When you think of Nashville, a lot of names come to mind. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones, to name a few.
When you think of Music City, a lot of places come to mind, but chances are, those places are located either in the Southeast or perhaps Texas.
Suffice to say, you probably don't think of Mark O'Connor or the city of Seattle.
But you should. He's the latest booking for the 2017 Lowell Summer Music Series lineup.
The O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor will perform at Boarding House Park on Friday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, April 20, and are $34 in advance, $109 for premium seating.
O'Connor is a bluegrass, jazz and country violinist, fiddler, composer and music teacher. He won national string-instrument championships as a teen for his guitar, mandolin and fiddle playing. He won the national flat-pick guitar championship at the age of 13 in 1975. Four years later, he won the international mandolin championship, and he is a four-time grand champion at the national old-time fiddler's competition.
O'Connor has collaborated with Rosanne Cash, Yo-Yo Ma, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Wynton Marsalis and Dolly Parton, among many others.
The O'Connor Band's first performance took place in 2015, and less than 18 months later, they won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album for their debut, "Coming Home." They've played at the Grand Ole Opry and their shows blend country, pop, Americana, bluegrass and chamber music into a unique show.
The band features O'Connor's son Forrest, daughter-in-law Kate and wife Maggie. The quartet is joined by Joe Smart, a national flat-pick champion on guitar, and bassist/banjoist Geoff Saunders.
It's a unique show, but it's one that should do well in Lowell, where music aficionados usually turn out for one-of-a-kind LSMS shows, and this fits the bill.