Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The DePue Brothers Band: Mexico

While on my way to Wal-Mart on Sunday, I was tuned into Mountain Stage (from the Mountain State of West Virginia) on West Virginia Public Radio. I heard for the first time the DePue Brothers Band. Fronted by four brothers from Bowling Green, Ohio who are classical violin virtuosos, the band mixes their classical training with other musical styles.

While I didn’t hear “Mexico” on the show (which they may have performed), it reminds me of the David Grisman Quartet turned up to eleven on a scale of one to ten. Can they pull off this sound live as they can in the studio, you bet they can. Don’t let the production fool you, their wizardry on the strings is every bit as real – live or Memorex. The recording is from their album “Weapons of Grass Construction.”

Principle violinist Alex DePue who has been playing his instrument since age five, won a major violin competition at the age of ten. He also showed an early interest in fiddle music and was the Michigan State Fiddling Champion from 1994 to 1998.

He is joined by his siblings Wallace, Jason, and Zachary – all accomplished musicians in their own right. Dr. Wallace DePue is the assistant concertmaster for the Philly Pops. Brother Jason DePue is a member of the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Zachary is currently concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Others in the band include drummer Don Liuzzi who is the principal timpanist with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Session musician and US National Flatpicking Guitar Champ Mark Cosgrove provides six-string accompaniment. Classical and jazz bassist Kevin MacConnell holds down the low end. I am not sure who plays banjo on this song as both band member Mike Munford and guest musician Tony Trischka are credited with playing on the CD.

Definitely a treat to hear and hopefully some more songs will become available on You Tube.

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