Mark O’Connor with the David Grisman Quintet: Dawg’s Rag

I can recall the first time I heard the David Grisman Quintet..

It was at a bluegrass party and a friend of mine just bought the new album.

We put it on and  …. well


Talk about a life changing moment in music!

Of course… had to have the album.

It was played over and over again. The sound and tone of the acoustic instruments was just so beautiful, and the compositions just so exciting you know, combining jazz and bluegrass… what a concept.

So you get used to the way these songs go, and as a guitarist you become familiar with the performances (note for note).

And then…. it happened..

The band configuration that you grew to love, and the replacing of Tony Rice who had such a major influence in the band is gone…

Hey, David Grisman knew that Tony was too good not to have his own thing. And what great things Tony ended up accomplishing..

But back to DGQ…..Not to worry though, cause the addition of Mark O’Connor was just such the perfect replacement for Tony, who actually had more chops and jazzier lines that fit so well into the Grisman sound.

This video is perhaps the best performance I’ve seen of the DGQ, and perhaps it’s because of O’Connor… a lot of fire in that guitar!

Great YouTube write up:::::

David Grisman Quintet featuring Mark O’Connor (guitar) Darol Anger (violin) Mike Marshall (mandolin) and Rob Wasserman (bass) play Grisman’s original “Dawg’s Rag” on the Austin City Limits television show, 1980.

For a period of 18 months from 1979 – 1980, this line up of DGQ toured the U.S. and released an album on Warner Bros. Records called Quintet 80. During the shows O’Connor (the youngest musician here on this video at just 18 years-old) always played at least one piece on violin, but his role was guitarist and original member Darol Anger the violinist.

Notice at 6:37, as O’Connor begins his guitar solo, his string snaps and one can hear this audibly. The high E string of the guitar came lose from the end pin and dropped all the way down to where it was flopping. You can see O’Connor attempting to figure out what to do as he continued his solo on national television. Beginning on the lower strings, he mutes some with his right hand, then gestured towards David Grisman as if he was going to give his solo back to him. Grisman does not respond and continues to play rhythm not really knowing what happened. Then O’Connor turns away from the mic and within a period of three seconds (from 7:01 to 7:04) the high E string is perfectly back in tune for the remainder of the solo. This very moment back in 1980 helped solidify O’Connor’s reputation as a young star whose ability as a great young musician was growing. These few seconds were the talk of the show to many guitar players watching at the time. Many experts just could not believe that O’Connor could tune the string during his solo from its “floppy” state to the precise pitch in an instant, without the ability to even hear it while the band was playing loudly. “ more


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