Archive for August 2011

A Reason I Write

August 28, 2011

        I got a message from a reader. Along the way, she  had several tragedies in her life and was treated unfairly at times. She read “The Mandolin Case” and it gave her hope that there were people out there who still treat people fairly; doctors who do love their patients, care about their families, and try to do the right thing. She said as she read the story her understandable bitterness dissipated for a moment.

                Because of my recent illness I had to slow down but I still write. That kind of feedback makes every hour of struggle worth it. To know my book made the life of one human being a little better; a person I have never met but who knows me only through my written words is a huge thrill to a writer. It is why I write.

                I’m making small bits of progress on “Acquisition Syndrome.” Because of my visual impairment progress is slower than I’d hoped for but I to have it out by spring. It is still in need of serious edit, but  they do like the content of the book. It shows what I hoped to show. I believe that medicine should be a healing art and not a business. Yes, I made a decent living but I always put patients first and worried about the money later. We own our home and educated our children, we will not miss any meals, so it was all good. That was enough. The modern trend of treating patients as “customers” or cash flow revenue stream is no fun. I hold out hope “Acquisition Syndrome” will show this. I wrote the book to try to pass on some life lessons I believe important and should not be lost. I hope y’all will bear with me and take a look at it when it is finally released. If you like it I hope recommend to people. 

        All the best and thanks for reading.

Dr. B


Mark Twain Autobiography

August 27, 2011

Currently I am reading (or at least listening) to the Mark Twain’s autobiography on Kindle. I’ve learned several things already. For one, exploitation of artists by big business, the disingenuous, or the greedy is not a new phenomena. It unfortunately happened to Twain. I love the way Twain writes with such clarity. Re: editing he once said re: he would’ve written a shorter letter but didn’t have time. For his autobiography by to be released 100 years after his death and yet still speak the truth is what you strive for. My agent always says a writer should write what was true before he got here, what will be true while he is here, and what we true long after you are gone is except for King James I think Mark Twain did that as well as anyone. Twain’s autobiography is a must read (or listen) for a writer.

Dr. B

Wayne Benson- My choice for IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year 2011

August 21, 2011

Our kids cut their teeth on III Tyme Out and songs like “Erase the Miles” and “Raining in L.A.” as sure as Idid with the Beatles tunes “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.” Of course Wayne Benson was and is a huge part of that III Tyme Out sound.  So a few years ago when the kids learned Wayne was gonna give me some mandolin lessons, they couldn’t have been happier if Paul  McCartney was to try to teach me to sing (I kinda wonder if Sir Paul could be that patient).

Wayne is still touring as strong as ever and his signature sound is the backbone of the second generation bluegrass mandolin; one that not only influenced my children but young people like Darin Aldridge. And the beat goes on. He not only teaches old docs, but also nimble-fingered young’uns like Jacob and Issac Moore. Wayne deserves this award for his continued dedication to the mandolin and bluegrass in general. The cat starts most every day with a cup of coffee and his mandolin to work not only on his own skills,  but to think of even better ways to pass it on.

One time a fan came up to a performer and said, “I’d give anything to play like that.”

Same here,” the artist replied. “I gave it my life.”

Wayne did too, he’s just too modest to brag on himself. He’s won a shelf full of awards but through an error in the bluegrass history book he has been inexplicably overlooked for the annual IBMA award. We need to acknowledge his contribution by making him IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year 2011. After all he has done for the music and us it is the least we can do.

Dr. B

We’re in this Love Together

August 18, 2011

My old pal Darin Aldridge and his wife Brooke are nominated for IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year 2011.  Not long ago I had the good fortune to talk to a well-known talent man in Nashville about them and some of my other favorite artists. I asked what he thought. “Young attractive couple, very talented, not afraid to work hard.”

I figured this guy didn’t get where he got by bad judgment. I agree. “I think they’ll make it.” 

“I think so too,” he said.

        Look for them at a venue near you.  Tell ’em Dr. B  said if you are of means to buy at least two CDs.  And make sure to get them signed,

Dr. B

pros and amateurs

August 14, 2011

I recall a time when some people (not many) thought to have a thriving local or regional music venue there was no need to court local musicians. I understand some of that thought process. I wouldn’t drive five hundred miles to hear a guy like me play either but Marty Stuart or Alison Brown, now that’s different.

BUT the amateurs do have a role. Due to a long string of charity events. teaching school kids about bluegrass, (Darin always helped me with those gigs ) and also from sitting in with the pros when they toured through, good old Doc still the #1 played artist on the Don Gibson stage.  Talk about bluegrass trivia!

It’s like golf. The serious amatuers drive the pro game (they buy the clubs, balls, shirts, etc.). I once played a charity event with Bob Charles, the 1963 British Open champion. He was 62 at the time; I was in my fourties.  I couldn’t play like him but I at least had some  idea what he was doing and how hard he must have worked at the game to get that good. I asked him ,”Mr. Charles, other than eight million practice balls and thirty years of touring the world playing golf, what’s the difference in our golf games?” He just smiled.

It’s much the same in music. The great ones didn’t get there by accident.

So, if you love the music, figure out a way to pitch in even if you don’t play like a pro. We need us all to make it work.


Making progress

August 7, 2011

We had a fine week at the Bibey household. As usual my wife made sure that I got the best nutrition, hydration and medical care  and I continue to feel a little better. We ended up the week at the Fletcher Feed and Seed  where I jammed with the Moore Brothers. If you do not know their work do check them out.  They are extraordinarily talented but they are also young people who respect their elders and treat everybody with kindness. They are already ace players  yet there is not a hint 0f arrogance about them. I truly do not play at their level yet they welcome me as if I were long lost family. On Sunday morning some old friends invited us out to breakfast. We talked over golf  matches and college days. I want to reassure you that I feel like I am getting a stronger and I don’t believe this is going to overwhelm me.  I want you to know that I appreciate all the prayers, concerns, cards and letters.  They have truly been a blessing and they have helped to heal me.

zDSee y’all out on the bluegrass road.

zDr. B

Odds and Ends

August 1, 2011

This is my first try at a Dragon speech. I’ve had a difficult time typing and my daughter taught me this program. I hope that it will make me stay a little more efficient and help me keep my blog up-to-date. To update you on my medical condition I have seen small bits of improvement but my close vision is a major problem and precludes me from doing as much as I want to. Still despite all “Acquisition Syndrome is in progress as is my mandolin coloring book. Also I hope to start a mandolin duet CD with Darin Aldridge this fall. As far as I know it will be the only mandolin duet CD that also features storytelling and has a bit of generic medical advice. I guess you wouldn’t expect the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer to come up with anything else. In addition, in January  Ihope to start a mandolin instruction book based on my lessons with Wayne Benson. It will be co-written with him. The ideas in this book, a practical theory for the mandolin, are based on Wayne’s mandolin genius not mine. I am gonna put to paper what he shown me over the years and have him edit it to be sure I get it right. I do think he has a wealth of knowledge that needs to be passed on down the line. I’m his only student who has taken on the task to do this.

Dr. B