To paraphrase a quote ascribed to Austrian composer Gustav Mahler: Tradition is not preserving the ashes, but tending the flame.

Grammy-nominated guitarist and singer Michael Daves recently recorded twelve traditional bluegrass tracks for his album Orchids and Violence (Nonesuch Records), then set down an additional twelve tracks that took those same songs and added the trappings of rock and electric instrumentation.

On Friday night at the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave), Daves will be joined by a dazzling roster of the musicians who contributed to the album, as well as a special surprise guest or two.

Daves, described by the New York Times as “a leading light of the New York bluegrass scene,” draws on the interpretation, collaboration and energy found in traditional bluegrass music to “tend the flame” of legends like Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley.

Daves (r.) with Chris Thile

Friday’s show will open at 8 pm with a bluegrass set featuring Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) on banjo, Brittany Haas (Crooked Still, Dave Rawlings Machine) on fiddle, Jake Jolliff (Yonder Mountain String Band) on mandolin, Jen Larson on harmony vocals, and Larry Cook on bass.


In keeping with the album’s progression, the second set will kick up the volume with Kid Millions (Oneida, The Boredoms) on drums and Jessi Carter (Buzz Buzz Tabernacle) on electric bass.

Here is a preview of the new album.

The show will be the second night of a three-night NYC run celebrating Brooklyn-based Daves’ fourth overall and second solo recording.

This is an all-ages show and tickets are $20. Advanced tickets can be purchased here.

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