Sunday, May 27, 2012

Doc Watson

If you have not heard....Doc Watson's family has been summoned to his bedside at the hospital in North Carolina. This is sad sad news. Doc Watson is a beloved musician throughout the land and the world. I know the Lord will have his arms around him when that long journey home starts. A few days ago he was hospitalized and his colon removed. A follow up procedure later apparently did not go well for him and now the outlook is grim.
UPDATE, 5-29-2012 Arthel "Doc" Watson passed away. It is a sad sad day. We lost a jewel of great price. A human treasure. Farewell Doc. THIS LAST CLIP OF DOC AND BILL MONROE PLAYING SALLY GOODIN IS A GEM. MUST SEE!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Noah Musser playing at Lawrence recently

I really enjoy listening to Noah Musser play banjo. He is a fantastic musician who plays with the local Lawrence Ks based Prairie Acre band. Here is a recent performance in Lawrence. We don't have to hang our heads here in the midwest when it comes to wonderfully played OT.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Joe Newberry, Missouri born and bred

I have not posted about Joe Newberry yet because I had not been thinking of him in the context of our region but I remembered that he was born and raised in Missouri. In fact, we are good friends with his cousin. He lives in North Carolina and has for some time I think. He is an awesome musician that plays with Mike Compton, my favorite mandolin player period. So I think he merits a mention here. My earlier posts pointed out that he is playing in St Louis tomorrow night. Go see him. It will be a special treat. Update. Let me be clear, I am a big fan of Joe Newberry. He says he is coming to perform in KC this Fall. More updates on that later. I am excited to be able to see him perform. UPDATE 7-5-12 JOE IS COMING TO KC FOR A WORKSHOP ONLY. NO PERFORMANCE! HOWEVER, I WILL PROBABLY GET TO MEET HIM. MORE LATER.

Compton Ridge Fiddlers Convention this weekend

I have been remiss in posting about this. I have never been. Maybe next year. It's at the Compton Ridge Campground in Branson. A bit more info can be found here Fiddlers Convention

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Colin Blair and the Rootdiggers

Colin Blair and The Rootdiggers are also coming to The Focal Point in June 8th. They are called "the most popular OT group in St Louis" and I can believe that! See the last post for info on The Focal Point. I might be able to go!
The The Rootdiggers Be sure and visit the site and see them perform. Real real nice. Yes, real nice.

St Louis area events this weekend you will want to consider

Joe Newberry and Mike Compton are playing in St Louis area friday.(May 18) I would go if I could but I can't. This one would be worth driving to from KC or more. These two fellows are the creme de la creme of OT musicians. They are playing at The Focal Point which is located in Maplewood. Focal Point Nearby, the same night is the Great Big Yam Potatoes Old Time music gathering and fiddle contest.
These are two fantastic events that you should be thinking of attending. I sure wish I could. GO!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"The only gal I ever loved was down in Arkansas"

I have been remiss in not posting about ballad singers. There don't seem to be anyone doing this anymore and I think the ozarkian culture has pretty much forgotten this ancient folk art of ballad singing. There may be a small handful still trying it but I don't thing there are anyone doing it who grew up doing it having learned it from their elders and neighbors. I hope I'm wrong about this. Maybe there is some small hollow out there in Arkansas where folks have always been there and still do this but unknown to the rest of the world? I can hope so but I doubt it. So much has changed, hasn't it?! You can see the album it comes from which I was not aware of but will have to get. I wonder if it's still available? These were Alan Lomax recordings. I will try to do an update when I find out more about these recordings.

Missouri and Old Time music.

I once lived just a few miles north of where these folks are over at Norwood Mo. I used to go down to Douglas County all the time to fish the Bryant Creek. It's a beautiful place. I have wanted to include things like this about the beauty of the Ozarks along with the music and the folk culture. I hope to do more of this in the future. This clip comes from the same folks who did the video in the last posting. On Youtube they are called, "Echos of the Ozarks". This clip shows a visit to the Topaz Mill with some fine banjo picking towards the end. I call this soothing. Be soothed.

More Missouri Banjo

Don "Whyteman" (?) on banjo and Linda Jo "Bassora" on guitar playing "HALF PAST FOUR" They do a real nice job on this. I don't know their new real names. If you know this info comment please.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The multi talented Nathan Lee McAlister on banjo

I am about speechless here. Nathan is so talented. He has that special gift for this music. It's something I think your born with. Why have I not heard of him until this year?!!!! I don't often gush on about someone unless it's Cyril Stinnett or Lonnie Robertson or Bob Holt who are all gone now. Well, Nathan goes on my favorites list and he didn't have to die to do it. Enjoy this sampling he did with him on banjo. I sure did. You will be seeing much more about him here. Old Time music in the Ozarks is alive and well and it's young. Hallelujah!

Holy Cow! Nathan Lee McAlister, SW Mo Fiddler!

This young man can FIDDLE! He is a recent discovery on Facebook and buddy, he is fast becoming a favorite of mine. I love how he plays. He "has it". You know what I'm talking about. He's got that way with the instrument that just makes it sing. The tune is excellent for him here. I posted about him once a couple weeks ago and intended to do more this weekend and so, here it is. I am really excited about this young man's playing. If he plays this well at this stage of life, what will he be like when he's in his fifties? You never know. All I know is, I get that same feeling listening to him as when I hear Cyril Stinnett. That, my friends says a lot. Here his is playing JOHN BROWNS DREAM.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just a reminder about what/who I post about

If you have not noticed, my intentions are for this blog to be regional. It's to showcase and illuminate the Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas area and the folks that play there. This is mostly but not exclusively about Ozark folk music, fiddle tunes and more broadly, Missouri valley fiddle music and Kansas style frontier and Old Timey music. I live in the Kansas City metro region on the Kansas side. This is where I live and this is where it all comes together for me. This means this is a wide area to cover. I will only very rarely say much about the Appalachian area here. I won't be posting much about musicians from there unless there is a tie to the area here. I think we deserve more attention than we get. I wrote this so you will understand the blog a bit better. In case you were wondering.


It's not lost on me how ironic the role of the internet is in building community and expanding horizons and networks in Old Time Music. The goal of this blog was to search out and discover what was out there and to share this with you, my dear readers. It has been a fascinating journey and I have found out a great deal about what and who is out there. I continue to keep finding new folks in our broader region and I give credit to FaceBook for much of it. This is a community with many viewpoints. Some are Bluegrassers who also are into a little Old Time and then there are the hard core Old Time people that won't touch Bluegrass with a ten foot pole. There is a lot of ground in between. Some are liberals, some are quite conservative, some are counterculture types and others are traditional conventional folks. I think most of us try hard to keep the focus on the music we love. I think were still trying to avoid the lines drawn in the sand over outside issues but it's getting a bit harder to do given the climate. I hope you ponder this and perhaps you will gather yourself up for more paitence and acceptance of others as we share this great cultural pearl of great price. I recently discovered that folks with a different point of view can be much more accepting and mature than you might have assumed. I think mutual respect and simple human decency can carry us far. These are hard times. Community is more important than ever.

More Adam Yount and George Eye, Blackberry Blossom

Nice job!

Adam Yount flatpicking his original tune

Adam is a St Louis area musician I recently became friended on FaceBook. This is a real nice tune he is playing on his "guitar" that he composed. I would like to learn that one myself. See what you think. I think you will enjoy this. As I keep saying, this is what makes our music alive and not just museum work.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Fort Smith"

Here is a nice little session that Rachel Luster has shared with me that I want you all to see. They are playing "Fort Smith". The musicians are Don Reed on guitar, Cliff Bryan on fiddle and Roger Williams on fiddle. This was filmed at Cliff Bryan's home in West Plains Mo. recently. Thanks to Rachel Luster for this clip! Perhaps Rachel will share more? Hint hint!