Classical Bluegrass and III Tyme Out

        As a bluegrass investigative reporter my charge is to bring you the inside story.

        Here it is folks.  You heard it here first.  I have it on good authority that as III Tyme rides the bluegrass road in their tour bus, they have been secretly immersed in classical music. 

       I hear you now.  “Classical, Dr. B?  Are you sure?  Yes, Russell Moore is a classic voice.  I know the band defines the classic sound of the second generation of bluegrass, but classical?”

       I am positive because I heard the strains at their show last night.  As banjo player Steve Dilling told of his truancy days in high school, (the guidance counselor stayed for the second set at Bass Mountain before she reeled him in)  I heard Wayne Benson noodle some Bach on the mandolin.  

        Dilling cut his eyes to his left.  (Your right as you look at the stereo speakers)  “What was that?”

        “Bach.”

         “Like in Carry me Bach to old Virginia?”

        “No.  Bach as in Johann Sebastian.”

        “Wasn’t he with the Loving Spoonful?”

        “No man.  Classical music.  Monroe had some Bach influence.”

        It was one of the few times I ever saw Mr. Dilling at a loss for words.

        I know where this all comes from.  Justin, the fiddle man is an old soul at twenty-five.  He came up in classical violin, and Wayne has been studying it on the mandolin under the tutelage of Mike Marshall.  The next thing you know he and Justin are gonna jam on Beethoven, and not ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ although they can do it too.  These guys are artists.

        But they haven’t got anything on Dilling.  I expect that boy knows every good breakfast joint between here and Missouri.  I hear he is working on an endorsement deal with a well known restaurant chain, and it is a classic too.

        One of these days I’m gonna have to ride out with these guys.  Any group that argues over how much influence Bach had on Bill Monroe over a plate of chops and eggs is my kind of band. 

        Pour me up another cup of coffee boys, and keep on picking.  You guys are today’s classical music.

Dr. B

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10 Comments on “Classical Bluegrass and III Tyme Out”


  1. Classical music is wonderful – yes, the rocking chick sporting piercings in her lips has spoken that and meant it! Bach and Beethoven are masters, and I think that hearing Bach played on a mandolin must be one of the cooler experiences someone could have.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    ms. slightly,

    Music knows no boundaries and is all just music, huh?

    Rock on kid.

    Dr. B

  3. Kim Justesen Says:

    I had the pleasure last weekend of listening to a local Blues & Blue Grass band called the Kap Brothers Trio. They had a fiddle player by the name of Fingers who was absolutely amazing. The hubby and I saw them at Pat’s Barbeque in Salt Lake – it’s not North Carolina bbq, but that’s okay. I make my own NCBBQ at home from a recipe I got in a book about the history of NCBBQ.

    Here’s to fiddles and ribs! An awesome combination!

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Kim,

    Now that is my kind of gig!

    There are so many fine bands out there that are not on commercial radio and few people know about.

    Dr. B


  5. Ah, Bach is indeed an inspiration to many… I want to hear his works played on a mandolin :D

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Ms donttakeitlit,

    Perhaps the best one I know at classical mandolin is Mike Marshall from Oakland California. Check out his web site. Butch Baldassari from Nashville did some nice work too, but sadly he is now deceased.

    Dr. B

  7. Martin Waddell Says:

    Try Handel as well (Messiah etc). There’s a lovely concerto which he wrote for harp and orchestra, which is sometimes played on the mandolin instead of the harp. The first movement is especially lovely.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Mr. Waddell,

    I am going to tell Wayne Benson about this. He is truly a multi-faceted musician. Most of the time after he learns new material some of it rubs off on me.

    I play in our church band, and a lady plays harp a couple times a year. I can see why they use those in heaven.

    Appreciate you dropping in, and hope you’ll come back.

    Dr. B

  9. danny fulks Says:

    I saw Wayne a couple weeks ago with the band, he was nursing a thing they called “stoved up” elbow. (does health insurance cover that?) He is a great musician and person, told me once in a three day bluegrass fest 90 percent of the banjo notes came from Earl Scruggs.

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Fulks,

    I agree with you on Wayne. I find he is a genius in this music thing, and a wonderful person.

    Yeah I think there is a code for stoved up, and probably one for bluegrass elbow too.

    Dr. B


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