Classical Bluegrass and III Tyme Out
As a bluegrass investigative reporter my charge is to bring you the inside story.
Here it is folks. You heard it here first. I have it on good authority that as III Tyme rides the bluegrass road in their tour bus, they have been secretly immersed in classical music.
I hear you now. “Classical, Dr. B? Are you sure? Yes, Russell Moore is a classic voice. I know the band defines the classic sound of the second generation of bluegrass, but classical?”
I am positive because I heard the strains at their show last night. As banjo player Steve Dilling told of his truancy days in high school, (the guidance counselor stayed for the second set at Bass Mountain before she reeled him in) I heard Wayne Benson noodle some Bach on the mandolin.
Dilling cut his eyes to his left. (Your right as you look at the stereo speakers) “What was that?”
“Like in Carry me Bach to old Virginia?”
“No. Bach as in Johann Sebastian.”
“Wasn’t he with the Loving Spoonful?”
“No man. Classical music. Monroe had some Bach influence.”
It was one of the few times I ever saw Mr. Dilling at a loss for words.
I know where this all comes from. Justin, the fiddle man is an old soul at twenty-five. He came up in classical violin, and Wayne has been studying it on the mandolin under the tutelage of Mike Marshall. The next thing you know he and Justin are gonna jam on Beethoven, and not ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ although they can do it too. These guys are artists.
But they haven’t got anything on Dilling. I expect that boy knows every good breakfast joint between here and Missouri. I hear he is working on an endorsement deal with a well known restaurant chain, and it is a classic too.
One of these days I’m gonna have to ride out with these guys. Any group that argues over how much influence Bach had on Bill Monroe over a plate of chops and eggs is my kind of band.
Pour me up another cup of coffee boys, and keep on picking. You guys are today’s classical music.