Bluegrass performers Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will play a special live-recorded concert at the Carroll Arts Center with Common Ground on the Hill.
Bluegrass performers Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will play a special live-recorded concert at the Carroll Arts Center with Common Ground on the Hill. (Courtesy photo)

When you’re a band that mixes classic bluegrass with modern acoustic music, jazz, rock, country and other influences, there are bound to be a few comments.

“Somebody sent me a message to ‘Stop playing that dirty kitchen music you guys play,’” said Frank Solivan, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist at the front of Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen.

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“I was like ‘Mmm, thanks,’ because now we have our own style of music apparently. I take that as a compliment more than anything else,” he said with a laugh.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will play two special concerts in Westminster on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 at 2 p.m. at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main Street. Both will be recorded for possible subsequent release.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or ahead of time by calling or visiting www.carrollartscenter.com. Ticket cost is $25, with $22 discounted tickets available to seniors and students. The batch price for tickets to both shows is $40.

“We like to play it all,” Solivan said. “It’s kind of a weird situation, but I feel like I don’t want to just have to do one thing. I play with incredible musicians in a band that can pull just about anything off.”

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Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, plays banjo, Chris Luquette plays guitar and Jeremy Middleton plays bass in the Dirty Kitchen.

Their latest album “Can’t Stand the Heat” was just released Jan. 25.

The album, “co-produced by Grammy-winning banjoist and Compass co-founder Alison Brown offers a vibrant mix of songs, from the traditional ‘Lena’ featuring the mid-Atlantic bluegrass vocals of Danny Paisley and Dudley Connellto the neo-old timey ‘Crooked Eye John,’ written by Cris Jacobs and featuring the inimitable fiddling of labelmate Michael Cleveland to the compelling lead-off track ‘Crave’ co-written by Frank and Becky Buller and showcasing the guitar prowess of Chris Luquette,” according to a news release.

In previous years playing in Westminster, the group faced the good kind of problem where they were selling out of tickets and having to turn people away from their concerts with Common Ground on the Hill.

So this year, they decided to expand to two concerts and will be making recordings and taking photos and video of what they promise to be a high-energy concert.

Solivan has taught during the annual Traditions Weeks at Common Ground on the Hill several times.

“It’s really a great coming together of people and different types of art forms and ideas,” he said. “They live up to their name, that’s for sure, as far as bringing people together. I kind of feel the same about what I do as far as music.”

The Westminster show should be situated at a perfect spot in their schedule to record a live performance, Solivan said. They played a few shows in the past weeks “knocking the dust off, knocking the rust off,” but haven't gotten so familiar with the material that every minute of the concert feels expected.

“You don’t want it to gel up so hard it doesn’t move,” he said

Feeding off the response from the crowd is vital to what they do as performers and musicians.

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Consummate instrumentalists Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen return to Carroll Arts Center

The award-winning Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will return to the Carroll Arts Center stage Saturday, February 10. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Common Ground on the Hill.

“We want to play our hearts out, but [when] when the audience responds to that, that in turn feeds us and makes us want to keep playing our hearts out even more,” he said.

“I feel like the people every year that go to this show are those kids of people … I’m stoked to be coming back to Westminster, that’s for sure,” he said.

“My job as a human and a musician I feel like is bringing joy to people and putting a smile on their face. In turn, that does the same thing for me,” he said. “If they’e not leaving with that vibe, I’ve probably not done my job I guess.”

Solivan has been nominated for 2018 Instrumental Player of the Year (Mandolin) by International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Among other awards, “Cold Spell,” the band’s acclaimed second release for Compass Records, was nominated for a 2015 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy.

More info on the band is available at http://dirtykitchenband.com/#ibma-section. You can listen to the latest album, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” now.

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