Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen Cook Up a Smoking Hot Sunday Roast

FSDK delivers jammy set as they celebrate 10 years as a band with a two-day live recording run in Westminster, Md.

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen on stage at the Carroll County Arts Center

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen had just finished Lena (Leah By Permission), a song off of the new album, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat,” when bass player Jeremy Middletown launched into the very familiar bass riff of “Whipping Post.”

The crowd, there for Solivan’s bluegrass stylings, thought it was a joke. Why not? The stage banter at  Dirty Kitchen cookoff serves up a heaping side of comedic moments. All four members of the band have their own sense of humor and they played off one another all afternoon, verbally between songs and musically during them.

A few even chuckled until Chris Luquette started to join in on guitar. Then a collective “What-the-hell? moment started to come over the 200+ folks who filled up the Carroll County Arts Center for the second day in a row to help FSDK celebrate the release of the new alum with a special live recording event. You’ll feel it yourself when they release the video. It was that palpable.

Chris Luquette on guitar

Just as quickly the mood shifted again, when Solivan jumped in with the mandolin and the band ripped into a jammy AF cover of the the Allman Brothers’ classic and the crowd went nuts.

It was not the only time the crowd reacted enthusiastically during the 18-song — 20 if you count the encores — set that drew heavily from the new release and featured three songs in the middle when the band left the stage and Solivan was joined on stage by mandolin co-conspirator Don Stiernberg, a jazz mandolinist and longtime Solivan friend from Chicago.

“He’s classing up the joint,” said Solivan after Stiernberg tore it up on Django Reinhardt’s “Swing 42.”

As usual, Solivan’s set included at least one song featuring each band member. Middleton’s version of Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” which he said he learned from his father’s album collection, was another highlight moment. So were Chris Luquette’s guitar breaks during a cover of the Flatt & Scrugg’s classic “Why Don’t You Tell Me So.” “Babyface, as the band calls Luquette since a reviewer described him that way after a show in the midwest, also sang lead.

Jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg, left, joins Frank Solivan for a mandolin duet

Mike Munford was Mike Munford all night, especially on “Crack of Noon” (yes, from the new album) and “Linedrive,” a pair of Munford-penned instrumentals that give him plenty of long straight aways to really stretch it out on the banjo.

Munford also had fun leading the crowd in a few choruses of mock “boos” as a joking response to the emcee’s style of warming up the crowd. “Now I feel at home,” Munford joked after getting the masses sufficiently riled up. It reminded him, he told the crowd, of playing in a bluegrass bar in Baltimore.

In addition to playing The Beaver to Solivan’s Wally, Luquette was on fire on guitar, especially while swapping picks with Solivan on Mandola for a long, jammy intro to “She Said She Will.” Luquette, by the way, will be teaching at a Common Ground on the Hill gathering this summer in Westminster. Details should be available soon on the Common Ground web site.

Mike Munford on the banjo

The afternoon closed with a pair of encores, with the crowd out of their seats and filing the area in front of the stage after Solivan invited them to break the norms of the seated venue for the encores. Stienberg and the emcee, whose name, we apologize, we did not catch, joined the band for a “Dark Hollow” singalong followed by a “Lean on Me” closer.

The event was recorded with both high definition video and multitrack audio. At some point, some, or all, of the footage edited from the two performances will be made available. In exactly what form is uncertain. Solivan says they may use it to cut promo materials, they may release the full show as a download of stream. He is not sure yet, but one way or another it will be available to the band’s fans.


  1. Either and unidentified instrumental of a long instrumental into>
  2. Shiver *
  3. Crooked Eye John*
  4. Crack of Noon*
  5. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number*
  6. Why Don’t You Tell Me So
  7. My Own Way*
  8. Set in Stone*
  9. She Said She Will
  10. It’s a Good Day **
  11. Summertime **
  12. Swing 42 **
  13. Crave*
  14. Lena (Leah By Permission)*
  15. Whipping Post
  16. Linedrive

17. Dark Hollow **
18. Lean On Me ***

* From “If You Can’t Stand the Heat”
** Frank Solivan and Don Stiernberg

*** with Don Stiernberg and emcee