Member by member, Lyquid Amber is increasingly becoming more of a supergroup.
It started with Evo Bluestein (banjo) and Hans York (guitar). Next came Kevin Hill (bass) and Eva Scow (mandolin).
Recently the group added members of flamenco Cerro Negro Dusty Brough (guitar) and John Martin III (percussion), then jazz vocalist Karen Marguth.
The results are best heard on the band's new CD, "Ritual," and at Saturday night's eighth annual Lyquid Amber Winter Solstice Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave. It starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20.
We learned more by chatting with Bluestein:
You guys call your music "progressive acoustic." What exactly does that mean to you? Looking at the instrumentation, one might think it is a traditional bluegrass or old-time string band music instrumentation, but all the songs are original compositions based on the members' experience with jazz, classical, folk, rock and world music.
With a group like yours, being so spread out and busy, what's the recording process like? We scheduled a weekend at Fresno's wonderful studio, Maximus Media. Though we could have easily used more recording time for this project, we are very pleased with the way the CD sounds. The musicians are all quite talented and experienced. We also had an incredible producer in our guitarist and co-composer, Hans York.
Is it tough to get your supergroup together? Or do people know to make time for Lyquid Amber? Scheduling is complicated, mostly. So far, in the history of this group, we are pretty busy with our own individual activities so we do not work all together very often. That is why there was a long time between the first and second CDs. Yet, combinations of the ensemble have worked together often, in various other musical projects throughout the years. Commitment to Lyquid Amber continues because of the friendships and the unique quality of the music.
The annual Winter Solstice Concert is in its eighth year. How and why did these concerts get started? My musician friend Hans York came to visit from Germany in winter, and we got very busy creating our own music. It seemed like a good idea to draw people together and transition to the new year with some new and inspiring music. The darkest time needs some light.
If someone has never been, what should they expect? Come with an open mind and be surprised.
For music and more: Go to myspace.com/lyquidamber.
Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, email@example.com.