John Reischman and The Jaybirds
Meet the Jaybirds - Greg Spatz
Meet the Jaybirds - Greg Spatz
Meet the Jaybirds - Greg Spatz
Jim Nunally Greg Spatz John Reischman Nick Hornbuckle Trisha Gagnon
It's hard to tell who will show up to the party: Jaybird Greg Spatz or his dour, northerly doppelganger, Gregory. If you happen to be wandering the grounds of Eastern Washington University, you'll likely meet the latter, who has an impressive writerly resume. Gregory's fiction (most recently the critically acclaimed novel, Fiddler's Dream) has even graced the high-art pages of “The New Yorker.” Imagine him pushing around campus, absent-minded, shuffle-footed, in a maroon cardigan.

Then there's Greg, a party to far-out beyond bluegrass experimentations with his college roommate Mark Vann of Leftover Salmon, or his post-college roommate, a certain resophonic guitar celeb named Rob Ickes; Greg, a first-call session man with a style so rapturously soaring, so wildly bluesy only a sweater of Mr. Rogers proportions could temper its fire. Most recently he is proprietor and bouzouki geek of the worldly old-time of Mighty Squirrel.

While the academic version is far from this man or his music, there must be a little bit of Gregory in Greg, even when he's a fiddling Jaybird. Perhaps the writer's focus gives the fiddler the uncanny ability to, in the space of a single set, play melodic partner to Trisha Gagnon's pure, timeless voice, slice a clean edge through a blues-infused Jim Nunally composition, and double up or harmonize with John Reischman's note-perfect mandolin, all at the drop of the hat.