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The Dawg Prevails: David Grisman Brings His 'Grass to Bend

Bend has, for the past decade and maybe even longer, had a collective fascination with bluegrass, leading to the emergence of several local twangy acts and a steady string of acoustic bands stopping off in town.

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Bend has, for the past decade and maybe even longer, had a collective fascination with bluegrass, leading to the emergence of several local twangy acts and a steady string of acoustic bands stopping off in town. But here's the thing - if it weren't for a guy named David Grisman, there's a good chance that the modern bluegrass movement (sometimes annoyingly referred to as "newgrass") would have never taken hold with the younger generations of music fans.

Commonly known by his nickname, Dawg, Grisman has long been one of the premier mandolin players in the acoustic music universe, playing hot licks to accompany the biggest names in that field, including Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs and plenty of others.

And one can't discuss Grisman - who will be appearing at the Tower Theatre on Sunday night along with his quintet - without mentioning Jerry Garcia, the Dawg's good friend and frequent collaborator. Grisman famously played on the Grateful Dead's American Beauty, forever linking him to the legendary band and bringing Deadheads into the fold of acoustic music.

Grisman's take on bluegrass is so unique that it earned its own classification, "Dawg Music," which is a style that's hardly foreign to street corner jams and bluegrass festivals in these parts. If you're a bluegrass fan, you should be at this show, but you should also be thanking Grisman for bringing the style to a new wave of fans.

David Grisman Quintet

7pm Sunday, October 10. Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St. All Ages. $40/50. Tickets available at towertheatre.org or the Tower Box office.

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