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Dark Star Jubilee: Day two gets intense

Steep Canyon Rangers' Nicky Sanders and Dark Star Orchestra's Rob Koritz
Steep Canyon Rangers' Nicky Sanders and Dark Star Orchestra's Rob Koritz
John Patrick Gatta


Rather than kick back and take it easy during the weekend, the members of Dark Star Orchestra made appearances during a number of other sets as well as playing a full show each day.

DSO guitarist Jeff Mattson and keyboardist Rob Barraco played a number of original songs during their set which also included fellow bandmembers -- drummers Dino English and Rob Koritz.

The Ragbirds set displayed the band’s inviting world-based rootsy sounds. The group’s inventiveness was matched by its items at the merch booth which included a coloring book.

Steel Canyon Rangers fiddler Nicky Sanders made a guest appearance during Toubab Krewe’s hypnotic set of African meets West sounds.

Conducted by Matt Butler, Everyone Orchestra may have been an ad hoc band playing improvised music but damn did it sound incredibly good! The members included Mattson, Barraco, Mackey and Koritz from DSO, Ben Kaufmann of Yonder Mountain String Band, Drew Heller of Toubab Krewe and Erin Zindle and Randall Moore of the Ragbirds.

Mattson and Koritz joined New Riders of the Purple Sage during that legendary band’s set of psychedelic bluegrass which included “I Don’t Know You,” the opening track on the group’s self-titled debut.

Tonight, Dark Star Orchestra played the Grateful Dead’s setlist from Nov. 6, 1997 at Broome County Arena in Binghamton, New York. Besides revealing the show they did, it turned out that several of the members – Mattson, Rob Eaton and Barraco – had attended that particular show. It included a massively good end to the second set with “St. Stephen”>”Drums”>”Not Fade Away”>”Wharf Rat”>”St. Stephen”>”Truckin'.”

Yonder Mountain String Band finished the day with a little help from their friends. With the departure of mandolinist Jeff Austin, the remaining threesome added legendary dobro player Jerry Douglas as well as John Frazier on mandolin. They were also joined by DSO’s Koritz and Nicky Sanders on fiddle.

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