By December 3, 2015 Read More →

Unplugged View – The NFL (Nifty Fiddling Lady) Sunday Ticket


Unplugged View
By Aaron Rowan

The NFL (Nifty Fiddling Lady) Sunday Ticket

This is the way the 2015 Modesto Unplugged concert series ends. Not with a clang, but with a timbre.

On Sunday afternoon December 6, bluegrass fiddle superstar Megan Lynch Chowning is going to whip up a whirlwind of music for us, not unlike the twister that recently visited our county. Megan has been touring with country music stars Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan for a few years now, along with her songwriter friend Mary Sue Englund, who is joining her for this short California run. Their Modesto appearance will take place in the cellar at Greens On Tenth, 953 10th St., which has recently completed its remodel and expansion to become a multi-purpose event venue. We’ve enjoyed holding a string of beautiful concerts in their cellar for the past eight months, and Mary & Megan are the perfect finale for our run of presentations there. Doors will open at 2 PM and the concert kicks off at 3. General admission is $20.

Megan scored her seventh National Fiddle Championship earlier this year, and has won the California Fiddle Championship six times. She and her fiddle students have also earned state championships in more states than I have even traveled to; and she has garnered an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Award, among numerous other honors. She’s the Lance Armstrong of the fiddle, in other words. Perhaps I should not make that comparison – she might be accused of doping with the blood of Antonio Stradivari himself (his body is frozen right next to Walt Disney’s, you know, so it’s not impossible.) Megan is the founder of FiddleStar Camps in Nashville, and has taught the instrument at camps across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Mary Sue Englund has appeared numerous times at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and at venues around the world, backing up Pam Tillis on guitar, violin, piano and harmony vocals for the better part of a decade. Mary wrote and recorded her first solo album at 17, and has won the USA Songwriting Competition.

This golden afternoon of bluegrass & country sounds will be far more entertaining than the football game, I promise you. So remember: NFL stands for ‘nifty fiddling lady’ on this special Sunday. We hope you will not miss this.

We won’t be wasting any time transitioning from our 2015 concert series to our 2016 series. On New Year’s Day we will host a wonderful evening of singer-songwriters at the Barkin’ Dog Grill. Rob Larkin is heading back up from L.A. to play for us. Rob was the first artist I ever featured at my (now finished) home concert series, and I’m looking forward to hearing him again after 3 1/2 years. His music is a blending of Americana, blues and roots rock. Annie Corbett will also be with us from Portland. Her solo work is influenced by folk, jazz, soul, hip-hop and more. Very beautiful stuff. Showcase will start at 7 PM. $5 cover.

Modesto Unplugged has quite a lineup of diverse musical offerings slated for next year in our new venue home. Our monthly series ‘Live At The GMC’ will premiere in mid-January at the Gottschalk Music Center on the corner of Burney & E St., just off downtown. Many different genres, and sounds from around the world, will be featured. Be sure to check our website, modestounplugged.com, for information on the series.

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