Hello from muggy Maryville, Tennessee! I'm teaching this week at Kaufman Kamp and have stolen a moment in between watching the evening concert and overseeing the post-concert open-mic to write a few words here. Bossman Steve Kaufman always keeps me hoppin' during my time at Kamp. This week I'm teaching fiddle, a little clogging, assisting with the clawhammer banjo class, leading slow jams and keeping an eye on the aforementioned late-night open mic.
Every night various instructors perform a concert for the students and the locals who are brave enough to infiltrate camp for a few hours. Tonight, as always, was just great. The picture below is from Keith Yoder's performance. He asked legendary bluegrass fiddler Bobby Hicks to play "Big Mon" with him. Now, Bobby was the fiddler on Bill Monroe's original cut of the tune, back in the 1950s, and you just don't get to see that every day. Mark Cosgrove, who played guitar on the tune, said he just about hyperventillated at getting to play "Big Mon" with Bobby.
Clawhammer banjo teacher Evie Ladin took the stage next, for a captivating twenty minutes performed completely solo. She dances, she sings, she plays the banjo. She even hambones (though I think a less regional term for it is body percussion). Evie plays with a California-based old-time group called the Stairwell Sisters.
My portion of the concert comes tomorrow night, and I'll report back on how that goes. In the meantime I've got a slow jam to lead, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo to teach and a very few hours to sleep!