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.
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