Fun is at the heart of this collaboration’s success. These four musicians friendships span decades and their easy manner with each other translates to their intuitive extraordinary music. Mr. Sun is a collaborative effort of Darol Anger on fiddle, Grant Gordy on guitar, Joe K Walsh on mandolin and Aidan O’Donnell on bass.
Darol Anger was awarded a lifetime Achievement Award from the IBMA last year for his many contributions to the acoustic music world. He was a founding member of both the David Grisman Quintet and the Turtle Island String Quartet. He’s played with everyone from Stephane Grappelli to Tony Rice; from Vassar Clements to Mark O’Connor.
Likewise, Grant Gordy has transformed the role of acoustic guitar in bluegrass fusion music. He has as much jazz in his style as bluegrass but he did hold down the guitar chair in David GRisman’s Quartet for six years. He’s played with musical giants like Edgar Meyer and Tony Trishka among many others in his Brooklyn based home. Grant seems perpetually amused by his Mr. Sun bandmates antics.
Mr Sun appears in the region three times in September. On 9/18 they play the Fire in the Kitchen music series in Ct., on 9/22 the band plays the Watermelon Wednesday music series in Whately Massachusetts. They finish the run at the fabled Freshgrass Bluegrass festival in North Adams on 9/25th.
Our conversation includes the first reference I’ve heard about the origin of the band name, each member’s teaching and workshop experiences, the role of humor in their music and more. I ask about the band’s decision-making process regarding the virus protocols they encounter on the road.
We end up discussing the upcoming Mr. Sun release called “Extrovert”. The duo of Darol and Grant attempt a rare Zoom performance with Darol in Nashville and Grant in Brooklyn! They give a valiant effort at Charles Mingus’ “Better Git it in Your Soul”. The segment begins and ends with songs from Mr. Sun’s “The People Need Light” including the opening song “The Fiddler’s Boot” and finishes with “Key Signator”.
It was a joy and a hoot to speak with these acoustic music hall of famers. Check out the local show on 9/22 at watermelonwednesdays.com