Beatlegras mixes it up
An unusual mixture of Beatles music and bluegrass comes to town at 8 p.m. on June 13. Beatlegras, a Texas trio just back from tour dates in Ireland, will be playing at the City Auditorium.
"This isn't your same old Beatles band," said Dave Walser, founder of the innovative group. The trio shakes up Beatles music with infusions of bluegrass and jazz, topped off with a classical twist.
A fan of the classic quartet since he first saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show, Walser was inspired to create Beatlegras after seeing Paul McCartney's "Back in the U.S." tour in 2002. "I thought it would be fun to get some great musicians together and play all acoustic versions of Beatles songs."
Beatlegras consists of Walser on guitar, George Anderson on upright bass, and Milo Deering handling anything with strings. Vocals are shared by all three.
A longtime Dallas musician, lead singer Walser owns and operates Downing Road Recording Studio, where most of the Beatlegras CD was recorded. "Hooking up with George and Milo was the best thing that could happen," Walser added. "Each of us adds a little something different to the mix."
Anderson has been playing classical upright bass since junior high. He plays occasionally for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has also played with such notables as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Woody Herman. His jazz album "Faces" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003.
Deering is a virtuoso player of stringed instruments, including the mandolin, fiddle, guitar and dobro. He's a much-used session player, composer, and his fiddle playing is featured on the infamous Motel 6 theme song, which he also co-wrote. Deering made a cameo appearance in the Sandra Bullock movie Hope Floats.
"One of the best things to me about the Beatles," said Walser, "is that they weren't afraid to think outside the box and thinking outside the box is what we're all about. Our music is full of surprises, even to us, from show to show. We change little things all the time to keep it fun for us as well." To hear and see Beatlegras, go to www.beatlegras.com.