Saturday Bluegrass First Class

       Saturday I realized I had blended into the crowd well.  One fellow came up and said he loved my mandolin playing, but called me Bill.  I guess Bill looks like Dr. B and was a heck of a player.  The event promoter Milton Harkey said from the stage my article in the Laurel of Asheville was a big success.  He did not realize I had bought a ticket and was in the audience.  When somebody talks nice about you and you aren’t even there, that is extra special.

        The talent level was equal to Friday.  Asheville’s own Balsam Range packed the house with the weekend’s biggest crowd, and played the hometown folks into a frenzy.  Junior Sisk sang old time authentic bluegrass and Wyatt Rice played modern flat-pick as only the Rice boys can do.  

        Sierra Hull, the precocious young lady of the mandolin, is only a teenager, but is a marvelous performer for any age.  She doesn’t need much help, but Ron Block (of Alison Krauss fame) produced Ms. Hull’s record, and played guitar and banjo and sang with her in Asheville.  Mr. Block has long been one of my favorites.  His work is both of style and substance. The man has a passion for what he does, and is not just going through the motions.  He could have just as easily retired for the evening, but I noticed he stayed late to share some thoughts with a few of the young pickers who hung around after the show.  They will do well to pay attention to his advice.  Ron Block still works at his craft every day to be the best he can, and believe me he is already very good!

        As I type it is 12 bells, (eight bells military) but there is a jam session next door, so I’m gonna split and check for typos in the morning.  As keepbreathing would say, someone get the coffee pot ready; morning is not far away.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: favorite known bands, memorable gigs, Writing


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

10 Comments on “Saturday Bluegrass First Class”

  1. Dr. B, I am quite jealous as I write this. This convention, full of your friends, idols, fans and family sounds like it must be as near to a perfect weekend as there can be. I hope you keep jamming, enjoying and coffee-drinking through the event!

  2. Parson Bob Says:

    Doc, I know you weren’t in the Navy or Marine Corps, but as they say, there ain’t no such a-thing as 12 bells! 12:00, whether noon or midnight, is eight bells. The rest of the story is on a need-to-know basis!

    Hell’s bells, however, is another story for another time. Enjoy the rest of BGFC and Asheville; sounds like a great festival.

  3. drtombibey Says:


    We got home just in time to get ready for another week. A bunch of my friends headed out for Nashville for the SPBGMA convention, but I had to turn back into a Doc. Tis O.K. I enjoy that life too.

    Dr. B

  4. drtombibey Says:


    I learn something every day. I often wondered how to distunguish it like they do in military time (2400 hours etc.)

    Of course in bluegrass we never seem to keep up with time too exactly, except music time, which is very precise, and some of the best musicians I know often aren’t up by noon.

    Dr. B

  5. medicmarch Says:

    Dr B, came this way from Keepbreathing’s RT blog. I’m a paramedic and coffee enthusiast, and really like the lyrics you posted up for “Coffee Song”, so I broke out my guitar and put a little music to them. The song’s yours, of course, and I recorded it here in front of my laptop without your permission, so if you want me to delete it, I will. Are you interested in hearing my twist on it? I’d be more than happy to send you the mp3 and give you all the credit 🙂


  6. drtombibey Says:


    So good to hear from you. My son is a paramedic. I have found folks who cut people out of crumpled cars and intubate patients in the field tend to be coffee lovers too. Good for the nerves I guess. God bless you for the work you do.

    Yeah, I’d dig your take on the coffee song. My e-mail is

    If I can figure out how to post it (with your permission) I’ll put your version on my blog for folks to listen to. (I am old and about half computer illiterate, but I’ll try.)

    I’d sing it myself but that might scare away my readers.

    Who knows, maybe someday a version will show up in some bluegrass band’s repetoire.

    Dr. B

  7. medicmarch Says:

    done and done. Please let me know if it came through and is playable.


  8. drtombibey Says:


    Not only did it come thru it is extra cool. It inspired another post which is going up now.

    Dr. B

  9. Ted Lehmann Says:

    Dr. B – It’s fun when we see many of the same bands on the same weekend. What a weekend for travel. Dailey & Vincent were in Palatka on Friday, in Asheville on Saturday, Boston on Sunday, and New York, I think, today. Oh for the life of a touring musician! Also, don’t forget our friend Cory Walker in Sierra’s band.

    A thought for Ms. Ignorant. After a while friends, family, and bluegrass bands seem to merge into one huge musical family giving more pleasure and satisfaction than can be imagined in this mortal coil. The end of a bluegrass festival is a sad event, made easier to bear only through knowledge that it starts all over again the next week someplace. – Ted

  10. drtombibey Says:


    Man that Cory kid was red hot. I should have mentioned him. I forget you knew him- what a player.

    Ms slightly Ted is exactly right about the bluegrass family. Where else could an English professor and a country doctor with bad grammar be kindred spirits?

    Dr. B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: