Opening for David Holt
Well the ladies did just great. After only two years of playing they opened for David Holt and did a fine job. The Banjo Diva had ’em up and stomping to ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ and Ms. Emma wowed ’em to the point of singing along on ‘When You’re Smiling.’ Kelly on the rhythm guitar and my Marfar on the bass were a solid rhythm section and old Doc was the snare drum backbeat on the mando. As we anticipated, the sound guys were seasoned pros, and made it easy.
I was like a proud papa. They told me I could stay as long as I wanted. All of them are younger than me, but they even promised to pick me up at the Nursing Home when the time came so I could keep on playing. I like loyalty.
I have to admit my favorite part was a duet with my Marfar on ‘Gold Watch and Chain.’ You know the line. When we got to the word ‘love’ she’d cut those big brown eyes my way as if to say, “Old man, I don’t how you keep getting me into these things, but O.K. yeah, I do dig playing to 1,000 people. Cool gig.”
If you’ve never been to a David Holt show please go. He is the world’s leading authority on old time music. The man went to the source and lived in the N.C. mountains for years to study traditional music. He is an expert on clawhammer banjo, guitar, jaw harp, harmonica, percussion oddities of all sorts, story telling, and Appalachian history. His bass man was Will McIntrye and he is steeped in three decades of traditional music too. If you want to see something real, go see them. David is an American treasure. We sure were proud to open for him.
We hadn’t eaten all day, so after the show me and Marfar went to the Waffle House to get a bite to eat. As we sat there, I thought about how lucky I am. I have been a full tilt Doc all my life, but my partners are willing to cover me long enough to pursue my other life too. I’ve gotten to open for some of the best musicians in the world.
But most of all I have a lovely wife who plays a mean bass, sings good, and is still a cute girl who is willing to follow me on my crazy journey with enthusiasm. I’m at the age where a lot of women would want me sit home and watch T.V. and I just can’t do it. And she still counts the Waffle House as a fine place to go on a date and has no complaints when it is all that is open.
I don’t see how a man could ask for more than that.
I got an e-mail from my agent. A couple of publishers are intrigued by our story. They say, “Let me see if I got this right. A Doc who plays bluegrass music. A complicated medical legal saga solved by bluegrass musicians and the hospital maintenance man in a small County in North Carolina? And the Doc’s best friend was part Choctaw Indian who drank too much and played the fiddle? Is this guy for real?”
I expect those of you who have been reading my blog a while would have the same reaction as my wife did at the Waffle House. Some one came up and asked, “Is he a real Doctor?”
Marfar smiled and said, “I’m afraid so. You want to hear the whole story?”
Marfar handed her a card. “Read his book when it comes out. If you get him started we’ll be up all night, and the boy is gonna wear me out.”
The lady looked at the card and stuck it in her pocket. “O.K. I will. We enjoyed the show.”
We waved bye to her. “See you out on the bluegrass road,” Marfar said. “You haven’t seen the last of us I’m sure.”
“Oh, I hope not. It was a fun show.”
I’m gonna crash for the night. Before I do though, I’m gonna say a prayer for my little Australian buddy Possum who is scheduled for open heart surgery. And then I’m gonna add one for the kids out there I don’t know who face something similar. Y’all sleep tight. This old energizer bunny needs to put the battery on recharge.
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