Archive for April 2009

Mike Compton and the Mountain Folk School

April 2, 2009

        Not long ago my wife and I were on a trip.  I was going to take her to see Rock City, but we got lost.  I couldn’t find all those barns I remembered as a kid.  We came through a little place called Red Bank and saw a music store.  Of course, I had to stop.

        I knew it was our kind of place.  A sign on the front door said they were closed, but you could hear music around back.  A washtub bass sat on the side porch.  I rapped on the door and gave a hollar, but the music went on, so we went in.

        As it turns out, they are gonna have Mike Compton there for a mandolin workshop on April 18.  For those of you not familiar with his work, Mr. Compton is the premier Monroe style mandolin player in the world.  He comes by it honestly too.  I have heard Bill Monroe only took him under his wing when Mike agreed to work on Mr. Monroe’s farm one summer.   I can see it now, (paraphrased)  “Son, split that pile of wood and we’ll get to ‘Wheel Hoss’ first thing after supper.”  

          Mike Compton has played for years with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.  He also toured with John Hartford, and even got a gig with the ‘Oh Brother’ phenomenon.  If you live anywhere in the Chattanooga area, this would be well worth your time.  I took one of Mike’s seminars a decade ago. I still can’t play like Monroe, but then other than Mike Compton, who can?

Dr. B

        Information can be obtained at their weblog:  or email:

       or google Mountain Music Folk School, Chattanooga


Coming to a Bookstore Near You- The Tom Bibey Tour

April 1, 2009

        The Facebook folks have asked me about my tour schedule.  I asked  them to come visit over here at wordpress so I could bring them up to date.  Some of this will be familiar to my regular readers.  But as you guys know, in spite of the fact Dr. B is a simple man, he never seems to have a simple answer to anything.  It’s like my little daughter said, “Daddy, you’re so simple it’s complicated to folks.”

          This is a sad day, ’cause I am sure Indie is not going to make it to Easter.  I promised him I’d tell his story and I am going to, and that has put some of my gigs on hold.  You can’t make a promise to a dying man, especially my friend Indie, and not follow through.

          Somehow it seems appropriate he is going to leave us around Easter, because Indie was a very redemptive man for me.  Not as big as Jesus of course, but very important.  He showed me how to deal with adversity with grace and dignity, and I am forever in his debt for it.  Any book tour would have to be to his credit.  I would not be what I am without him.

        As my regular readers know, I’ll keep you posted on a schedule.  If nothing else Indie taught me to be adaptable.  So, it might change some, but here is the plan at this time.

       I am mandolin guy, so much of this will revolve around my mandolin friends.  The book store tour will be during the week, and our gigs will be in between their weekend schedules. 

       Here in the central part of the state, the Tobacco Triangle area, Tony Williamson (of Mandolin Central) is gonna help me out.  Y’all know him; he is a player.  I wrote up a nice article on him my agent hopes to place in a national music magazine.  I do hope it works out.  Tony sure deserves the press.

        In western N.C.  it is all about Darin Aldridge.  He and his lovely wife Brooke will join me there.  I can’t wait for you to hear them.  Darin’s mandolin tone is the best I know, and Lord can Brooke sing. Check out their new CD, ‘I’ll go With You.’

        I’d dig playing a gig with Reggie and Ryan Harris.  You ain’t lived till you have heard those boys sing the blues and play slide guitar, bass and the electric suitcase.  Over in Knoxville the Sawbones Grass boys, an all doctor bluegrass band has promised a reunion show.  And what I would give to sing one with Jerry Butler of Carolina Road over there.

        In upstate S.C. my friend Wayne Benson will strike a lick with me when III Tyme Out is off the road, and maybe I can convince his wife Kristin to play one on the banjo if she is home from a Grascals tour.  Wayne and Kristin have won more wards than I can list, and she is the current IBMA banjo player of the year.

        Down around Myrtle Beach Alan Bibey is a monster player.  All y’all know him.  We believe we might be distant relatives, but we aren’t sure.  When I was an intern, young Alan was the world Champion on the mandolin.  He is a far better player than me, but still a bluegrass brother in spite of the talent gap.

        In California, and I can’t believe this , but I might play a few with Mike Marshall.  Hm.  Maybe I’ll just carry in his case and watch; what a player!  I need to get out to his seminar, he is a master.

       I have all kind of mandolin pals scattered around like rekx in Dallas, Texas.  We have not played together, but I look forward to the opportunity.  He is a mandolin man, and his wife is a Doc, so they have a good handle on my world, and have promised to be my guide to the music scene down there.

         I am lucky to know a bunch of singers and songwriters.  Megan Peeler won the national Colgate Country Showdown and is gonna play a few with me in Nashville, although I worry she might be too famous by then for me to afford her.  But she is a good country kid, and me and my wife have promised to visit when we are there and take her out for some chicken if we can find some that reminds her of home.

         All the above leaves a lot of gaps, but I’ll fill ’em in.  I hear from folks around the country all the time who’d help me out when they are in between shows, and most of this work will be be when the regular bluegrass gigs aren’t  rocking.  I figure ain’t too much music cooking on a Tuesday morning in Tupelo, and I hope to pick up a good gig wherever I go.  Of the folks I mentioned, I can’t carry any of their cases, but after twenty-five years I am decent side man and part singer, so I’ll find my way.

         So there you have it.  A precision plan, huh?  After all, I am a Doctor, so it has to be such.

Dr. B