Darin and Brooke Aldridge Festival

Posted April 9, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: memorable gigs, Thought of the Day, Writing

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        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

Earl Scruggs

Posted March 28, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: Thought of the Day, Writing

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        Earl Scruggs passed away around 10:00 AM Wednesday March 28, 2012.  Along the way he all but re-invented how to play the five string banjo, and inspired folks all over the world. As Wayne Benson once said, “When you go to a bluegrass festival, every banjo note you hear can be traced back to Earl. Indeed his way to play the five-string banjo will forever be known as “Scruggs style picking.”

        We were fortunate to get to play with Earl several times. I recall a fine lead singer with us at one session who was so awe-struck at first couldn’t remember the words to “Little Cabin Home on the Hill” when Earl called for it, even though I had heard Ray sing it hundreds of times. (He recovered and did a fine job.)

        We were mesmerized. Earl’s playing was downright magical. He had that effect on everyone. When John Hartford first heard him on the car radio he almost ran off the road. Hartford knew right then how he intended to spend the rest of his life.

        Horace told us of the day when Earl discovered how to add in the third finger on his roll (the song was Reuben). We played a lot of music with Horace over the years. He was a nice man, but did insist on two things: 1. You had to keep good time. 2. He strongly encouraged we play a Flatt and Scruggs number in every set. We had no problem going along with that at all. Horace taught us all a lot of bluegrass music. The Scruggs boys came by that timing honestly. Horace and Earl used to play back-to-back, then walk to the front of the house in opposite directions. We they met at the other end of the house if they weren’t in perfect time together, they would repeat the process until they got it right. Both ended up with perfect timing.

        Earl lived a long and very productive life, and changed the world of music forever. We will all miss him. He will never be forgotten, as his music legacy is so vast. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Dr. B

Abuse Prevention Council

Posted March 23, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: memorable gigs, Thought of the Day, Writing

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         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

Posted March 18, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: memorable gigs, The Monday Morning Post, Writing

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        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

Posted March 16, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: memorable gigs, Thought of the Day, Writing

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        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

Posted March 11, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: med school days, memorable gigs, The Monday Morning Post, Thought of the Day, Uncategorized, Writing

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        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

Project Updates

Posted March 4, 2012 by drtombibey
Categories: a Coloring Book for Children of all Ages", Acquisition Syndrome, Writing

Tags: ,

        My progress, as in every other aspect of my life, is slow but moving in the right direction. My health slows me down but it has not stopped me.

        “Grandpa’s Mandolin Book,” a Coloring Book For All Ages.” I just sent in one last fret-board diagram, and have completed my part for this one. It’ll take a few months after that, but I promised spring and I’m gonna make it. Everyone has been patient. Under normal circumstances I’d been finished with my part back in the fall. It might be my favorite project of all, but my health problems slowed me down. This book was inspired by and is dedicated to our grandchild. When my son and his wife announced the pregnancy, I was so excited I had trouble sleeping, and dreamed up the book as a way to start the child out on the mandolin.

        “Acquisition Syndrome,”From Healing Art to Business.” I turned in my last edit to my Lit agent, who sent it in to the publisher. They like it and believe it will go to press about the same time line as the children’s book. Be forwarned. If you don’t want to know of the greed and exploitation that sometimes invades what should be a healing art, don’t read this one. On the other hand, there is hope. In his journey, Bones Robertson found that most people are good. 80% will do the right thing because that is their nature. The other 20% will do the right thing when they begin to realize that it is their best interest to do so. You can improve the odds they will do right once you understand what motivates them. Of course there are some folks you just can’t deal with, and just have to hope to avoid. There are some of those in the story too.

        “The Kid and Dr. B.”  This is a mandolin duet CD (Along with storytelling and some generic medical advice) with Darin Aldridge. Also Wayne Benson put a cut on the record with his fine student, Jacob Moore. “Cuz” Alan Bibey also plans to send in a cut. I can promise you this: All of these guys are good. If you hear a clanger note, it’s old Doc, and not them, but we’re having fun. I was very pleased they wanted to contribute a cut as I wanted to honor the teacher student relationship. My teachers along the way have been Darin, Wayne, “Cuz” Alan Bibey at Roanoke and other workshops, and also “America’s teacher,” Butch Baldassari, who we’ll always miss. I went to two of his seminars in Nashville back in the 90s.

        “Practical Theory for Mandolin” by Wayne Benson and Dr. B. This one is due out in 2013. I am but the scribe on this project. I have taken lessons from Wayne since 2007, and this is a written documentation of Wayne’s lesson plans. We just started the project and it will take a year or so to complete. I believe it will allow the less intuitive player (like me) to play the mandolin at a higher level than they would have been able to without his roadmap.

       So, in spite of illness, I’m trying to stay busy. I’m only good for about two hours a day of productive activity, but I can’t just roll over and give up. I’d surely die if I did.

Dr. B


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