Savings Bank Music Hall, Nov. 19
A bluegrass band that has been hauling off top honors in the
high-and-lonesome world wowed a small audience at the Troy
Music Hall last Friday night. Formed in 2007, Dailey and Vincent,
a sextet fronted by stellar tenor vocalist and guitarist Jamie
Dailey and self-described harmony singer and multi-instrumentalist
Darrin Vincent, has won the International Bluegrass Music
Association’s Best Vocal Group and Best Entertainers for the
last three years. Tennessee native Dailey used to play with
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Ricky Skaggs alumnus Vincent
is from the famous Missouri musical family that includes his
sister Rhonda, who came through town last October with her
band, the Rage.
Dailey and Vincent’s show was a vocal tour-de-force. Dailey
is a superb tenor—he has power, clarity, and spot-on pitch.
Although Vincent’s voice is not as strong as his partner’s,
he is still no slouch. Mandolinist Jeff Parker also has some
potent pipes, and the band even sported a bass singer, guitarist
and bassist Christian Davis, who can rumble down in the subwoofer
range of the legendary Paul Robeson.
Throughout the evening the group shifted between duets by
Dailey and Vincent, leads sung by either one, trios formed
by the addition of Parker, and quartets with the three plus
Davis. Their instrumentation frequently varied also, with
Vincent emerging as the group’s most versatile picker on guitar,
mandolin, and bass. Topping it all was that staple of country
music, cornpone humor. One could have done with drier wit,
but their tomfoolery was amusing nonetheless.
The band, which also included Joe Dean on banjo and Jesse
Stockman on fiddle, opened with Doyle Lawson’s “Poor Boy Workin’
Blues,” a speedy ditty bemoaning the hardships of manual labor,
to which Parker contributed a blazing mandolin solo. Far afield
from the bluegrass repertory was the next song, British invader
Manfred Mann’s “Fox on the Run,” which again featured a tasty
Later, Davis’ basso profundo was spotlighted on the Statler
Brothers classic, “Flowers on the Wall,” and also on Carl
Perkins’ “Daddy Sang Bass.” Stockman’s fiddle shined on three
old-time chestnuts: “The Temperance Reel,” “Salt Creek,” and
“Sally Goodin,” an old-time tune whose vague melody has so
many variants that I usually can’t recognize it (when Joe
Dean soloed with Earl Scruggs’ famous banjo version I caught
on at last).
Faithful to country music custom, the band closed with a sacred
song, the Statler Brothers “One Less Day to Go,” and encored
with another Statlers tune, “Elizabeth,” and a modern a cappella
version of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Bluegrass fans who missed Dailey and Vincent on this tour
will want to catch them next time they’re around.