Many thanks to Marty (giver of the awesome iPod) for supplying today’s blog. He has most kindly said I could use any of his emails for blogs at any time. Casey and I are on a short mother-daughter vacation which begins with a Chuck Berry in concert in St. Louis! Slight bluegrass connection: Chuck Berry has said that he got the idea for his song “Maybelline” from the old fiddle tune “Ida Red,” which Bob Wills recorded. (Okay, so Bob Wills is western swing, but close enough!)
Small note about Marty: he has now been playing the banjo for just about a year. I met him last year at the IBMA FanFest where he bought some DVDs. We had our first live lesson around the first of November and he’s been off and running ever since.
I am probably wasting your time but I just had to share. I had a big music weekend. Saturday at 3 PM I went to see the Grass Cats. They played “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and I thought, "I can do that." That night I went to see the Greencards and they did a very credible version of “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” and I thought, "I can do that."
Tonight I went to see Missy Raines and she was great (but mostly not too bluegrassy). Her Dobro player is awesome (Mike Witcher). The group that preceded her was Tommy Edwards (also a very fine musician) and his banjo player was Stan Brown who was great and apparently he played in the 1980s with Bill Monroe. They played a song which I can't remember the name but it was really “Your Love is Like a Flower” and I thought, "I can do that."
And I played “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” with my wife Cheryl playing the hammered dulcimer and it was real music and she said I vamped reliably on the off beat. Also tonight I played with one of my nurse’s daughters. She is a fine classical bass player but playing G, C, and D was no problem and she's got rhythm so, boy, with just a banjo and the bass the room just filled up with real music. It was great fun and we played a lot of the songs I know. I need to learn all that backup stuff Stan Brown was doing but I guess I should be sure about vamping on the off beat first. 🙂