published Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers break tradition


What: Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers.

When: 7:45 tonight.

Where: Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Stage

Admission: Riverbend pin or wristband.

Peter Rowan grew up in Boston, but he plays Southern music.

“He played with Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music,” said Jeff Mosier, with whom Rowan will perform tonight at the Riverbend Festival. “He’s been in more of the South than a lot of Southerners. Artistically, he thinks like a Southerner.”

Mosier and his brother, Johnny, along with bandmate Kris Dale, will be playing Riverbend alongside Rowan tonight.

They all get along well, Mosier said, because of their mutual willingness to experiment and to be open to different ideas.

“Even though we’re grassically trained,” he said, “we’ve taken it from tradition into jam rock or jam grass. (Rowan) had to come into bluegrass from his world, and we came out from our world. We diverted from what was normal to us.”

There’s an important balance to strike between forging new ground and remaining respectful of tradition, he said.

“We’re very respectful of traditional bluegrass music, but we’ve also diverted from it,” Mosier said. “I’m an iconoclast in the sense that I think new traditions come out of breaking old traditions.”

In a phone interview, Mosier spoke passionately about the importance of open-mindedness, in life and in music.

Being willing to look beyond his own roots, he said, has helped to open his mind to other musical genres and stylings.

He’s a banjo player but loves Elton John piano. Rowan shares that attitude, he said, looking beyond his own kind.

“It gives your ears more ingredients to cook the next thing. If you’re only listening to the things you grew up listening to and you’re only measuring yourself by how much you’re pleasing your parents and your grandparents, you’re not going to go very far.”

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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