CONCERT REVIEW: Sensational sounds from the “Deseret State’ of Utah

DESERET SONGS: Utah blues/roots group 3hattrio are Greg Istock (bass), Hal Cannon (banjo/guitar) and Eli Wrankle (violin).  Photo by Alex Santiago.
DESERET SONGS: Utah blues/roots group 3hattrio are Greg Istock (bass), Hal Cannon (banjo/guitar) and Eli Wrankle (violin). Photo by Alex Santiago.
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American history states that when followers of the Morman sect first made Utah their home in the mid-19th century, they renamed it “The State of Deseret”, a reference to the honeybee in The Book of Mormon.

Well the only thing “stinging like a bee”, as the late, great boxer Muhammad Ali most famously said, at South Holland Centre last Thursday was Utah’s very own bluegrass/blues/folk/roots sensation, 3hattrio.

Playing a collection of songs from their three albums, Year One, Dark Desert Night and Solitaire, vocalist, guitar and banjo player Hal Cannon, violinist and fiddler Eli Wrankle, and stand-up bass/singer Greg Istock held their audience spell-bound for more than two hours.

Songs like Texas Time Traveller, Blood River, the harmonious Rose and a version of Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up were intertwined with Off the Map, Western City Nights and Crippled-Up Blues (from Dark Desert Night), along with Old Paint, Tongues and So Mean (all from Year One).

Just like Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies, The Railsplitters, Hillfolk Noir and The Stray Birds before them, Hal, Eli and Greg played themselves into Spalding’s Americana live music folklore.

Review by Winston Brown