I saw an UNBELIEBABLY good show this weekend at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. Swedish roots music group Vasen, a trio that play guitar, 5 string viola and nyckelharpa, which is a bowed, keyed instrument, hurdy gurdy, meets autoharp, meets accordian, meets violin, kinda thing. And Olov Johansson plays it like a master, he is as good on this instrument, as say Jerry Douglas is on dobro, unbelievably good! Vasen plays updated vesions of ancient Swedish melodies, a lot of polskas, waltzes, dance music, but in a New Acoustic mind set. Add Darol Anger & Mike Marshall to the mix and it was cosmic. Mike & Darol have such big ears they can hear and improvise in real time. They added an improvised spontaneous quality to the music that really soared & brought the house down. On a side note the Swedes were all at least 6' 4" tall.....and Mike & Darol.....well maybe 5' 10" ...........so it was perfect for Darol to ham it up, he kept jumping during the set.......pretty funny. On a serious note they are going into the studio today to record together.......I'll be looking forward to that CD! And I'm going to have to find some Vasen CD's to add to my collection. If they come your way, Vasen is an incredibly tight Trio, playing tunes like you haven't heard before, but tunes that seem strangely familiar & it is really toe tappin' stuff. GREAT FUN!!!