Tag Archives: pictures

Red HenryI ran across an old photo recently, and was reminded of a day when Murphy and I were roadies. This was in the middle of 1994 (Photo by me. Click on it for a bigger version):

Casey and Chris Henry, 1994

Now you can see who we were being roadies for---our two kids! This is Casey (age 15) playing Murphy's Stelling banjo, and Christopher (age 12) playing our D-18, and they were performing in front of the old courthouse, on the Old Town Mall here in Winchester. I set up the sound system for them, and they did great. They played a whole bunch of bluegrass songs and tunes, all with their proud parents—and a lot of other people---listening.

Along with moving the heavy sound equipment around I took a few photos, not wanting to restrict myself to just one line of work. For a change, I didn't have to play music, but could listen and visit with friends in the audience and enjoy the show. So even a dedicated mandolin picker like myself can find a time to be a bluegrass roadie!

Here are some shots from the game and etc...

Casey playing Raymond James Stadium

First, Here is the whole picture of me playing my "solo show" at Raymond James Stadium. Somebody pointed out that I could say I opened for Bruce Springsteen. (I don't have to mention the fact that there was a seven-day lapse between our performances.) Photo by George McPherson.

The Pirate Ship in Raymond James Stadium

This is the stadium about a week before the game. Notice the big Buccaneer Pirate ship has all it's Buccaneer sails replaced with NBC sails.

Outside Raymond James Stadium

This was my view of the side of the stadium as we were waiting outside during the first half of the game.

Bruce Springsteen on piano

It was hard to get good pictures of the show. I was way at the back of the crowd---which was exactly where I wanted to be---but it does not make for good photography. Here's Bruce on top of the piano near the beginning of the show.

Casey during halftime show

Self-portrait: Casey with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. 😉

Raymond James Stadium

This is what the audience looked like. All the ticketholders get little flashlights in their seat-cushion goodie packs.

Bruce and Stephen

These are a couple of the best shots---love the jumbotron! Here's Bruce and Steven Van Zandt.

Little Stephen on Jumbotron

And here's Little Steven saying "It's Boss time!"

Cap Spence

Cap always ends up signing at least a couple t-shirts for the volunteers. They are so inspired by him and his leadership. This year he got some really, really good homemade candy (white-chocolate covered Golden Grahams, pecans, cashews, and almonds) a t-shirt, a hoodie swestshirt, and a very nice poem. And probably some other stuff I just don't know about.

Last night: Casey Henry solo show in Raymond James Stadium (that's a 68,000 seat venue).

Casey Henry playing Raymond James Stadium

OK, technically there were only about 500 people in the place at the time (mostly the stage volunteers, various production crews, and the security folks), and I was filling time while the volunteers were sitting in the stands and the lighting and camera people and producers were looking at the stage through the cameras, but it sure sounds good, doesn't it?

RedI was looking over a few old photos of us today, and found these which were taken several years ago, at a contest held in a small town near here. Casey (age 16) and I (age unspecified) played in the banjo and fiddle parts of the contest, respectively.

Now, generally speaking, we don't enter contests (okay, I’ve entered maybe 2 contests in 30 years). This is mostly because of the caliber of judging you find at many of the small-town events. For example, rarely will you have judges who are fiddle experts, because (1) if they can play well they're probably entered in the contest, and (2) if they're not entered in the contest they at least don't want to be judges, because they don't want to get all but one of their fiddle-playing friends (the contest winner they choose) mad at them. So instead, you may find the president of the local bank, or folks from various civic organizations, or the owner of the local gas station doing the judging. Under those circumstances, the prizes may not come anywhere near the best players!

In the case of this contest, just before the even started, I was standing next to the table at which two of the judges were seated. The third judge came and took her seat. One of the others said, "I'm really glad that NOW, we have somebody who knows something about music!" The second judge agreed with him enthusiastically. So I knew what to expect.

The banjo contest came first. Casey, just 16, played great as I backed her up on guitar:

Casey and Red at banjo contest

In spite of the fact that it was her first contest and it was a cold day, making it a real challenge to play with chilled fingers, Casey took second prize against a crowd of older and much more experienced players. I was really proud that she had done that well, and her win qualified her to enter the East Coast Invitational Banjo Contest a few weeks later. [Which I didn't place in, and thus it became the last contest that I ever played!]

Next came the fiddle contest. For my three tunes to play I chose "Durang's Hornpipe", "Festival Waltz", and "Sally Goodwin". Chris (age 13) was going to back me up on guitar. He already played great rhythm but wasn't familiar with many fiddle tunes, so he and I had run over the tunes together a few times at home.

Now, I'm not a fiddle specialist, but I think I've got a pretty realistic idea of how well I play the fiddle. As I watched the other fiddlers in the contest, I recognized that I had an edge over most of them, but two of them (call them Fiddler A and Fiddler B) were conspicuously better than the rest of us. Fiddler A was the best, though not by a great deal.

Chris and Red at fiddle contest

When it came my turn to play, Chris and I got up on the stage and gave it what we had in that chilly weather. Here's what we looked like:

I played my three tunes about as well as I ever had, knowing that the judges might or might not actually have the "ears" to hear what the other contestants and I were playing. After the other fiddlers had all performed, the judges' results were tallied: Fiddler B was awarded first prize, Fiddler A won second prize, and I won third. That was not bad, I thought---even if the judges had scrambled the two best players, at least they'd assigned the best three fiddlers to the top three slots. Pretty good for a small-town contest.

But I haven't entered any more of them since then!

RedIf you're interested in bluegrass trivia, I was looking through some old photos and came across this one from 1987, which shows me as a temporary member (for one set) of the Johnson Mountain Boys. Band personnel are (l-r): Richard Underwood (banjo), Earl Phillips (bass), David McLaughlin (mandolin), myself on guitar, and Eddie Stubbs (fiddle). (Click on the picture for a larger version.)

Red with JMB

You might ask how a member of one band could get mixed in with another, but in this case it was simple. David's father, a scientist, had hired the JMBs to play at a big party he was putting on at a professional meeting. The boys asked me to provide the sound system. So that afternoon, I loaded up our sound equipment. I thought about putting in an instrument, but decided that I wouldn't have a chance to play it and it was just too much stuff to bring. So I drove to party site a couple of hours away, over in the DC area, and got everything set up for the band.

The JMBs' first set went well, but Dudley Connell, their incredible lead singer, had a sore throat and wanted to sit out the rest of the evening. So the boys asked me to play guitar and do some singing. Trouble was, I hadn't brought my guitar, so I had to use Dudley's. It was a really good guitar, but... Dudley was a lot less big around than I was, so the strap was really short. The guitar hung on me up about six or eight inches higher than I was used to playing it! But "The show must go on," as they say, so I played Dudley's guitar and sang.

In this photo, Cousin David and I are belting out some three-chord bluegrass standard. The audience was all partying and not paying too much attention to the band, but we had a good time. And I learned a lesson: When doing sound at a show, at least TAKE A GUITAR!

Red HenryToday, I just thought you folks would like to see an old photo of us from 1979. This picture was so colorful and entertaining, with all the instruments in it, that we used it on the front of a 33 1/3 record album (remember those?) which we recorded that year.

red, murphy, nancy with instruments

The permanent band members at the time were just Murphy and myself and her sister, Nancy Pate. For the photo we surrounded ourselves with all the bluegrass instruments we had-- and there were a lot of them. The five banjos include Murphy's old Gibson Style 4 which she played for 20 years, and also my then-recently-completed Style 11 conversion which belongs to Casey now. (She was almost two when this picture was taken---imagine that!) The guitars include four Martin D-28s of various ages, and the mandolin-family instruments include Randy Wood F-5 #1, an old 1916 Gibson F-4, and my Gibson H-2 mandola. There are plenty of fiddles of various kinds, too.

Sadly, hard times were about to hit the bluegrass world and the rest of the country too. In the recession of 1979-81, we sold many of these instruments and they went to other homes. But in the meantime, we sure did get a good picture!

Our friend Jinx Miller sent us some old photos recently and this one made us laugh. It was a very typical pose for Casey and Murphy back in the day (circa 1980).

Casey and Murphy 1980

L-R: Tuck Tucker, Red Henry, Connie Rose, Murphy Henry, Casey Henry, George Custer