Sweet River

Saturday night, I had the pleasure of seeing Bing Futch perform at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts in…  (wait for it).. Sand Lake, NY.

I heard of Bing while digging around dulcimer websites, and my first thought was , woah this dude does not look like a mountain dulcimer player, but I’ve since figured out this guy breaks all the rules.  He plays whatever he wants on an instrument that is generally considered limited in it’s flexibility. He has an eclectic sensibility and a freedom from restriction that comes through in his music.

One of the things that Bing does is take advantage of technology.  He uses a loop pedal which allows him to lay down a few tracks and basically play with himself..

wait.. that sounds wrong…

It allows him to play multiple parts for one song by laying down a track on top of a track and then he is free to play harmony or melody or even another instrument. In this case, the Native American Flute.

The entire performance was amazing.  Bing is engaging, entertaining and generally seems like a guy who just loves what he does.

But when he played this song..  it was all I could do not to start bawling… something in this, this combination of chords and notes and melodies and harmonies just got me.. right there.  In fact, I’m a little teary just writing this. I went to bed on Saturday with it in my head and when I woke up on Sunday it was still there…

This will seems like a slow start but once those tracks start looping, Bing really shines.

Sweet River isn’t currently on any of Bing’s Albums but he says he get’s so many requests for it, it will probably be on the next one.

In the meantime, I’ll have to be happy with the Dulcimerica version.

One thing I did pick up from the show was a copy of Manitou: In the Garden of the Gods which is a collaboration of seven artists, including Bing, who basically got together and improvised music at Pike’s Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado. It’s a gripping and emotional album that I immediately ripped into my mp3 player.

I truly hope I get to see Bing perform again… it was something I’m not likely to forget any time soon.