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Wafarin Strangers

The bluegrass/jazz band, "Wayfaring Strangers" is coming to town in a couple of weeks and I am rather dismayed by my inability to sit down and order tickets. Some of this is due to being distracted by the World Series and the election. Some of it is the usual money concerns (employment suggestions for an excellent it project manager—pmp—in the boston area cheerfully considered). But for some reason, even as the band comes up in my mind all the time—most recently I compared some of Michael Winograd's lovely compositions for Khevre to similarly jazzy, spacious compositions by the band—I can't keep their name straight.

I used to think of Wafaring Strangers as Jewish bluegrass. On their first album, and when I saw them a couple of years ago, at the intimate Johnny D's club in Somerville, one of my favorite places to see good music, Andy Statman was still playing with them, and would occasionally break into a bit of nign or klezmer when doing one of his solos. Watching Andy Statman play with musicians of his calibre is a rare event and always worthwhile. (Watching, or listening to Andy Statman play with musicians who are merely "good" or "excellent" doesn't pull the best out of him the same way. It's like watching David Krakauer with most of his bands, just quieter.) From recent band personnel listings, though, it doesn't look like he'll be there. Was Andy even on the second Wafaring Strangers album?

But the worst problem is that from day one I have had trouble remembering the name of the band. I keep talking to friends about this great bluegrass band, "Wandering ...." Wandering who? what? I can't remember. I find myself wondering why a band would be called "Wandering Stars" when we all know that is the name of a book about Yiddish Theatre. I have an odd form of mental dyslexia that makes it very difficult for me to remember some names. (Wanna know the names of the three longest lived monarchs in Europe? I've been unable to forget that since 9th grade. But none of them play bluegrass these days.)

Anyway, I have a bad feeling that I'll procrastinate until the last moment, and then blow it for the last time when I go to Ticketmaster for the overpriced last-minute tix and can't find 'Wafarin Strangers' wondering all the time why a band would name itself after rat poison, and wasn't that a song by the Grateful Dead, anyway?

Sorry. Not really about Jewish Music. But my mind wanders sometimes. There's a band coming to town soon. "Wandering ... Stars"?

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