Weekender

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters to close out Acoustic Brew season

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Center for Well-Being in Lemont.
Molsky’s Mountain Drifters will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Center for Well-Being in Lemont. Photo provided

Twenty years ago, Bruce Molsky left his day job as a design engineer. It was a one-year experiment to see what it would be like to play music full time.

“I never went back,” Molsky said. “Just realized when I threw myself at it that this is really what I wanted to be doing.”

The Grammy-nominated artist said he’s played in a lot of bands and done a lot of collaborative projects, but he hadn’t fronted a band until about a year and a half ago.

And now “one of the nation’s most talented fiddlers” (per Mother Jones) is bringing his trio, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, to close out Acoustic Brew Concerts’ season on Sunday.

Rounding out the trio are “incredibly gifted” Allison de Groot on the banjo and “virtuoso” Stash Wyslouch on the guitar, Molsky said.

The concert will feature music that’s based around the old-time Southern Appalachian folk style, Molsky said, and they play a lot of dance tunes and ballads.

But he said the trio also has its own voice and interpretation, opting to do some more modern stuff, too.

“We just have a good time with the music, and we like to drag folks along with that,” Molsky said, laughing.

His favorite thing about playing in Molsky’s Mountain Drifters?

“The sheer energy and Allison and Stash’s creativity and their very wide open approach to and respect for traditional music,” Molsky said. “They both really love and respect the old masters but they’re not constrained, as a lot of people in my generation are, by feeling like they have to play it exactly like the old people played it.”

Molsky said it’s been great to see two younger musicians develop their voices in folk music, and that it helps him with his own voice.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

IF YOU GO

What: Molsky’s Mountain Drifters

When: 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Center for Well-Being, 123 Mount Nittany Road, Lemont

Info: www.acousticbrew.org

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