I had a chance to catch up with O'Brien in Henry County over Memorial Day weekend at Rooster Walk 6, where we talked about the future of bluegrass and why Americana music seems to resonate with an expanding audience.
The interesting thing about the music is that there's kind of an American Idol mentality today and I don't think that's wrong, but everybody likes the hero and they push them up the charts and then it's, "'Okay, who's next?'"
Some of the loudest cheers of the night came as Bella hit all the right mandolin notes on her solo turns, smiling throughout while looking remarkably poised for a tween playing before the biggest audience of a career that's just blooming.
If Abigail Washburn didn't already have a job as an earnest clawhammer banjo player who takes adventurous side trips away from the bluegrass realm that has served her so well, the singer-songwriter could run for mayor of Telluride. And win.
With looser jeans and tighter arrangements, Plant moves a bit slower but still displays the same charisma and gallantry of his previous life. Thankfully, he doesn't totally ignore those prancing "Dancing Days."