The George Plimpton of Bluegrass
You remember George Plimpton? He’d pitch for the Tigers or be QB for a day with the Lions.
Well, now I’m the George Plimpton of bluegrass. Not long ago, I went to a show by the Circuit Riders. Boy are they a hot band- strong in every position, great singers, the works.
At the break I went up to shake and howdy. I had talked to them at MerleFest, and one of them had read my weblog, so they knew I played the mandolin.
“Hey, Doc,” Greg said. “I’m gonna fiddle a few in this set, and Darin is gonna switch off and play guitar. Did you bring your mandolin?”
“Don’t leave home without it, Mr. Luck.”
“You wantta play a few tunes this set?” he asked.
“Do I wantta play!?” I didn’t give him a chance to change his mind.
And so it was. I got up near the end of the show and we did ‘Sally Good’in,’ ‘Ashokan Farewell’ and then closed with this set with one called ‘John Riley’ something or another. I might woulda tangled that one up, but when they kicked it off Darin Aldridge turned to me and said, “It goes to the seven where you’d think it’d be the five Doc,” so I got through it fine. (That’s some more music theory there.)
I’ve played in regional bands all my life, but now I can claim at least for one night to be a professional mandolinist.
And I’m gonna tell tell you it was some kinda big time. That was as tight a band as I’ve ever sat in with. Pretty cool for an old Doc. The George Plimpton of bluegrass was fun. I hope they let me be him again.