Tag Archives: bob vanmeter

I asked Bobby to write a few paragraphs about this week's Tuesday jam. He's always sharing pithy comments with me, some of them insightful, some of them instructive, some of them rated R, and all of them entertaining. So I figured I would share the joy. Please respond to the blog. The boy likes feedback! And maybe that will encourage him to write again.

Now, here's Bobby:

First of all, a well deserved "great job" to Betty Fisher for such a good first time Tip Jar Jam performance. Although you, Murphy, broke the ice earlier on the phone with Betty by saying, "Don't be intimidated about your self-perceived level of playing. This is a student/teaching jam, and everyone that will be at the jam started out just as you are doing now, by coming to the first jam". As everyone of us at the jam knows from previous experience, playing with someone other than your instructor, in front of other people, for the very first time can be a challenging and terrifying moment in your early playing career. Good job, Betty!

Re beginning student woes in general (if this makes it to a blog, I'll never hear the end of "Who's sucking up now, Bob?"): As I have at every opportunity in the past, I recommend reading Murphy's earlier book And There You Have It. This book address some of the issues each of us as students, at least from my experience, struggle with. PRACTICE,  timing (my specialty), hearing the song in your head, you've got to think about it all the time, PLAYING WITH OTHERS, etc. You name a "rule" in the book, I've broken it. However, I soon found out that I was not alone in my misery, we've all "been there, done that." Nonetheless, recommended reading for beginning students.

Now on to "Ben, Binky, and the Banjo." Although he was "alone and forsaken," as his extremely talented daughter (coach/critic) Kasey could not make the jam, another "great job" to Ben on his solo breaks. Have you been holding out on us, Ben? Who says an old dog can't "hot trail" every once in a while?




Murphy HenryOkay, this is about a different Bob. This is Bob from West Virginia. Guitar and bass student and friend. He’s been taking off and on (mostly on) for 15 or 20 years now and can play some really nice basic lead breaks on the guitar, breaks he comes up with all by himself. I help him occasionally with the timing.

So I’m sitting by Bob and his wife Barb at a recent bluegrass show at a new club in Winchester. The group on stage (Chris and Red Henry, Jimmy Steptoe, Wayne Lanham, Teri Chism) is singing “Angel Band.”

Me, to Bob: Do you play that yet?

Bob: No.

Me: We should work on that. It’d be a good one.

Bob takes his pen from his shirt pocket and starts writing the name of the tune in his hand.

Me, ragging on Bob: I guess that’s your Hillbilly Blackberry.

Bob, without missing a beat: No, it’s my Palm Pilot.

And I just cracked up.