One need not be a fan of Bluegrass to enjoy the music of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. They make music for anyone who squirms giddily at the symphony or geeks out over complicated arrangements and often ignored time signatures.
After more than two decades in the business, the Flecktones could have fallen into the rut of writing only slightly different versions of their songs. Instead, they continued to push further. “Unique” is for amateurs. “Innovative” is for the simple-minded. The Flecktones continue to perfect, expand and recreate their sound.
The Flecktones are equally extraordinary on their own. Fleck has worked with other musicians to release a multitude of side projects, including the CD/DVD exploration of the banjo’s roots, Throw Down Your Heart. Roy “Futureman” Wooten has continued to tweak the functions of his own unique instrument, the drumitar. Vic Wooten’s bass skills have lead him across the globe and earned him a Grammy nomination for his album Yin-Yang in 1999. Meanwhile, diatonic harmonica extraordinaire Howard Levy is featured on albums from the likes of Paul Simon, Dolly Parton and Styx.
The Flecktones are now touring in support of their newest album, Life in Eleven , the first album to be recorded by the original lineup since the ’90s.
BELA FLECK & THE FLECKTONES perform Friday, April 20 at Millett Hall in Oxford. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.