Molsky’s Mountain Drifters offer Appalachian roots music

Photo info (left-right):Allison de Groot(clawhammer banjo), Bruce Molsky (fiddle), Stash Wyslouch (guitar). Photo by Kate Orne

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Grammy-nominated musician Bruce Molsky has made his biggest marks as an old-time fiddler steeped in the Appalachian traditions and as mentor to rising talents such as Brittany Haas (Dave Rawlings Machine, Chris Thile’s house band on “Live from Here”).

But he’s not easily contained. Molsky’s collaborations include work with Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, Anonymous 4 and Joan Osborne, and this fiddler also steps out on banjo, guitar and vocals.

Molsky and his newest group, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, will appear at The Palms Playhouse on Thursday, May 10 at 8 p.m. In addition to Molsky on fiddle, the trio is Allison de Groot on clawhammer banjo and Stash Wyslouch on guitar.

“I was looking for a new voice,” said Molsky. “A new avenue of expression using old time mountain music as the jumping-off point, but not being constrained by hard core traditionalism. Allison and Stash are showing me the way, just where the music is headed, in directions I never would have imagined when I started my own journey into the mountains a long time ago.”

Molsky picked able partners for this new project. De Groot (of The Goodbye Girls) brings a mix of delicacy and drive to her playing, and is unafraid to color outside the lines of old time music. Wyslouch (of the Deadly Gentlemen) got his start in punk and metal bands before making the leap to bluegrass and old time, and has become one of bluegrass’ noted genre-bending players.

The trio recently released a self-title debut album. According to Joey Ryan of The Mild Carton Kids, “this record captures all the intricate, meditative, overwhelming joy that I love so much in old time music.”

Grammy-winning mandolinist Sarah Jarosz claims that, “Bruce is simply one of the greatest musicians there is, period,” and that the Molsky Mountain Drifters “are a force to be reckoned with and are creating some of the most soul-stirring music out there today.”

Tickets for Molsky’s Mountain Drifters’ Thursday, May 10 show at The Palms Playhouse are $20 and are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite, and at the door if not sold out.

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