Ah yes … the standing ovation. Utahns know it’s a local tradition to stand up and stretch after the final number. Might as well clap and give the band their due. So when in Utah, how do you separate a genuine standing ovation from the rest? It’s a screaming ovation.
After CrosStrung (previously known as Silver Rails) played their first “official” Salt Lake City gig, screams and shouts erupted from the standing-room-only Intermountain Acoustic Music Association’s local artist series concert on Friday in Salt Lake City. An hour of this lively family Celtic blue grass band just wasn’t enough.
Veterans of the Utah County music scene, CrosStrung’s performance included traditional blue grass tunes such as “Ghost Riders,” “Rocky Top,” and “Cuckoos Nest.” The group’s rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” brought the house down with Utah valley girl quips like “whatever” in between the fiercely fast fiddling.
The lively group featured each member in a solo performance of sorts as they plowed through their set. Crowd clapping and sing alongs accompanied the well executed instrumentation and vocals, including an a cappella number. At times, the concert became a gymnastics act: two bows one fiddle, and even more absurd combinations of who’s playing whose fiddle. Nearly every song had the crowd clapping and singing along.
In spite of their relative youth, the older members of the band have played for audiences well outside of Utah and in fact, outside the US. And they have competed individually and as a band. This was evident in the stage presence and ease of even the youngest members of the group.
Somebody, perhaps Sheri, taught those young vocalists to enunciate their words, when she wasn’t busy teaching fiddling and picking, that is. Speaking of Sheri, she unexpectedly fell on stage, and fortunately didn’t break anything. The comment from the front was that her son Daniel put something in her path. But she made a graceful recovery and went on to play the remainder of the evening without incident.
So maybe Friday was CrosStrung’s first large gig in Salt Lake City. Based on the screams at the end of their show … it won’t be their last.
Sheri Cluff – guitar
Dan Riggs – fiddle
Sarah (Cluff) Riggs – mandolin
Leah Cluff – fiddle
Emma Cluff – bass
Daniel Cluff – banjo and percussion