What’s in a name? For one group of longtime friends playing PaddleFest this year at The Beach, whatever they’re calling themselves, they’re having fun playing together.
The bluegrass quartet, a group of friends who met at a coffee shop in Nederland, has been jamming together informally for more than 20 years.
They played their first professional gig in Buena Vista for 14erFest last September, set up on a cozy riser in the middle of Main Street with gold-flecked fourteeners as their backdrop.
They gave themselves the ad hoc appellation of the BV Social Club, a reference to the collective of Cuban musicians brought to the U.S. in the 1990s under the Buena Vista Social Club name by slide guitar virtuoso Ry Cooder.
While that group played the traditional music of their island home, the BV Social Club play a selection of the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains – bluegrass – as well as integrating some contemporary takes on the style.
Tom Plant, a BV resident who co-owned the Acoustic Coffee House in Nederland with his wife Dawn in the late ‘90s, said that for PaddleFest, the group is calling themselves “The Milk Run,” although they may appear as the BV Social Club on some PaddleFest schedules.
Regardless of the name, the band plays The Beach Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
The group consists of Plant on banjo, Eric Stone on guitar, Dolores Bernbaum on standup bass and Annie Sirotniak on fiddle.
“We’re all Colorado, but we live in a variety of different places,” Plant said. “We’ve known each other for probably well over 20 years and have played together in a variety of bands.”
His roots in the Arkansas Valley go back to the ‘80s, when he worked at River Runners.
“I’ve been coming down since then,” he said.
The story of this group of friends “all goes back to a coffee house I used to own in Nederland,” Plant said. “We had a lot of music there. Tons of bluegrass bands.”
Plant would later host the bluegrass jam at House Rock Kitchen, he said.
For Plant, bluegrass and the river are a natural marriage.
“A lot of the people I play with spend time on the water,” he said.