BLUEGRASS, COUNTRY, JAZZ
WHO ARE THESE SPECTACLED INDIVIDUALS?
THE SPECTACLES HARKEN BACK.
Back before jazz was a university program and Bluegrass was a category with a
gatekeeper, when ragtime was dance music and all of this music was played in the
living rooms, on the front porches and in the local community dance halls. Back
when all of this music had only one label – Fun.
The Spectacles are a trio who feature a mix of bluegrass, ragtime, western swing
and older country/jazz. Despite the fact that there are only three musicians,
instruments are traded frequently throughout the show featuring guitar, ragtime
piano, Scruggs-style banjo, Dobro, and even musical saw duets in harmony!
Whether they are playing high energy numbers or slower songs, they always swing
with an unmistakable groove. The show has a genuine quality to it and it's clear
that these veteran musicians are having a LOT of fun playing these songs. This
always ignites the audience and gets them grooving right along with the band.
Grant Simpson is a musical force who can play absolutely anything. Although his
forte is ragtime and stride piano, which he plays masterfully, he also plays musical
saw, mandolin, tenor banjo, and amongst others picks a mean rhythm guitar.
Jaxon Haldane reveres tradition, but he’s no purist. His punk rock roots sprouted
a love for the musical styles that branched off to rock and roll: Bluegrass, Swing,
Blues, Rockabilly, Bebop, it’s all in the recipe. The result is a gumbo – rich and
spicy. Earthy, yet sweet. Rustic, but refined enough that you know a real chef is in
the kitchen... one who cooks with love.
Tim Osmond does his absolute darnedest to surround himself with music at all
times. He takes his inspiration from the very roots of bluegrass and old‐time
Appalachian music all the way to the variations on those themes he hears from his
contemporaries, and brings them to the table each time he plays with the Manitoba
bluegrass quintet The Stanley County Cut Ups, or as a solo performer.