Folks, as you can tell from reading our blog for the last week or two, Murphy and I went over to Nashville last week for the big International Bluegrass convention. We had a great time at the Trade Show and FanFest (more about that later!), but I've been thinking about the good trip home I had, and thought I'd talk about that.
Murphy and I were in Nashville on different schedules. I was in Nashville for the first part of the week, and drove home to Winchester on Friday afternoon and evening. Now, I usually don't drive a lot in the dark (especially for much of a 10-hour trip), but in this case it was no problem. I had a lot of CDs in the car, and listened to a bunch of them. Here's a selection:
1. Nancy Pate, "Georgia in the Middle of June" --- Murphy's sister Nancy recorded this CD a few years ago with Murphy playing mandolin, Casey playing bass and banjo and our brother-in-law Mike Johnson playing fiddle. The disc features mostly Nancy's original music, with a few numbers by Louisa Branscomb, Nancy's bandmate at the time. The music is what you might call "gentle bluegrass," but with a great deal of originality and feeling. Possibly the most evocative numbers are Nancy's "Pray for Rain" and "A Slower Road," along with Louisa's "For Every Day that You Die Young." Nancy also reprised her old composition "Two of a Kind," as well as giving her own take on Murphy's "M&M Blues" (with Casey playing am excellent Scruggs-style break). Very enjoyable listening.
2. Woods and Bridges, "On the Right Track" --- Our old Florida friends Bill Baker and John and Joanne Rose and their band released this CD about a year ago. It covers a good selection of standard bluegrass, along with quite a bit of bluegrass gospel. I especially like Bill's mandolin work on "Working on a Building" and "The Old Crossroad," because he played bass with us for three years in the 1980s and I didn't even know he played mandolin at all! John Rose plays solid guitar and knows more Carter Stanley songs than anyone I know--- and is the subject of a story we tell on stage, about how he became a bluegrass fanatic! This CD is pleasant and entertaining.