I’ve been to many shows at Burlington’s Flynn Theatre but few as purely entertaining as the one this week.
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent brought their bluegrass sextet to the Flynn stage on Tuesday night in a tight 90-minute set that included gospel, Americana, and originals delivered with some of the best 4-part harmony I have ever heard. It was a profoundly virtuosic display wrapped up in equal parts camaraderie, showmanship, and pure spunk.
Sure, the hokey humor (bald jokes, short jokes – mostly at the expense of Vincent) wore a bit thin, threadbare seatcovers somewhat out of place in an otherwise leather package Cadillac. Even the band seemed uncomfortably stretched to make it work. It’s a style, I know – I grew up watching Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry. I get that. But I can also tell you that the cornball humor is the very least of the reasons Dailey and Vincent are three-time winners of the Entertainment of the Year award from the IBMA.
These folks can play.
The band is Dailey (guitar/bass), Vincent (mandolin/bass/guitar), Jeff Parker (mandolin/guitar), Joe Dean (banjo), Jesse Stockman (fiddle), and Christian Davis (DEEP bass vocals & guitar). They all sing – very, very well. They engage directly, periodically stepping out in front of the stage on a small riser to play in more intimate duo or quartet groupings. They walk out into the audience (you know that’s always a hit) and generally seem to be having a great time with the whole show. It’s easy to overlook the clunky humor and persistent Cracker Barrel sponsorship mentions in the presence of such outstanding musicianship. Dailey and Vincent are on tour now in support of their new Statler Brothers tribute album.
If I didn’t already have plans for this evening, I would be making the trip to Woodstock to see them again in tonight’s show as part of the Upper Valley Bluegrass Festival at the Town Hall Theater.