Just before Christmas 2015, Acoustic Routes, which hosts monthly concerts upstairs at Mangiamo Italian Grill, invited multi-instrumentalist and veteran sideman Jason Dennie to put together an all-star band of local pickers for a show to cap the year. He delivered a night full of blazing bluegrass runs and amazing harmonies that was such a hit, series founder Jim Cain has invited him to make it an annual event. This year, on Dec. 17 at 8 pm, Dennie will return to Mangiamo Italian Grill with his power trio Thunderwüde.
Thunderwüde, featuring Wesley Fritzemeier and Tommy Reifel began as traditional bluegrass quartet with guitar, mandolin, fiddle and upright bass. They have evolved into a tight-knit group that can bounce between intricate original compositions, bluegrass standards and current billboard hits with the flick of a fiddle bow. Tonight, the hard edges of these master pickers will be softened by the beautiful voice of the very talented Rochelle Clark.
"The laid back way these musicians gel as a group is fascinating to watch," Patrick Dunn wrote in The Ann Arbor Observer. "In one night the group thoroughly and unassumingly proves it’s adaptability, and the crowd demands an encore.”
In addition to hosting Grammy-winning artists and top talent from across Michigan and the Midwest, Acoustic Routes has a tradition of opening shows with short sets from up-and-coming talent. This evening's special guests, from Saline High School, will be guitarist Matt Rock and singer Jeannette Houston. Rock has great guitar chops that he has put to work supporting the Saline Fiddlers Hometown Concert and Keystone Community Church. He and Houston are working on their set list for what promises to be a special night.
The cover charge is $15 at the door (100% to the artists). The full Mangiamo dinner menu and bar service is available upstairs. Reservations are requested: 734-429-0060.
To see videos featuring Thunderwüde:
To see videos featuring Matt Rock: