Peeling up the Asphalt: A Concert at the Pithlachocco Stage

Red Henry

Red Henry

Well, Folks, last time I left you with a description on playing at the Hahira bluegrass festival. (A YouTube clip of us on stage, featuring several numbers, has been posted here.)  This time, we'll talk about our Sunday concert at Dale Crider's Pithlachocco Stage on the shore of Lake Newnan near Gainesville, Florida.

"Pithlachocco?", you might ask. "What in the world does that mean?" Well, it's an old Florida Indian word meaning "the place of the long boats." Recent discoveries have revealed that Indians in ancient times made thousands of canoes on the shore of the lake. So Dale Crider, when he started his excellent concert series there, named his stage for those "long boats." It's an outdoor stage and the weather was pleasantly cool. We and the audience were all comfortable and ready for a good time.

After one or two schedule changes (never expect everything to happen on time), we kicked off our first set at about 7:00. For this show, "we" (Red and Chris and Their All-Star Band) were myself on mandolin, Chris on guitar and mandolin, Barbara Johnson on bass, and Jenny Leigh on fiddle. We'd had plenty of time for rest since our festival sets the day before, and all were ready to go.

Now, there's a big difference between playing at a bluegrass festival and performing for an audience that just likes music. We didn't play as many of our old bluegrass standards, but we put several great Florida songs and other interesting numbers into the set instead, songs like "Osceola's Last Words", "Big Jim Folsom", and other favorites from our CDs. Also, of course, the audience was much more ready to listen to stories than the bluegrass festival crowd had been, so we told them about several adventures of Clermont Hosford and others, and, as always, some of the stories were true. The people really liked all the songs and the stories, so we played and played and sold CDs and visited with the folks and had a great time.

Bob Raisler taped the entire show, and has kindly posted quite a few of our songs on YouTube. Check out several of them here. (The stage was not nearly as dark as it looks! Just tilt your computer screen until you can see us!)

. . . . .

Not many bands play both bluegrass festivals and folk-music concerts. Maybe it's because they don't enjoy both, or because they just don't have both kinds of material worked up. But we play both kinds of shows, and sure like it!


P.S. Next time: Recording with Dale on Monday!

4 thoughts on “Peeling up the Asphalt: A Concert at the Pithlachocco Stage

  1. Martin Bacon

    Dear Red,
    The only problem with the show is it sounds like there was no banjo!
    I would love to hear those stories sometime even the ones that aren’t true.


  2. Red Henry

    Post author

    Right, Marty, we didn’t have a banjo player. John Hedgecoth and his wife Lynn had to get back to Nashville after the Hahira show, so they drove straight home.

    About the stories– three of them are recorded. Do you have our “Red and Chris” and “Helton Creek” CDs? — and, believe it or not, none of the three stories are true!


  3. Steve (in Japan)

    Red, they’re great video clips. I found and really enjoyed your “Big Jim Folsom.” I once heard on WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, and I think it was the Gary Henderson Show, the late and great Vern Williams being quoted as saying, “Stephen Foster was the first Bluegrass songwriter.” But today’s folk music and bluegrass don’t mix the way they used to.

  4. Red Henry

    Post author

    Steve, glad you liked the clips. And that’s right. We have to play different material, and do a different style of show, for the two audiences.

    But a few Foster songs have made it into the bluegrass repertoire: His “Sweet Annanee” has been recorded several times over the last 50 years, often called “Sweet Allalee”. “Bad Times Come Again No More,” the real title of which I forget, is getting to be pretty popular. And most popular of all, across the country, is the bluegrass-traditional treatment of Foster’s “Angelina Baker,” usually now called “Angeline THE Baker.”

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