Led by renowned banjo player Fleck, the group has continued defying classification since the early days, and the present is certainly no different. Seriously: Give Rocket Science a listen and see if you can pin the music down. Is it bluegrass? Blues? Fusion? Your best bet is either to make up a word of your own or just to sit back and listen to the interplay of the musicians, which also features a bass-and-drum rhythm section of brothers Victor Wooten and Roy “Future Man” Wooten.
Fleck, who has been nominated for 27 Grammy Awards in almost as many categories, has brought home the top honor 11 times. He plays both an acoustic and electric banjo, but it might as well be made of lasers and wishes, because Fleck makes it sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Live, the Flecktones are prone to loose improvisation, so that song that you love from that album that you wore out in college might not sound exactly like you expect. But more likely than not, it’s going to sound amazing.
Béla Fleck and the (original) Flecktones perform at the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount on Saturday, September 3. Reserved seating ranges from $36 to $66, with general admission lawn seats just $25. For more information, visit www.belleayremusic.org/music-festival-concert.php?id=125.