Video clips

Casey Henry

I'm posting this picture because my mom asked me to, and I always do what my mother asks. (Okay, almost always, but I swear it's like 98% of the time!) I went to the IBMA Awards show this year with friends since no other family members were going. We went out for a stellar meal beforehand at the Nashville restaurant Flyte. Also in our group was Megan's mom Maria, who deserves credit for taking this picture:

Joe Smart, Casey Henry, Megan Lynch, David Thomas

Joe Smart, Casey Henry, Megan Lynch, David Thomas

Later on in the week, on Saturday of FanFest in fact, I ran into the awesome and talented Missy Raines in the hallway while I happened to be wearing her new t-shirt design.

Missy Raines and Casey Henry

Here we are: Missy Raines and Casey Henry (Photo credit: Ben Surratt)

Today while I was searching around YouTube I found that someone has posted a new video of the Dixie Bee-Liners from the show we played in Abingdon, Va., on September 11th. This is my tune "Leroy and Liza."

I also found three more videos of the band, to which I'll just post links, since they don't have ALL that much of me in them. The first two are from the showcase we played in the Acoustic Trail Listening Room at IBMA in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Here's Buddy and Brandi singing "Long Time Gone"

And here's Sav singing "Dream of a Miner's Child"

This last one is from a fan at the Cropredy festival that we played in England in August. We're on stage and you can hear us very well, but what he actually shows is quite random and kinda silly. It contains snippets of quite a few of the songs from our set. Here's that link.

Casey Henry

Last week at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference our favorite clawhammer banjo instructor Lynn Morris received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the organization in recognition for her illustrious career in the bluegrass music business. From her early days in the City Limits Bluegrass Band through Whetstone Run and her own Lynn Morris Band, Lynn has always striven for perfection. That dedication paid off when she was the first woman to win the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, and again a few years later when she was the first person ever to take the title twice. She was named IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year three times and her band put out five superlative albums. She was at the height of her career when she suffered a stroke, which robbed her of her ability to speak and play. Since then she has worked tirelessly, with tremendous strength and determination, to recover what she lost. She has regained so much ground; we are so proud of her. Currently Lynn works as the sound engineer on the road with Bill Emerson and Sweet Dixie.

This video is of most of her acceptance speech at the Special Awards Ceremony at IBMA on September 30, 2010. I missed the first bit. (Sorry!)

Chris Henry

Chris Henry

This video is the first single of the music from an upcoming album to be released before the end of the year.  Chris Lovelace and I have been making music quite a while in different genres.  We've been punk rockers, hip-hoppers, and now we're putting some of our favorite sounds together in what has been described by The Bluegrass Blog as "Alt-County".  I like that, not alt-country, but alt-county.  We're county fellers and though neither one of us grew up farming or hunting, we really do connect with the county vibe.  Chris has two daughters, Lilian and Evelyn, who are just starting kindergarten this year and you can see their initials on his shirt in some parts of the video.  I'm wearing a pin that my grandmother used to wear.

We were initially going to film the video in Luray Caverns. That was the location that the director who came down from New York, Liquid, had chosen. We got there and they said it was a no-go, so we started driving up and down some back roads until we saw a fellow out in a field with a metal detector.  He was looking for civil war stuff and we found out that he knew some bluegrass folks.  As I recall, I believe his wife had maybe sold a house to one of the Yates brothers and might have been related to Earl Taylor, so that was a good connection.  We asked him if he knew a good place to go and he said he had some land up the road.  I asked him if it was purty and he replied "Well, I think so."  And when we got there via a grass path off the main dirt road, it was pretty.  We shot the first part there and then cruised up the skyline drive and shot some footage looking out toward the Shenandoah Valley towards North Mountain, where Chris and I grew up. The last location, where the waterwall is, was in Sterling and I used to pass it going to work and always thought it would be a good scene for a music video.

Liquid rode the MegaBus down from up north and arrived at 5 in the morning in D.C.  I picked him up, late, at about 9 and we shot from about 12 to 8, having lunch in Luray.  We got back to the studio in Sterling and he finished editing about 4 in the morning and I took him back to D.C. and he caught about a 9AM bus back.  So it was a whirlwind 24 hours and Chris and I had a really good time making our first video.  Stay tuned for more Archetones music videos and an album to be release this fall!

Casey Henry

I filmed these tunes as part of a video oral history project on women who play traditional music, which is being made by a woman named Dyann Arthur. It's called the Music Box Project. She is interviewing women all around the country. Although she'd talked to several clawhammer players, I was the first Scruggs-style player she had included. She has an interview scheduled with Murphy later on this summer. This is the title tune from my CD, "Real Women Drive Trucks." I wish that I had been able to get my banjo into more perfect tune, but I had to drop it into D tuning that morning, and it really needs at least a day to acclimate before it starts sounding right.

Casey Henry

I write this from the kitchen table of my grandparents' house in Clarkesville, Georgia. I spent all of yesterday picking blackberries and making jelly, and completely forgetting to blog. So, I offer another video clip from YouTube. This, as I say in the introduction, is an arrangement of a lullaby Grandmother used to sing to us when we were little. I recorded it on my Real Women Drive Trucks CD.

I just found this while I was searching around on YouTube. Mark Panfil is our is the instructor on our Beginning Dobro DVD. He posted this lesson on YouTube back in January for one of our signature Murphy Method songs: "Banjo in the Hollow." As you know it's the first tune we teach on the Beginning Banjo DVD, but it's not on the Dobro DVD. It's also on the Slow Jam DVD, so Mark has considerately made a Dobro lesson for it so that any Dobroists who have that Slow Jam disc can learn it and play along with it.

Red Henry

Red Henry

Sunday was another long and musical day at White Springs. The morning dawned high and dry, with no sign of the deluge we'd had the previous evening. After begging some morning coffee (essential for survival), I tuned up my mandolin and guitar and contemplated the day. We had a set to play at the River Gazebo, specified to be primarily of Florida songs. We have quite a few of those in our band repertoire, so I started picking out a few. There were some I rejected. "Abraham Washington"? -- maybe too grim for Sunday. "Gospel Snakes"? -- Dale had performed that one on Saturday. But we had plenty more up our sleeves.

By "we" I mean Red and Chris Henry and our All-Star Band, which includes John Hedgecoth (banjo), Jenny Leigh (fiddle), and Barbara Johnson (bass), all three of whom are great pickers. In spite of only performing together a few times per year, we have plenty of material worked up and are always learning more-- we managed to play two hour-long sets at Gamblefest without repeating anything-- and we have a good time playing music together.

First thing on the day's program was to back up our friend Dale Crider for his set on the Old Marble Stage. We all traipsed over there at the appropriate time, and Dale launched into his set.

Now, Dale's mind works quickly and creatively. (I have already mentioned his "Mangrove Buccaneer" song posted by Ron Johnson at , in which Dale's cat-like powers of recovery are demonstrated.) But after Dale arrived a few minutes late for his own set on Friday, and was only prevented from singing one of his own songs which we'd already done by the kindness of a vocal audience member, he'd gotten skittish about repeating a song. Before singing one of his songs at the Old Marble Stage, he paused and asked the audience, "Have I already done this one?" -- it's a good thing he asked them instead of us. I leaned into my mike and said, "Dale KNOWS that if he'd already sung it, WE would stand right here and let him sing it AGAIN!" -- but correctly reassured by the audience that he hadn't done it yet, Dale sang "Mangrove Buccaneer" to end the set. Good job, Dale.

After a break back in the campground, it was time for us to go down to the River Gazebo and play. Before our set I chatted for a while with distinguished Florida folks Larry Mangum and Frank Thomas, and also met Nancy Crockford, an accomplished violinist who was interested in learning fiddle. I'll send you a couple of our Murphy Method fiddle-instruction DVDs, Nancy. Then it was time for us to play.

Since Christopher and I like playing double-harmony mandolins together so much, we started out with a fine Bill Monroe tune called "Tallahassee". Chris and Jenny contributed Florida songs of their own, and then John sang his "Florida Sunshine" tribute to White Springs in olden days. The crowd really liked all these but at that point we were running short on time, so we did a quick guitar-harmony rendition of Will McLean's "Osceola's Last Words" and finished out with an abbreviated double-mandolin version of "Rawhide" -- not exactly a Florida song, I suppose, but to get five out of six isn't bad.

Last on our day's schedule was a set by Dale at the Gazebo, alternating songs with Jeannie Fitchen. We had a good time playing, and listening to Jeannie, and playing, and listening, until it was time for Frank Thomas to take center stage and lead us all in "Old Folks at Home". What a good day, and what a great festival!

After the set John needed to get back to Nashville, but the rest of us loaded up our stuff and drove down to Dale's place at Windsor, on the shores of Lake Newnan. The thunderstorms were threatening as we set out, and let go some gully-washing rains as we drove. On Monday, we'd be recording with Dale!

Next time: Day 5!

Red Henry

Red Henry

Chris, Jenny (his fiddle-playing girlfriend), and I drove down to Florida recently for the Will McLean folk music festival, and we had a great time. It was a long way for us to go, being held not far from Tampa, but it was certainly worth the drive.

The festival is named in honor of Florida's pioneering folksinger and songwriter, Will McLean. A highly individualistic and creative person known as "Florida's Black-Hat Troubadour," Will influenced many other musicians and blazed the way for the rest of us who followed after.

We arrived at the show on Friday afternoon and promptly started warming up--we had a set to play at 7:00. And the set went great. We played a mix of bluegrass and Florida Folk material, and our friend Ron Johnson posted our two-guitar harmony arrangement of Will's song "Osceloa's Last Words" on YouTube: . (Red Henry and Chris Henry--guitars, Jennifer Obert--fiddle, Barbara Johnson--bass).

After performing it was time to pick, and pick we did, until late at night. On Saturday Chris and I led a well-attended mandolin workshop, playing some music and answering lots of questions, and selling a good many CDs and Murphy Method DVDs afterwards. Then we backed up our friend Dale Crider on his afternoon set for a lively crowd. There was more picking that night, and Dale showed up to sing lots of our old bluegrass favorites from when we were learning to play in the late 1960s.

On Sunday we backed Dale up on another set, and then played our own show at 2:00 on the Main Stage. We had a terrific crowd which (I say modestly) gave us a standing ovation, and then we sold some more CDs and DVDs before hitting the road. We won't get rich playing at folk festivals in Florida, but you know what? We'll be back!


P.S.-- Next shows:

Gamble Rogers Music Festival, May 1-2, St. Augustine

Florida Folk Festival, May 28-30, White Springs

Red Henry

Red Henry

Folks, this is Allen Shelton playing his tune "Bending the Strings". I'm sending it out so that you can all see it.

This is a great performance by a late, great picker. And I was reminded (having forgotten it since) that about 25 years ago I had the honor of backing Allen up on guitar when he played this tune at a workshop.

I'm also posting this because Allen Shelton was not only a great picker, but he KNEW HOW TO PLAY IN A GROUP. Examples:

1.When the fiddle is taking its break, is Allen playing away in the mike? NO. You can really hear the fiddle.

2. When the mandolin is taking its break, is Allen in the mike, drowning it out? NO. You can really hear the mandolin.

To be a good musician, you have to know more than just how to play your instrument. You have to know how to help the whole band sound good. Allen was not only a great musician, but also a great BAND PLAYER.


P.S. -- Mandolin content: In the clip, also listen to mandolin genius Jesse McReynolds. During his break he comes out with something
dangerously close to a Frank Wakefield lick, too. This is all Mighty Fine entertainment.