Bluegrass quartet plays the Burnham Music Series
Four veteran Vermont musicians joined together as Northern Flyer — a contemporary bluegrass band — in 2017. They combine first-rate harmonies with extensive instrumental expertise. Their repertoire includes original songs, unique adaptations of exciting material and traditional bluegrass. And they’re coming to Burnham Hall in Lincoln on Saturday, April 14, or the Burnham Music Series.
Together Andy Sacher (mandolin), Mark Struhsacker (guitar), Andy Greene (banjo) and Kirk Lord (bass) make up this bluegrass quartet you won’t want to miss on Saturday.
Sacher started playing the mandolin in the 1960s. After moving to Vermont in the 1970s, he played in numerous bands including: Dealers Choice, Bob Yellin and the Joint Chiefs of Grass, Stone Coane and Sacher, Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm, and was a founding member of Breakaway. In addition to writing original songs for the band, Sacher has a reputation for gathering material from other genres and smoothly integrating it into the bluegrass framework. He sings lead and various harmony parts.
Struhsacker nails the demanding role of a bluegrass rhythm and lead guitarist and has mastered the cross-picking solo style made famous by George Shuffler. Raised in New Hampshire, Struhsacker moved to Vermont in the 1970s. He founded the WDEV Radio Rangers. In addition to 26 years of weekly broadcasts, they opened shows for Asleep at the Wheel, Kathy Mattea, and Jim & Jesse. When he was working with Elizabeth Von Trapp, Struhsacker sang the national anthem at Fenway Park. Like Sacher, Struhsacker sings lead and various harmony parts and contributes about half the band’s material.
Greene is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. In his youth, he played banjo in Up the Creek before becoming the guitarist and a founding member of Breakaway. He was part of the original Bluegrass Gospel Project and most recently, the founder and guiding light of The Modern Grass Quintet. Greene’s sparkling banjo picking and tenor and baritone harmonies are key elements of the Northern Flyer sound. He is an astute musician and a major contributor to song arrangements. Greene is also a music teacher.
Lord’s professionalism is evident with every solid bass note. Lord has worked in many of the best known bluegrass bands, including Big Spike, the Bluegrass Gospel Project, The Modern Grass Quintet, and Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm. Perhaps Lord’s rock-solid bass playing springs from his family’s deep ties to Vermont’s granite bedrock.
Catch Northern Flyer on Saturday at Burnham Hall, 52 River Rd., in Lincoln. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 (teens and kids are free). For more info, call (802) 388-6863.
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