Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival 2018
I was going through my videos of footage captured at various bluegrass outings down through the years. I don’t have many (videos), and even fewer that are presentable. But I found a trio of clips from Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen’s set as they closed out day two of the 2018 Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, only one of which would have been sufficient to necessitate a posting here.

L-r: Chris Luquette, guitar; Frank Solivan, mandolin; Jeremy Middleton, bass; Mike Munford, banjo. Collectively Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival 2018, Roanoke Island Festival Park, Outer Banks, North Carolina. October 5, 2018.

At the risk of offending, Dirty Kitchen, with a slogan ‘All Grass, All The Time!’, is a Marmite band, an informal British-based term meaning in this case that you either like their line-muddying, boundary-pushing, refuses-to-be-pigeonholed brand of bluegrass or you don’t (Marmite itself is a UK brand name for a malodorous salty-tasting yeast-based spread that’s both popular and polarizing – it’s either liked or disliked and there’s very little middle ground). However you class their take on the genre, the quartet, collectively the IBMA’s Instrumental Group of the Year in 2016 (they sing as well, by the way), let their instruments speak for themselves, and speak they do. I guess that’s why I hit record on my camera. Three times, for three choice morsels, you could say.

LINE DRIVE | Hail Mike Munford. I’d seen ‘Line Drive’, taken from their 2010 self-titled debut release, on the YouTubes (there’s a Music City Roots clip out there from August 2012 as captured in Nashville’s The Loveless Barn), saw it well before this 2018 Bluegrass Island jaunt. But with Dirty Kitchen live is where it’s at.

CHRIS LUQUETTE | The boy can play as he proves on this epic six-plus-minute guitar solo.

The boss approves. Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Bluegrass Island 2018, Roanoke Island Festival Park, Outer Banks, North Carolina. October 5, 2018.

CRACK OF NOON | Last one. ‘Crack of Noon’ taken off Dirty Kitchen’s latest 2019 release If You Can’t Stand The Heat.

Banjo Man. Mike Munford with Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. Bluegrass Island 2018, Roanoke Island Festival Park, Outer Banks, North Carolina. October 5, 2018.

I spoke to Frank backstage, friendly first forays as I queried the viability of getting them to Ireland for a set or two sometime in the future (no stranger to Europe, Dirty Kitchen had only recently returned from a European tour).

“We’re expensive, but worth it,” I was told.

“I bet.”

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