Archive for the ‘memorable gigs’ category

Darin and Brooke Aldridge Festival

April 9, 2012

        This weekend is the annual spring Darin and Brooke Aldridge Bluegrass festival, so you know where I’ll be. In additional to the Aldridges, the Grascals will be there friday, and The Harris Brothers on Saturday, and many other fine bands are booked. Their website has all the details:  www.darinandbrookealdridge.com.

        There is also some open mic time, so you never know will show up. Fine friends, music, food and pretty spring days. Hope to see you there.

Dr. B

Abuse Prevention Council

March 23, 2012

         Monday night March 26th at 7:00 PM I have the privilege to play with Al and Karen Dunkleman for the 9th annual Abuse Prevention Council fundraiser at Cleveland Community College. Darin Aldridge will be with us and this year jazz saxophonist Clyde Cumberlander will join in too.

        For more information, or directions to the campus, call 704-669-6000 or visit clevelandcommunitycollege.edu.

        Tis a good cause; hope y’all can come out.

Dr. B

Top of Georgia Bluegrass Jamboree

March 18, 2012

        We just got in from the Top of Georgia festival and in Dillard, Georgia, and we recommend it highly. The resort is as if Heaven dropped it into green rolling pasturelands nestled in between a couple of Appalachian mountain ranges. The accommodations ranged from rooms to chalets; old-fashioned southern hospitality and charm with all the modern amenities. That bathroom heater when you get out of the shower was the ticket! The food was great and the band line-up was as strong as you’ll see anywhere. We ran into many old N.C. friends and some new ones from Georgia too.

        They have two bluegrass events a year. Here’s their web site and also a photo: www.gabluegrassjamboree.com

Into the Harvey County Bluegrass Inner Circle

March 16, 2012

        A new bluegrass family is in town and they found their way into the inner circle quick. If you serve up great ribs, million dollar pie and gallons of sweet tea you make bluegrass friends in friends in Harvey County in a hurry. Leonard sang the lead, Moose Dooley picked the five, “Cuz” was the dobro man, Phipsy played bass and Jim flat-picked the guitar. I wobbled around on the mandolin and sang baritone but no one complained. It was great to be out picking. Our social life might not be fancy, but I wouldn’t trade places with the richest Wall Street cat around.

        Y’all keep the music going.

Dr. B

Dr. Peter Temple

March 11, 2012

       

        It was a sad weekend in that it marked the passing of my med school friend, professor, and mentor, Dr. Peter Temple. Still, there was hope. His receiving of friends, as one might expect, was a big party that showed how many people he influenced. Not only does he leave behind a wonderful nuclear family, but many folks like me whose lives were enriched by him. Dr. Temple showed me how to be a doc but still enjoy life; he perfected the art.

       The celebration of his life was friends and food and drink and music. Kids ran through the yard, splashed in a puddle, played with some new puppies, and climbed the cedar trees around the house. In addition to ham sandwiches and fruit and cheese there was sushi and edamame and chocolate cake and of course bluegrass on the front porch. Folks there included guys like George on the banjo, who played with Peter and Junior and Greek in the Tar River Boys back when I was in med school. We played standards out of Temple’s set list; numbers like “I Wonder How the old Folks are at Home, and “I’m Using my Bible For a Road Map.” My daughter had to pull up the lyrics for it on her cell phone, but we honored his request that we do “You Go To Your Church and I’ll Go To Mine,” one that I had promised him years ago I would play for him whenever the time came.    

         I was sad to see him pass, but glad he has no more suffering. One thing is certain; there will never be another one like him.

Dr. B

Saturday Night Sunday Morning

February 26, 2012

        Ralph Stanley had a CD out several years ago by this name. Tis the bluegrass way, huh? It was that kind of weekend for me. Saturday night I had the pleasure to sit in with Charles Ebert, the jovial West Virginian, and Timberline Bluegrass at at Barley’s Taproom in Spindale, N.C. It was great fun, fine pizza, and music therapy for Doc. I told the mandolin player of my bluegrass side-man plan from a few posts back and he was cool with that. I don’t like to crash anyone’s gig, but if I can help out I enjoy that.

        Then Sunday morning I talked to the church Praise Band about doing a little fill in work. (My health won’t allow any full time commitment right now, esp during chemo week. They have young lady on the mandolin so if she’s out I’ll cover her part, but when she’s there I’ll either do some mandolin harmony work or play mandola. If we do a Hee-Haw type gig, I can cover the banjo. (At least the basics) It is all so good for me; makes me feel needed.

        I should have news on “Acquisition Syndrome” before long. One publisher is ready to go, but a couple others have it under consideration, so my agent wants to hear from them before we make a decision. I hope to be able to tell you more soon.

        Here’s wishing all of you many Saturday night/Sunday morning weekends. Years ago one med student told me I both worked and played harder than anyone he’d ever met, and he was gonna go back to the Medical Center to get some rest. I didn’t miss much along the way, stayed out of trouble, and had a lot of fun. I have no regrets regardless of where this tumor takes me. (So far still moving forward; don’t worry till Dr. B says worry.)

Dr. B

Bluegrass First Class

February 19, 2012

        We just got back from BGFC; the traditional N.C. festival season kick-off for the last seventeen years. Spring is gonna get here. It was all music and food and fellowship. Best of all was our new grand-baby; all smiles and chuckles. Great stuff.

       It was more activity than I am used to these days, so I’m gonna rest for a few days, but I’ll be back in touch. thank goodness for the bluegrass community. It is one big extended family. The prayers, music, and well wishes did my heart a lot of good.

Dr. B

Bluegrass First Class

February 14, 2012

        Bluegrass First Class is this weekend. It is in Asheville at the Crown Plaza Resort. Bluegrass has come up in the world. I remember when we used to sleep under the stars or a flat-bed truck trailer if it rained. As the event title implies, both the accommodations and the talent are always first class.

        I’ll be there, so if you spot me come up and shake and howdy. I’m not gonna try to manage a booth this year as my health won’t allow, but I’ll have  a few books should anyone want one. I think the show is already sold out, but if you have a ticket, see you there.

Dr. B

Blugrass Inn #2/ A Good Fund-Raiser/ Doctor Sponsored Bluegrass Side-man Sick Pay Plan

February 12, 2012

        I played Saturday night with singer/songwriter Al Dunkleman and sat in for part of a set with Max McKee at the Bluegrass Inn #2. It was great fun. I’m not up to a commitment to an every weekend gig, but the arrangement with Al is perfect. He does all the prep; I am just the side-man, but I try to be a reliable one. We play somewhere about once a month. In March we have a big fund-raiser for the Abuse Prevention Council at Cleveland Community College. It’s one of my favorite gigs. I know I am a Pollyanna but I belive if everyone was busy with their family and career and played music they would be too content (and tired) to be so dadburn aggressive.

        Right now my health won’t allow me to reliably front a regular band. In fact, until someone wants to hire a doc for two hours of light activity followed by an hour nap and a shower, I’m not up to the regular doc gig either. However, even if disabled I will always visit once or twice a week as long as I am able to walk. The patients and the staff mean too much to me not to.

        I miss not having a regular band. At the Shelby Music Center jam last Saturday I got to pick with my old band mate, banjo man Moose Dooley. It brought back memories. One time years ago we did a banjo duet on a flat-bed truck stage at the Harvey County court-square. Moose suggested “Remington Ride.” I kicked it off, but lit into the wrong song. When Moose realized what I’d done he switched to the tune I kicked off,  so were in synch for a moment. Then I managed to break into “Remington Ride” while he continued on with the tune I first kicked off. It was an unusual duet! I was always doctor first and musician second. I learned a lot of music from those boys.

        At the jam, one mandolinist told me he had to have some surgery and was gonna be out six weeks. He asked if I would fill in if they had a gig to come up. I said yes of course, and it led my brain to dream up “The Doctor Sponsored Bluegrass Side-man Sick Pay Plan.” I’ll fill in with any local or regional band, health willing, and do so professional courtesy. I figure I’m the only side-man around who can cover your gig, write you a doctor’s excuse, let you get sick pay for your gig, and have zero motivation to try to steal your job while you are out. I am not up to any regular commitment anyway, so no one needs to fear that kind of treachery from me. (They didn’t before I was sick either) My only reservation is that I do have to be sure the gig is not the week of chemo. I missed one because I failed to account for this variable and was too sick to play. It was the only show I ever missed, and I felt bad about it.

       We are semi and near retired and live out in the country. We wanted to be near the home of Earl Scruggs, but still be within shouting distance of good old Harvey County and also the central part of the state where my daughter lives. So if you need a side-man and the gig isn’t in chemo week, well, have mandolin will travel. (short distances only) I’ll go about an hour’s drive from Charlotte N.C.; any direction with enough notice. We love the mountains too and get to the Asheville area every so often, and I’ve played in Fletcher at the Feed ‘n Seed. Of course much of this is big talk; if I’m sick I can’t make the gig, but I do my best to never promise what I can’t deliver.

        Y’all play hard.

Dr. B

Sleigh Ride

December 17, 2011

        This is my song of the day. I recently heard a Carol King version I liked a lot.

        We used to play this in the high school band. One day we were practicing it for the Christmas concert. The trombone section got together and decided to jazz up our solo. (I was the lead trouble-maker) When our time came we stood up and blared out the hillbilly jazz, swaying our trombone slides to the music as we went. Lots of fun.

        The band director protested but with a smile. He knew better than to try to snuff out a mischievous love of music. It became to nucleus of a small group called the stage band, and we were the first players he called on.

        I think I was all the way to college before I realized the world had any problems.

Y’all have a Merry Christmas.

Dr. B


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