WSM Grand Ole Opry Radio/Eddie Stubbs/Darin and Brooke Aldridge
First of all, let me establish credentials here. I, Tommy Bibey, am the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I write fiction, but I never lie to my reader. I love bluegrass music because it is real. As a doc I burned up inside to be my best. I saw a lot of pain, suffering and death. If I hadn’t had my music I would have already been dead from a heart attack. I owe it much.
As a result of my love of that music, I know a lot about it, and have met many of the people involved in. If you have read my blog a while you know this.
I want to be sure you understand this: Country music is three chords and the truth, and the truth is Eddie Stubbs knows more about bluegrass and country music in the little finger that wraps around his fiddle bow than old doc knows in his whole body. (Okay, my heart is in it pretty good, I agree with that) Mr. Stubbs is the voice of WSM Grand Ole Opry radio. He is not in the business of making idle claims. He knows what’s happening. Period.
Eddie had Darin and Brooke Aldridge on WSM Grand Old Opry online radio live last night. He loves their new CD and interviewed them at length.
It was near surreal. He seemed to present the tunes in rough order of his anticipation as to how the will play on big time commercial radio. I don’t know Mr. Stubbs, and yet he sized them up in the order I would consider correct. Bottom line, though; there are no weak cuts.
He pointed out the CD will be available in the Ernest Tubb Record shop in Nashville next week, and can be ordered off their website now. The link is: www.darinandbrookealdridge.com He informed the world the Darin and Brooke CD release party will be at the Gibson theater over in Shelby, N.C. (the one I’ve been telling you about) on Friday night January 22, 2010. It is hard to figure, but either by sound business acumen, luck, or some uncanny knowledge of the street (perhaps all three) this crowd continues to find the best young talent and get them booked before the rest of the world knows what is shaking out.
Mr. Stubbs is well-connected at the Opry. When I was at the IBMA convention this fall he introduced the General Manager of the Opry, Mr. Pete Fisher, who gave the key-note address. Mr. Fisher presented a strong argument that to maintain and improve the Opry brand they must seek out the best new bluegrass acts who would appeal to a traditional county music audience. I believe Darin and Brooke Aldridge are just the kind of folks he hopes to find. They are the best male/female country bluegrass duet I’ve heard in many years. Producer Jerry Salley thought so too, and now it seems Mr. Stubbs is of a similar opinion.
As we have discussed, in bluegrass it’s all about the timing. Mr. Horace Scruggs said so; for me that makes it true. As far as our kind of music on the Opry, the timing is right and the timing in now. I know for a fact the Opry has bluegrass and traditional country on their radar. Mr. Fisher told us so in his speech. We have their ear, and they have begun to understand that groups like Darin and Brooke Aldridge might make their brand stronger than ever. In my humble opinion if you believe our kind of music needs more representation on the Opry, the time to tell them so is now. If we do not do so we have no room for complaint if they don’t present the music we love. These are hard economic times in the arts, and the Opry is listening to what everybody has to say right now.
To my readers in Australia, you are gonna love “The Sweetest Waste of Time.” (It was written by y’all’s folks, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson) Mr. Stubbs found it a fine number and a likely hit here in the States. I bet it will go over good in Australia too. WSM online is world-wide so maybe some of you caught it last night. He also played ‘It Moves Me’ and ‘Corn’ which is my song of the day today, ‘Hero,’ a tribute to Vince Gill, and several others through the program. All good.
The English Professor, Ted Lehmann, knows a bit about bluegrass himself. He writes one of the biggest independent bluegrass blogs in the NorthEast. Go over and see what he has to say. His link is: www.tedlehmann.blogspot.com
Here is my bottom line. Old bluegrass hands like me in N.C., people who know music, have known of these kids for a long time. We love ’em like our own. Eddie Stubbs thinks the world is gonna love ’em too. We’re proud to share ’em with y’all, but also can’t help but admit we’re also proud they’re from our neck of the woods. Heck, I’ve picked and sung a few with ’em along the way myself. I’m thrilled for them and tickled to have watched it all happen.
When they get out there y’all be nice to them ’cause they are genuine sweet young people, and Lord knows they can they sing and play. I can’t wait for you to hear em.