We can hardly call this a slow jam anymore, since many of the songs are starting to pick up speed. Present tonight were Logan, Mark, Susan, and Bob Mc on banjos, Ellen on guitar, and Bobby on bass.
I Saw The Light
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
Lonesome Road Blues
I’ll Fly Away
Bury Me Beneath the Willow (Logan solo)
Bury Me Beneath the Willow (Misfits & Logan on Lead Guitar)
We warmed up in a slightly different fashion tonight. We played “Cripple Creek” through twice in unison and then, without stopping to regroup, played individual breaks, then reunited after that for one more time through all together and then ended the song with the “long ending lick,” which is what we are calling the two-part “shave-and-a-haircut” ending lick. We then did “John Hardy” in the same manner, and were ready for prime time!
The new song tonight was “Salty Dog,” which Susan is learning, and which Logan already plays. We went over the chords (G, E, A, D) and Susan acquitted herself very well on her first “Salty Dog” outing. Logan had forgotten the high break, but after hearing Susan play it, he jumped right on it.
Another highlight was hearing Logan play a lead break to “Willow” on the GUITAR. He’d picked out the break—just single notes—by himself. He had it all but the very last line. We’d gone over that earlier in his lesson, but it was a bit much to ask him to remember those notes under pressure. So I told him to play the first part, and that I would come in and play the last line. Sounded just like we’d rehearsed it!
We worked Bobby pretty hard tonight, calling on him to sing “Salty Dog,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “Willow” in addition to his regular songs. I just assumed he knew the words. Which he did mostly. And he’s been in bluegrass long enough to know that if you don’t know the words, you just make something up. I will have to say I thought we had a pretty good duet on “Salty Dog.”
After a rousing rendition of “Wagon Wheel” (we sing it like we mean it!), we were done. During the usual milling around afterwards we had to listen to Logan complain about how awful high school is (he’s a Junior this year) while Mark is saying to him, “These are the best years of your life! Better enjoy them!” We all are agreeing with Mark, even though we know that Logan won’t listen to us anymore than we listened to any grownups. (“Grups” is what they called them on the original Star Trek in the episode that featured Michael J. Pollard. Bluegrass connection: I just saw Michael J. in the movie Bonnie and Clyde which was showing on TV a few days ago. This is the film, of course, that featured “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” And not just any old cut of FMB, but the original version done by Lesternearl and all the Foggy Mountain Boys. It is a classic!)