Big Gig with Guitared and Feathered

        Neuse River has some big shows coming up this spring, and I’m gonna tell you all about them.  Right now, though, the  G and F girls are getting the nod for some local gigs, like the one they’re gonna do one at the Senior Center Saturday.

       Their last mandolin player got married and moved to Kentucky, so you know who they hired.  Given Marfar wants me to play the gig, I figured I’d better sign up.

        Being the mandolin man for the ladies is very different than my regular Neuse River gig.  Like I said before, they fix great snacks, tell all kinda funny jokes, and are much better looking than the Neuse River boys.  And they are so darn nice.

        Take mistakes for example.  When you tangle up a break in the Neuse River bluegrass band, them boys give you down the country.  “D*** it Doc, study your instrument.  What the h*** kinda break was that?”

        If you miss a note here, dang if these ladies don’t say somehow it’s their fault.  Beats all I ever saw.  I reckon it’s to make you feel better.  Heck, I missed my cue on “Sunny Side,” not one of them, but they apologized.  I wasn’t sure why.  It sure is a kinder, gentler bluegrass picking.

        The other thing I noticed was they were the personification of that word multitask.  In between tunes, there was all kinda discussion about sick kids, elderly parents and what’s for supper.  (Might have been about cranky husbands had I not been there.)  I was impressed and said I didn’t know how they could think about all that and play music too, and in the male bands I’d been in the guys usually just kept their minds on one thing.  They all took a look at each other and broke up with laughter.  One of em said, “You got that right Dr. Bibey!”  They all laughed some more and then took a break to eat some of my wife’s fine banana bread.  I never did figure out what was so funny.

        And if you and your wife do a duet on “Bye Bye Love,” you better do it with conviction, like if it was to happen it’d break your heart.  (It would.)  On “I’ve Been Living the Blues,” I do not recommend a line like “Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been walking around… with my head bowed down to my shoes,” without adequate emotion, as in “girl, if you wuz gone it would just flat out depress a fellow.”  I think the world of the Warbler or the Moose, but we ain’t close enough for it to matter much, even if good lead singers and banjo players are hard to come by.

       At the end of practice when everyone decides what to wear so as to be color co-ordinated, you gotta be interested.  I was just glad they didn’t choose fuchsia- I don’t think I have any of that and I’m not sure exactly what it is.  Black slacks I can handle. (I think I have some- Marfar said I do.)

       If you want to do extra good, promise to take your wife out to eat after the gig, and then take her to see the River Band- they’re gonna be in town and crank up just a few hours after our show.

        All in all, it was an excellent practice.  I think they are ready for their gig.  I have to tell you though, by the end I felt like a boy who had climbed up into the wrong tree-house, but it was still a fine time.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Guitar-ed and Feathered

6 Comments on “Big Gig with Guitared and Feathered”

  1. Ted Lehmann Says:

    This post is particularly interesting considering the fact that until quite recently bluegrass was seen as a “boys club.” As women have risen in the professions, public life, and the general workforce, bluegrass has typically lagged behind by about a generation (or two). The landmark recordings put together by Lorraine Jordan of “Daughters of Bluegrass” has had a transformative effect on the acceptance of women pickers. Crucial to this movement, as opposed to country and pop music, is that so far they haven’t HAD to look real good to find acceptance. I fear this is changing, but there’s always hope. Anyway, in NC there’s an emerging and enjoyable girl group called Sweet Potato Pie. You can bet others are on the way. Meanwhile, in my instrument (the heavy, noisy, and intrusive banjo rather than the light, sweet, and curvy mandolin) there are some great women pickers lead by Allison Brown and Cia Cherryholmes and including Kristen Scott Benson and Ramona Church. Of course, there’s a bunch of lady bass players, too. Please congratulate Guitared and Feathered for me and tell them Irene and I are looking forward to hearing them and will surely buy their first recording. – Ted (and Irene)

  2. drtombibey Says:


    Bluegrass would not be the same without a female voice, for sure.

    I’m gonna get back to follow up on Snook and chest pain Wednesday, but we had so much fun at practice that life got in the way of writing for a minute.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    I don’t know anything about the music, but I appreciated the observations about the differences in dynamics when working with men and women. I wonder if the girls would have been as generous and patient with another girl – sometimes (most of the time?) we’re a lot harder on each other than we are on you. That’s not me being pessimistic, it’s just been my observations to this point.

    Doc, don’t apologize for what you write!! Your writing is only going to be interesting to us if it’s interesting to you. Don’t ever force something – write whatever comes out at the time. Don’t worry about us – we’re along for the ride.



  4. drtombibey Says:

    Hey thanks mrschili. In a way, I’m just telling of the life of a country doc, and hope folks find something in it that helps them.

    We had so much fun at practice, I decided to write it up. My daughter is over at Tobacco Triangle U. and she can keep up with what is going on at home by reading the blog, so it all good.

    Still, though, I want to get back to discussion of Dr. Groopman’s ideas (translated into country) come tomorrow.

    Teach ’em good mrschili.

    Dr. B

  5. Susan Says:

    Dr. Tom,
    Great post! Just reading it, I can almost see you reaching out for your feminine side. Keep it up!
    I’m going to let you in on a hint or two:
    1- When women take the blame for a mistake, they really know who did it. YOU. It’s just a way to cut through all the yada yada and get back to practicing. Women (especially those with families) don’t have time to talk a mistake to death.
    2-Fuchsia means pink.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Cool Stuff. I check in on your site pretty regular, and learn something each time.

    For any guys who don’t entirely understand the workings of the feminine mind, Ms. Susan’s blog is a good place to start.

    It can be accessed at

    Dr. B

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