Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bruce Molsky, Magpie’s Nest

Some people are so accomplished, they defy you to shrink them into language. Instead of piling inadequate superlatives upon them, you are left only able to give them a single, particular word; par example Bruce Molsky. The Bronx-born master of fiddle, guitar and banjo is nothing less than an all-encapsulating definition of the word ‘talent’. Molsky plays the fiddle as though charming an upturned, rapidly emptying bottle of wine. However it is that he plays something, it is how it is meant to be played. He plays accurate, smooth and as lively as a firecracker. Every now and then he jerks some new and unexpected sounds from his instrument, as though waking up spirits that are dozing inside. But the music, American old-time, is not so much mystical, instead practical and rational. It is not spirits, but pure joy that he jerks from his violin, a gift to all who hear it.