View Full Version : Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen experience

May-05-2011, 9:57am
Last night we got the full dose of Frank& DK. I was lucky enough to be on the contact list that announced that Roger and Rosemary Siminoff were graciously opening their house to have a house concert with FS&DK.

Not only did the $20 a head get you in to a wonderful intimate setting with great acoustics, Frank made dinner for everybody! What a deal. He even brought dessert around personally, and did the dishes, what a guy :disbelief:

My thought was I had no idea how this thing going to go, but I wanted to see first hand what all the talk was about, as I'd heard so much about them. Frank is one of the first prodigy's I got to see grow up before my eyes. He was just a youngin' when I started playing mandolin and going to the local bluegrass association jams in Modesto CA in the middle/late 80's. About the time he was a teenager was when I moved further south and lost contact. I'd hear periodic updates of him going to Alaska to school, other little snipits, then the Navy band, Country Current. But I never got to see any of these steps in his evolution.

Armed only with a couple of u2oob vid's I'd seen, we showed up at the Siminoff's. After the great dinner that Frank made of what he called "one pot wonder" of ginger chicken over white rice, we retired to the living room and the boys got down to biz.

I can't give you a blow by blow of the setlist like some can, I can only comment on how inspiring the whole show was. I was transported like I've not been in a while. There were very few covers, almost all of what they did was originals. But even though I'd never heard them before, each well crafted song or tune was immediately accessible. The arrangements were impeccable, and as varied as the material. Some standouts for me were his song Selfish Tears, and another one about a homeless veteran, from his POV. Hot pickin' fer sure, but, in the pocket so to speak. The guys were obviously enjoying themselves and the crowd of 50 were right there in the palms of their hands through the whole loooong set.

A couple of times Frank broke out the fiddle, and that brought back memories. As that's where he really shined when I was around him in Modesto.

Great songs, arranged, and delivered with expertise and passion, what else could you ask for? I'm a believer now as I got the full experience of what these guys can do.

If you like your Bluegrass a little eclectic, with ventures down the tributaries that feed the soul of Bluegrass, do check out Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. I think they just might feed that spot you didn't know was hungry.

May-05-2011, 10:17am
Wow! Talk about a Dinner Show! Sounds luscious, all the way around.

Rob Fowler
May-05-2011, 10:22am
Man, that sounds like a great time, Tony! Dinner and an intimate bluegrass concert...WOW! I had no idea Frank was from Modesto. Neat.

PJ Doland
May-05-2011, 10:27am
The recording of "July, You're a Woman" off his new album is really something.

mandolino maximus
May-07-2011, 8:39am
It would be mandotunistic to see them without personally served dinner.

I would like to now throw out the challenge to Thile to come to my house and serve a 5-course dinner followed by an evening of Punch.

Alex Orr
May-07-2011, 9:15am
I'm a fan. One of the perks of being in the DC region is that I've been seeing them for a few years, often for free and at very small venues. They headlined the small "Bluegrass on the Farm" concert last year and put on a really good show. It should also be pointed out that Mike Mumford (their banjo player) has been a long-time fixture in the DC area and is just a materful musician. He's got a very unique style and can just tear up a banjer. He also set my mandolin up for me a few years back when he did set-ups and repairs on the side at Appalachain Bluegrass.

May-09-2011, 10:25am
You are indeed lucky Alex. FS&DK don't get out here much from what I can see by their itinerary. And like I said, I'd heard a lot about them here on the Cafe and a little on u2oob. They really are one of those bands you should see live. I got their last cd at the concert, and it's great. But they really do get it live.

That has always struck me as weird that DC should have such an outstanding Bluegrass tradition. It's also weird that the next day after their house concert was the start of the good local fester, Parkfield, and DK should have been on the roster. Maybe next year. But at the rate they are going, they will be at Grass Valley instead I would think. I'm glad I was able to see them in a more intimate setting and even got to talk a little to the guys afterward. Very special evening.

May-09-2011, 1:34pm
That has always struck me as weird that DC should have such an outstanding Bluegrass tradition.

Not really - Baltimore and Dayton both do too, for the same reason: folks from the southern mountains came looking for work in northern cities, brought their music with them, and it took root. (That's also why east coast port cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and - again - Baltimore and Washington have such great Irish music scenes.)

Getting back to the OT: I saw FS&DK a couple of months ago at DC's incredible Institute of Musical Traditions Monday night concert series while I was passing through town, and they are indeed something quite special - tightest, most creative bluegrass band I've heard in a long time. Great to hear my old pal Mike Munford again too. (And by the way, people spell it M-U-M-ford all the time, and I'm sure he's used to it, but it's actually M-U-N-ford.)

May-11-2011, 11:44pm
Thanks SO much for the lovely feedback! We had a blast pickin' :mandosmiley: and grinin' :grin: AND eating!

Hope we get to hang again sometime.
Best regards,

May-11-2011, 11:52pm
Garded !!!

Vincent Capostagno
Dec-18-2011, 7:19pm
We hosted Frank and his crew for my 70th birthday last night and it was a wonderful experience. Frank is as dynamic in the kitchen as he is on stage. The food was great and the music even better. The entire crew was warm and friendly and Frank was in his zone from entrance to exit. If you have the opportunity and inclination, treat yourself to his "Dirty Kitchen Experience".79908

Bill S
Mar-01-2012, 3:11pm
I live in Scotland, and I decided to try a subscription to Mandolin Magazine. My first copy arrived this week, with Frank being the cover star. I'm so glad I decided to get the mag, because discovering Frank's music is worth the price by itself. As a fairly new mandolin player, and based where I am, I have really only played Celtic music until now - there's a whole world of great stuff out eh?


Mar-02-2012, 10:56am
Hey, for those who have not heard yet, our good buddy Chris Luquette has joined Dirty Kitchen on the guitar. Chris also plays mandolin and can be found here on the cafe by the handle "Tangograss".

These guys absolutley ripped it up at Wintergrass last weekend. Frank gave a nice mandolin workshop and handed me a copy of the Mandolin Magazine as well.


Mar-02-2012, 11:15am
I attended Frank's workshop at Wintergrass and had a good laugh after their concert appearance. During the workshop he said something to the effect that all this fast playing, etc. is much more tasteful when performed clearly and slower. One doesn't have to rip it up the fretboard at 220 bmm in order to sound good. His performance onstage absolutely was on fire. Ripped it up! I like this guy, he' seems down to earth, can play like McCoury and hopefully will reap much success in his endeavors. Thanks Frank!