Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Vasen | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader
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Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Vasen 

When: Tue., March 31, 7:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $16, $12 seniors, $8 students
When mandolinist Mike Marshall and violinist Darol Anger, who’ve been musical partners since the 70s, and the trio Vasen, one of Sweden’s best instrumental folk groups, met and played together for the first time at the 2004 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival in Bloomington, Indiana, it was a sort of consummation of the respect they’d had for one another from afar—they’ve been collaborating ever since. Marshall and Anger have long used the term “new acoustic music” to refer to their genre-agnostic progressive-folk approach, and on their unimaginatively titled debut with Vasen, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger With Vasen (Adventure Music, 2007), their bluegrass breakdowns get along famously with the trio’s driving Scandinavian polskas—both parties embrace acoustic purity and explore tasteful innovations supported by a bedrock-deep foundation in the traditions of their homelands. I prefer the sound of Vasen alone, dominated by the resonant nykelharpa of Olov Johansson, but the vigorous energy and eager curiosity of this hybrid group are easy to appreciate. —Peter Margasak

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