Standing Room Only

        We got a call last night from Darin and Brooke Aldridge.  Today is their official CD release day.  Their show at the Don Gibson theater sold out.  Maybe I should say it ‘Souled Out’ as Johnny C. would sing, ’cause they have soul and aren’t afraid to show it.  

        There is a reason for all this.  Folks love their music. There is nothing more to it than that.  Dennis Jones of WNCW 88.7, the bluegrass voice of the Carolinas and Internet stream radio predicted their success over a year ago.  Eddie Stubbs of WSM Grand Ole Opry radio loved their CD and told the  world.  Kyle Cantrell of Siruis radio has an interview on tap in February.  

        As big as that is though, it is more than that.  These folks are professional musicians, but they haven’t forgotten to sing from the heart.  They aren’t pro-tooled or fluffed up or marketed or packaged in some pop culture homogenized cookie cutter art.  They are real.

        They are red clay and mica; mountain church suppers and funerals, late night jam sessions and endless road miles in search of their voice.  Their people want to hear this kind of music.  The barbers and preachers and teachers and mechanics and doctors and all kinds of regular people who are weary of a greedy world spoke for these artists, and they spoke loud.  As Indie would said, we are all gonna have a large (bluegrass for big) time.

        The Aldridges are in music because they were both born and called to it.  They aim to use their gift to let us forget, at least for a moment, all the senseless hate, power, and ego that often dominates our modern world.  

        As the Stanleys would say, ‘It’s standing room only.’  For the fine people who have music in their heart and didn’t wind up with a ticket, I sure am sorry to say there are no more for this one, but there will be many more shows. 

        For some folks it is ‘Standing Room Only Outside Your Heart.’  For them I hold no animosity, but only regret they are so hard-hearted they don’t even take a minute to hear what these kind of artists have to say, or even worse do their best to degrade traditional music by preconceived notion.  This you can be sure of: we will never go away.  One way or another you have deal with us.  

        I believe people who love true music have grown tired of the status quo.  If I never in my life see an artist exploited by some dude out to make a buck who can’t play the first note, it’ll suit me just fine. 

        It is obvious from the turn-out I am not alone in that opinion.  Folks like me have always been out there, but we have begun to find each other.  Through the power of the Internet, the grass-roots movement has taken hold.  It is now much more than just a bit of kindling smoke a few of us die-hards breathe on to keep the fire burning.  Bluegrass based country music is poised to make a serious comeback via young artists like Darin and Brooke Aldridge. 

        If you don’t believe me, ask Dennis Jones or Eddie Stubbs.  They are experts.  Or you can come to the Don Gibson Theater and see for yourself.  It’ll be standing room only but the Fire Marshall might let you stand in the back a minute and take it all in. 

        Marty Stuart sold out his show there, and now Darin and Brooke Aldridge have too.  My guess is theaters like to see a full house in these hard times, so traditional music seems to be off to a good revival in Shelby N.C.  Given it is the home of Don Gibson and Earl Scruggs it is as it should be.    

Explore posts in the same categories: favorite known bands, Mandolin Players I Know, memorable gigs, Thought of the Day, Writing


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