November 16, 2008
Josh Pinkham Has All-Night Jam With Own Self
“Best jam ever,” says Pinkham
For approximately six unbroken hours starting at 10pm CST on Nov. 8, 2008, Pinkham had an electrifying, thrilling and altogether mind-blowing jam session with himself, playing both mandolin and fiddle simultaneously.
“It was a little like that scene in Fight Club where Edward Norton beats the s—t out of himself,” said Michael Barnett, who witnessed the jam.
Pinkham, whose youthful countenance and shaggy brown hair make him instantly recognizable, earns his living as a professional mandolinist. He also performs extensively on violin under the pseudonym Alex Hargreaves, and his violin playing is by all accounts prodigious.
Although Pinkham and Hargreaves are ostensibly different people, their stage attire is identical, and neither personality wears any disguise.
“That whole double-identity, alter-ego thing works out great most of the time, but it gets a little awkward at the occasional festival that books both Josh Pinkham and Alex Hargreaves separately. People get really confused because they are obviously the same person,” said Sarah Jarosz.
At the Rice Festival in Fischer, TX, Josh Pinkham was present performing with the Deadly Gentlemen, and “Alex Hargreaves” was also on hand to play fiddle with the Sarah Jarosz Trio.
“After Sarah’s set, there were a lot of weird moments when people would walk up to Josh to compliment him on his fiddle playing, and Josh would insist that the fiddle player they just saw was not him,” said Sam Grisman, bassist for both the Deadly Gentlemen and the Sarah Jarosz Trio.
“I mean, I’ll play in both bands, but I’m not going to pretend to be two different people,” said Grisman. “That’s just stupid, and it sort of offends people.”
Later that night at Jarosz’s house, Pinkham initiated a highly interactive jam session with himself, effortlessly segueing between bluegrass, jazz, rock, classical and free improvisation with a passion and intensity rarely seen in impromptu music sessions.
Pinkham reluctantly stopped jamming just after 4am, punctually leaving to catch a flight from Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
Before departing Jarosz’s house, Pinkham complimented himself for the exceptionally well-played music.
“Sickest jam ever,” said Pinkham.