was especially taken with the performance of a tune by O'Connor called "Gypsy Fantastic." Plus, the Depue Brothers Band took the stage with four violin players. Their set included a pretty wild performance of the Hoedown from Copland’s Rodeo.
The Depue Brothers Band at Mountain Stage