I guess Sam Bush would say the life of a country Doctor is all glamor and grits. Mine is close sometimes.
Thursday night Marfar had a quilt guild meeting. She didn’t want me to drive alone in the rain, so I picked up Fangers Lynch after work and we drove to the Pig in Asheville to see Balsam Range and their guests Darin And Brooke Aldridge.
The Range alone is a great show. Marc Pruett is old school solid on the five string (he’s played with everyone from Lester Flatt to Skaggs) and Buddy Melton sings ‘Blue and Lonesome’ so sad I had to dry my eyes with the paper towels they put out to clean off your fingers after you eat those good ribs. (I had the smoked chicken; very fine) Bass man Tim Surrett is hands down the funniest emcee in bluegrass. A dry witted nut he is. How about this one from Bluegrass First Class?
An old man and his wife are watching television in the den. The wife turns to the husband and says, “Honey how ’bout let’s run upstairs and have sex?”
He looks over from the T.V. and says, “I can’t do both.” - Tim Surrett. Bluegrass people are very honest.
Darin Aldridge was there with that perfect tone on the mando. Put Brooke in the mix with a couple beautiful gospel numbers, then have them sing a perfect ‘Some old Day’ and you have a fine night in Buncombe County.
Don’t miss the Fiddling Pig if you are in Asheville. Marc Pruett is a Grammy winner and knows the business. He’s in charge of the entertainment, and you can be sure there will be no off nights.
I got in late but slept good, and was well rested to turn in a good Doctor gig. I diagnosed a myocardial ischemia, had several routine check-ups, and saw two gastroenteritis cases. (Just tossing this in so you won’t forget I’m a real Doctor) We did four, uh… lets see how to say it polite-like…. uh.. four age specific colo-rectal screening exams for malignancy and an incision and drainage of an abscess before a quick lunch, then got in fifteen minutes of mandolin practice before we kicked off the second set. (Bluegrass talk for we started up afternoon office hours.)
The schedule was a little light and I caught up every single chart. As far as I could tell it was no runs, no hits, no errors. I breathed a quick prayer of thanks. After all these years, I still have a high respect for what all can go wrong in the Doctor business. So far, I’ve never pronounced anyone well to have them drop over dead in my parking lot. I assure you that is more from the Grace of God than me being smart. The responsibility of it all still weighs heavy, but I do my best.
We finished up early and Marfar and I hit the road to COMMA in Morganton to see Mountain Heart. If you are not sure you like bluegrass try these guys out as your entry band. I always check on the mandolin player, and Aaron Ramsey was excellent. Young lead singer Josh Shilling was especially good; part lounge singer, R’ n B, rock ‘n rolling, honky tonk piano playing, New Orleans bar jazz, bluegrass singer wild man. No kidding, I heard every one of those influences.
My daughter called at the break. “Daddy where are you? It’s late.”
“I’m out on a date with your mama.”
“Well I would hope so. Y’all’re gonna be out too late. You better come on home.”
“Tony Rice and Terry Baucom are playing the second set.”
“Hm, O.K. I’d stay too. Better get a motel room. You’re past your bedtime.”
“A motel room? Well, I guess that’d be O.K. It is your mama after all.”
If Mountain Heart is your first bluegrass band, and you wanted it played straight, then stay for the second set too. Now that you have been broken in all modernized, Tony Rice and Terry Baucom are both classical bluegrass from the 80s. That was the era when we went through a version upgrade, but still kept good taste in the mix.
Like I said, the Doc life is all glamor and grits. (Go see Sam Bush when he’s in town too) Today I’m gonna mow the grass. I’m off so I’ll pick a few tonight. Tommorrow I’ll play the gospel in a country church and pray for the Good Lord to forgive me for my sins. Next week I’ll do it all over again. Whatever misjudgments I made; well… it’s as we say when we miss a note; I didn’t do it on purpose.
In fact I think I’ll pray extra hard. Next week’s schedule looks like it might be a busy one, and I want all the help I can get.
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