Archive for the ‘places to play’ category

Marquee at the Walmarks

April 22, 2008

        If you want to know when you’ve made it in the County, here’s how you can be sure.

        It ain’t if you’ve saved forty-eleven lives or memorized the New England Journal of Medicine.  And it is unrelated to perfect attendance at the Rotary Club.  Teaching Sunday School won’t hurt, but by itself won’t cut the gig.  Even helping little old ladies across the street might go unnoticed.

        I am here to tell you though, if you ever get your name on that Billboard right there at the Walmarks, then by golly you have arrived. 

        You see, Walmart is a big thing in these parts- it was our first fancy store we got brought in from the outside world.  I love the story (plagiarized from somewhere else) about the lady who said she liked Family Dollar, ’cause you didn’t have to dress up like when you went to the Walmarks.

        Neuse River did a fall festival last year, and we were advertised on the Walmart Billboard.  In fact, we got top billing over the annual Kiwanis Club pancake supper, and we were genuine stars for a full six weeks. 

        I heard it most every day.  “Dr. Bibey, I seen your name on the Walmarks sign.  You gonna quit doctoring?”

        “No sir.”  I could almost turn on my internal mental cassette recorder.  “I still like doctoring.  Don’t worry, I ain’t giving it up any time soon.”

        “You boys is gonna go to Nashville soon, ya’ll’s gonna be on the Opry.”

        “Truly sir, we ain’t that good.  Trust me.”  and so it would go.

        That night though, I had to go by Walmart to pick up a prescription.  As I sat in traffic and waited to turn at the light I looked up at the sign.  NEUSE RIVER LIVE AT THE FALL FESTIVAL. – Dr. Tommy on the Mandolin.  I hate to admit it but I got a bit of a kick out of it.  Just think of it- my name on the Marquee at the Walmarks.  And mama said my mandolin was going to get me in trouble some day.  I was gonna call her when I got home.  I figure I had arrived ’cause I don’t see how it could get any bigger than that. 

Dr. B


Australian Jam Session

March 25, 2008

       Here is one to check out.  The nccoffeeshopmusic site listed on my Blogroll has posted notice of an excellent jam session.

        The session is at the Dilworth coffee shop in Charlotte N.C. on April 3.  This is not your everyday jam, but a fellow from Australia will be in town and wants to jam with local and regional pickers.  Click on the link on my Blogroll to get the details.

        I always dig a session when someone is in from out of town, but from out of the country is a special opportunity to show the man some Southern Hospitality, so y’all turn out.  The great mandolin builder, Gilchrist, is from that neck of the woods.  I wonder if they’ve picked any music. 

        It is pretty good stretch of drive for me to get there on a weeknight, but I hope they have a good turnout.  For those of y’all from the Charlotte area it sounds like an excellent chance to speak the International Language of Music.  If I lived there I’d go for sure.

Dr. B

Bomb Shelter Co-ordinates

January 27, 2008

        I got my wife a new GPS for her car, and it is quite a gadget.  We decided to try it out, and plugged in the Bomb Shelter to see how it would react.

        I guess the world is closing in on us bluegrassers ’cause the thing made a pretty good run at it.  It got close, but then even its’ marvelous little computer brain began to get confused.

        “Turn left,” it said.  “No, right.”  Then, TURN RIGHT,”  followed by “re-calculate, RECALCULATE!!”

        Then it resigned itself to the same as we have said for years:

        “You can’t get there from here.”

        I take some solace in that.  For one thing, the military came up with all those co-ordinates anyway, so I have to assume the Bomb Shelter is a low priority target.  More than that, it remains a place where it is socially acceptable for me and all my bluegrass friends to be a bit contrary.  We have to be that to be bluegrass, and even the encroachment of all things few-fangled ain’t got us yet.

        I will tell you though, for negotiating one’s way through the rest of the modern world, the thing is right handy.  When it came time to go home, we plugged in our suburban address, and it was like a horse headed for the barn.  It delivered us right down to the last turn into the driveway.  

        I reckon come Monday I’ll go back to work and re-join the conventional world, at least for a week anyway.

Dr. B


Yankee Picking

December 8, 2007

        Well folks, I’m off from doctoring for a couple days, and it is a busy music weekend in the County.  Friday night is the annual Habitat for Humanity gig, a worthy cause if there ever was one, and we have our office Christmas party on Saturday, which is just a big jam session.  Sunday it is on to the Nursing Home, and the Moose will sing “Christmas Time’s a Coming” just like Bill Munroe. 

        About ten years ago we had a World Tour T-shirt, which listed our venues at the Fair, the Ayden tractor pull, the Nursing Home, the School House, and other local favorites.  The shirt went over real big, and when Moose wore it at the beach, some young lady stopped him (this is always happening to the Moose) and asked him where she could hear Neuse River play, so for a while there we were world famous all throughout the County.

        I know ’bout our music pretty good, but it occurred to me I had stayed so busy as a doc and picking around here that my exposure to the music has been limited to our version, what I hear from the groups touring through, and from my good fortune to know Darrell, who is the only one in our crowd to turn pro.  As I get older, I hope I might travel more and broaden my perspective.  ‘Bout all I have been exposed to is Southern bluegrass, and it’s great, but I often wonder what the music is like in other parts of the country.
        I do know that guys like Peter Rowan, Gris, and Bill Keith were all from up north, and contributed mightily.  Behind the scenes, some folks grumbled about “Yankee picking” but I never understood that.  They sounded pretty good to me.  Bill Monroe was a southern guru, and he didn’t deride it one bit- he not only embraced it, he hired them all!
        Well, I want everyone to know that here in the County, the bluegrass brethren is always welcome, regardless of race, color, creed, social status, religious denomination or anything else.  All the have to do is want to pick some bluegrass music, and they’ll get along.  Heck, they don’t even have to do that, all they gotta do is give us the freedom to play.
        You see, here in the County, and I suspect everywhere else, based on  how the bluegrass folks from other parts of the country treat me, bluegrass is ’bout like that Lake Woebegone Mr. Keillor talks about, where ugly things like prejudice don’t exist.
        I mean, here in the County we are a bit isolated, and I admit folks can sometimes be wary of newcomers, but if they are good folks I’m proud to say they get treated like family.
        One day a new fellow came to town to look me up, and he wanted to pick some bluegrass music.  He stopped at the Gulf station, rolled down his window, and asked if anyone knew that Doctor who played bluegrass music, and the man at the gas station said, “You talking ’bout Dr. Bibey?  You sick?”
        “Oh, no.  Came down from the mountains and wanted to play some music.”
        The man at the service station looked at his watch.  “Better get on over to his office. He’ll be leaving pretty soon.  All dem Docs play golf on Wednesday, you know.”
        The gentleman arrived right about when I was getting ready to leave for the day, and explained he had come down from the mountains.  Only thing was he didn’t talk like Jake, the only mountain man I knew.  I believe he said he was from some Green Mountains we’d never heard of- some place far away like New Hampshire or something like that.  Well, it made no difference to me. 
        “Whatcha toting there?”
        “Martin.  Any jamming happening?”
        “Yeah, boy.  Going to the Bomb Shelter tonight.  Wanna go?”
        The man had never heard of the Bomb Shelter, but it turns out I had come highly recommended to him, and he trusted my judgment.  We went over to the County Line for lunch, and I called Darrell and the Moose to tell ’em to round up the usual suspects.  If company is in you try to show ’em a good time, you know.
        Well, when we got there, most of the boys didn’t know what to make of it, and a couple of ’em weren’t sure they wanted to pick with the man.  “Can he cut the gig?” one asked. Jake was in town that night, and he was extra worried.  He was a real mountain man,  and sometimes they take to strangers right slow.  
        Moose knew better.  “See that guitar, Doc? It’s bout half wore around the sound hole, and it’s got a lot of cigarette burns.  That man can play. We’d better take a chance on him.”
        Jake stood back in the corner to wait and see as the man strapped on his Martin.  Well, Moose was ‘xactly right- that old boy just wore that guitar out.  He hadn’t played but one bar, and Jake jumped right in the thick of it, and was a sawing away on the fiddle.  We played deep into the night, and it was extra good- the man could cut the gig.
        He was just like us.  Turned out he had done a stint with the Gibson Brothers, and I was shocked to find out they was from upstate New York.  I thought it was all pavement up there, but those boys sounded just like they’d grown up on the farm in Kentucky.
        Well, about 2:00 I had to split, ’cause I had to turn back into a doctor, but the boys stayed on to play a few last good’uns.  Moose told me later when me and the man left, Jake strung together more consecutive words than we’d ever heard him utter.  “Lawd have mercy boys, didja ever hear anything like that?  I’d don’t care if he does talk funny, we need to get him to pick more often.  I wonder if Doc knows any more of dem Yankee Pickers?”
        I figure I need to study up on those Yankee pickers, too. I’d been around a while and had never heard one, ‘cept on records, and I didn’t know they were that good either. 
        I hear a lot of talk about exactly what bluegrass is, and sometimes even some arguing on the subject.  Well, I don’t know about y’all, but to me I don’t care where a man is from.  If he sings an honest song about real people trying to live decent lives in a nonsensical world, then he’s welcome in my circle. 
        I’ve already heard from a fair number of folks from up North, so today I wanted to officially welcome you to this decidedly southern site.  To paraphrase the golf folks, if you know bluegrass you are my friend.  Part of my motivation for writing all this is to spread the bluegrass gospel.  It ain’t as important as the real Gospel, but is is important- if for no other reason when I go to Detroit I need to know who to pick with.  So, keep on picking, and I’ll see you out on the bluegrass road.

                                           -Dr. Bibey

County Star Theatre

November 27, 2007

        It was a big night in the County.  We’re gonna renovate the old County Star theatre, and bring live shows to Harnett County for the first time in many years.  We ain’t had anybody perform live there since Cowboy singing star Fred Kirkly rode his little paint pony out on the stage, and Moose went and hit her in the hindquarters with a pea shooter.  Well, Calico she rared back and threw Fred off into the orchestra pit and he dislocated his shoulder, and ole Doc Robin and my Dad had to yank it back in the socket.  Now that was a show. 

        Most of the folks there tonight were too young to remember all that, and me and Moose didn’t tell.  The McCurry brothers put on a spontaneous acappella singing, and did it without their guitars.  It was extra good.

        Yep, there gonna be some good bands brought into town when it’s done.  I looked at all the drawings and plans, and they are first rate.  Our guitar man at church, Stan “Guitar Man” Antonio is heading up the architecture.  Not only did he go to school and study all about Art Deco and things like that, but he is a first rate guitar picker to boot, so I can guarantee it will be a 100% authentic old time music hall by the time he’s done with it. When we get finished with the renovation, I’ll post a heads up and invite you to a show.

Dr. B


The County Fair

November 25, 2007

        Neuse River plays the County Fair every year.  There is a little cabin near the front gate, and we sit on the porch and pick for hours at a time.  It think we are what you call atmosphere.

        It’s a good gig- you get paid for something you enjoy, and also get all the vinegar fries and ham biscuits you can eat.  I never check my cholesterol for a month afterwards.

        All of us have been on the bluegrass scene for a long time, and know a wide variety of tunes, but you have to play some standards.  In fact, one year the manager put a clause in our contract to play “That Good Old Mountain Dew” at the top of every hour.  The Warbler grew weary of the tune, so he started calling for it in wild  keys to see if he could stump the band.  You ain’t played bluegrass mandolin until you have improvised “Mountain Dew” in E flat, I tell you.

        For the most part it is an attentive crowd, but beware of the competition.  Several times a day, a loud bugle call that sounds like the start of the Kentucky Derby is the signal that the pig races are going to start.

        The great Jethro Burns said your act should never follow small children or dancing animals- they are just too hard to compete with.  He should have included pig races, too.  Last year, when they blew that bugle, every single human being at our show left to go watch the pig races, right down to my own mama.

           She was the last one to leave, but she, like everyone else, split.  I’m sure she hated to go, and she did apologize.  As she said, “But Tommy, it’s the Pig Races.”  So much for my career as a bluegrass musician- I better hold onto my day job.

 Dr. B

Bomb Shelter Loyalty

November 23, 2007

        Several folks wanted to know what the Bomb Shelter is like.  Others wanted some insight into the lifestyle of a country doc.  I decided to tell you an old Bomb Shelter story that might satisfy both requests.  Except for the fictional parts, it is a true story, but the names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

        The Bomb Shelter, owned by Jack Barber, is a longstanding N.C. watering hole for bluegrass musicians.  It is an authentic 1950s prewar (cold war) bomb shelter converted to a bluegrass haunt when the standoff with the Russians wound down.  I can not divulge its whereabouts, as that is a highly guarded secret in the eastern N.C. bluegrass community. 
        The crowd is a tight circle of players, mostly good amateurs, with the occasional professional sitting in. Everyone knows everyone in the bluegrass world.  As one of my patients used to say,  “All you bluegrass boys is thick as thieves.”  John Hartford said bluegrass was the last American small town, where we were an extended family, and no one locked their doors.  Treachery is rare in our world.  Expensive instruments can be left out without fear of theft.  Oh, of course, there are times when someone will break the rules.  When it happens, an all out search is launched.  The national trade magazines, like BGU, (Bluegrass Unlimited) will run an ad until the piece is recovered, as they did years ago when a well-known banjo finally turned up in a Brooklyn pizza parlor.  The perpetrator is seldom criminally punished, but their fate is much worse than that, as they are permanently ostracized from the bluegrass music community, becoming as well known as a PGA pro that would try to make his living moving the ball in the rough when unobserved.    
        All that being said, though, newcomers are always welcome into the circle, as long as they understand bluegrass etiquette. 
        One night a new man showed up at the Bomb Shelter.  He played a decent flat pick guitar, and had a passable voice.  We were glad to get to know him, as you often needed a man to fill in, and I entered his data into my Wizard filed under music, guitar, and lead singing.  (The Wizard was the predecessor of the Palm Pilot.)  I was one of the first in town with one of these gizmos, and it came in quite handy.  Mine was filled with a quite wide variety of contacts, everything from bass players to neurosurgeons.  The session was going along great, and someone called for “Catfish John,” a standard made famous by the Country Gentlemen, and popularized in this area by a gentleman named Floyd Freeman, who had played in a number of bands, and toured with Monroe for a few years as one his countless Bluegrass Boys.
        Floyd was one of my favorite patients.  We first became acquainted one night in a bluegrass emergency.  He had a show booked, and his mandolin player had cancelled out on him.  Seems the boy wanted to stay home and watch rasslin’ on T.V. with his mama, and would not budge.  With only two hours till showtime, Floyd was desperate.  I was off duty and agreed to fill in. 
        Freeman was a powerful singer; we blended well, and cut the gig without incident.  The true emergency came up after the show.  Backstage, Floyd rolled up one of his pant legs for me to inspect.  He had an obvious D.V.T. (blood clot.) After an urgent admission and some heparin he was cured up, and much appreciative.
        After that I was his Doc for a number of years, and also did a few shows with him every year.  We became fast friends.
        He had several medical problems, but in fairness to him, I don’t feel is would be right to outline them on the net, so I will leave it simple.  One day when I was out of town he died unexpectedly.  When I found out, I went home and cried.  As it turned out, there wasn’t anything anyone could have done, but it still hurt, and hurt bad. 
        We all went to the funeral.  As always, these are sad events, but there was some levity when folks were called on to recall some of the humorous anecdotal road stories he had accumulated over the years.  A number of musicians were there, and several impromptu performances reminded us Floyd wouldn’t want us to linger in sadness too long.  The preacher commented that the Docs didn’t know exactly what was wrong, and I wanted to TESTIFY, but held my peace.  I figured the minister’s job was to try to comfort the family, not me, and of course didn’t say anything to the contrary. 
        Some Doc avoid funerals, because they can be volatile.  One went to a service for one of his patients, and was spotted by a young man who pointed at him and shouted out, “There’s the S.O.B. what killed my grandma!”
        Darrell was only nineteen at the time, but in the wisdom of a kid who hit the road as a teenager, he understood.  He came by the office the next day, and strummed through a few bars of Catfish John on my office Martin.  “You know Tommy, I knew Free real good.  I went on road trips with him when I was only fourteen, and we had a lot of time to talk.  I don’t really think he wanted to go on like things were getting.  He was too short of breath to sing anymore.  I believe he knew he was going to die before too long.  There warn’t nothing you coulda’ done about it, and you don’t need to go blaming yourself.  I am sure he ain’t blaming you from heaven.
        Darrell broke into another chorus of  Catfish John.  “Mama said, don’t go near that river…. No one did that one as good as Floyd Freeman, huh doc?”  Darrell always could call for the right tune.  I guess he was right about Floyd too, but it took a long time to get over his death.
        Getting back to the Bomb Shelter, when someone called for “Catfish John” that night the new man was in town, I’m sure you now understand how that would bring back significant reminiscence for all of us.  Jack Barber still owned Floyd’s old Herringbone guitar, and though it was several years after his death, Floyd Freeman’s memory was still fresh.  The new man had heard him sing somewhere along the way, and commented how much he liked his style. After a moment, he looked at me in a peculiar way, and paused to study my features.
        “Ain’t you a doctor?”  He asked me in the wary way people often do in the beginning. 
        “Yep.  Bibey.  Tom Bibey.  Pleased to meet ya’.”  I extended my hand to shake and howdy. 
        He took a longer look.  “Ain’t you the doctor that killed Floyd Freeman?”  Usually the Bomb Shelter rocked.  Now it was the quietest moment there we had ever experienced.
        I broke the silence.  “Sir, doctors can’t say much about cases due to confidentiality.  However, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I did not kill Mr. Freeman.  If you are not prepared to retract your statement, then we’ll have to go outside and settle this.”  I never had quite gotten over losing Floyd- he was a good’un. 
        I looked at the boy and immediately wondered what possessed me to issue such a challenge.  Usually, I let reason outvote a flash of anger.  He was at least twenty years younger than me, and the veins on his tree trunk neck were popping out like ropes.  
        At least I had the sense to choose good friends.  To my right was Moose Dooley.  He had some flecks of gray in his beard, and was twenty pounds over his rasslin’ weight, but he was still formidable.  Once we played a festival in Lillington, and we had dared him to enter a tough man contest over at the gym, where he had finished second.  We had ragged him unmercifully, until one night he proclaimed there were some guys around tougher than him, but none were in the room.  He seemed to have lost his humor regarding the subject, and I noticed no one ever brought it up again.
        Stroker, our flatpick man, was lean and quiet.  Sometimes he’d go three days without eating, a habit he acquired while in the army special forces. He grew up in the country just north of Winston, and they say he once stayed in the cage with the King County orangutang for five minutes.  He’d seen a lot worse foxholes in his time than this one, and moved in to cover my left flank.
        Barry Graylord was the tenor man that night.  Barry had been an all star linebacker for the Harnett High Mad Hornets, and had a baseball tryout pending with the Braves one spring, until he broke his femur in football season his senior year.  His meathook paw on my shoulder was significant reassurance.
        As for me, well, I ll have to admit my first concern was whether or not the boy would dislodge my cataract implant if he hit me in the left eye.  I’d grown up myopic and my only decent sport was golf.  I’d spent my formative years reading books and taking bubble tests, and my physical abilities had been significantly eroded through years of practicing medicine.  My standard position was to never call a vote until certain of the outcome, and in my resentment had rushed to judgment.  I just had to hope the crowd didn’t start chanting,  “Fight, Fight, Fight…”  The logs in the woodstove sizzled.  It was very quiet.
        Darrell edged over and glared at the man, but I waved him off as best I could.  Those hands and fingers were his livelihood, and besides, he had a gig with the Gentlemen at Oakboro that weekend, and I didn’t want to wreck the show.  Simpkins stood by Darrell.  With his two hundred fifty pounds, the scales were starting to look significantly out of balance to the newcomer. 
        I must tell you that new history transpired that night at the Bomb Shelter.  And no, a fight did not break out.  First, let me tell you the Bomb Shelter is a peaceable place.  There are very few absolute rules. It is as laid back as it gets, an atmosphere of hot dogs left over from the V.F.W. cookout, Co-Colas, and Nehi grape drinks.  Other than cigarettes and occasional white liquor whiskey, vices are to be left at home so as not to disturb the picking.  Except for one time two years ago when Wild Bill was placed on six weeks probation after wrecking his wino cycle into the retaining wall, and letting out a string of cuss words in front of Jack’s grand kids, no one has ever been banned. 
        Jack is the law in the Bomb Shelter and he quickly moved in to enforce the house rules. “Son, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.  Dr. Tommy here takes care of most of us, and we don’t allow any disrespect here.  Also, you and your people are no longer welcome in this establishment.”  Jack was always polite, but firm, and besides, the boy was significantly outnumbered.
        He put away his Martin and headed for the door.
        The Moose stopped him before he was gone.  “Boy, that’s a nice Martin you have there.  Do you like it pretty good?”
        “Yeah, it’s a good guitar.  Why do you ask?”
        “Well, if you ever come back here you might as well give it to me, because I’ll break your knuckles and twist your fingers into pretzels, and you’ll never be able to play it again.”  When the Moose got his blood up, it was a scary sight.  I knew Moose well enough to know that he wasn’t serious, but that boy didn’t, and he immediately disappeared never to grace the door again.
        We resumed playing without any further discussion.  I was glad the newcomer wasn’t much of a player, as we wouldn’t miss him as badly as if he’d been a hot picker.
        I was thankful for Moose Dooley and all my buddies, too.  That boy woulda flattened old Doc faster than the King County Rangatang if I’d had to tangle with him alone.

                                                      -Dr. B     

Thanksgiving at the Bomb Shelter

November 22, 2007

        Last night was the annual Thanksgiving jam session at the Bomb Shelter, and the boys were out in force.  My daughter was in from college, so they were on their best behavior.  As she says, when ladies are present the group straightens up a bit- they tend to hold their pinky right when turning up a beer and such as that.  I am certain many folks would question the wisdom of taking a young lady to such an establishment, but she is a straight “A” kid, and I don’t think it hurt her raising any.

        Some of our pickers are more famous than you might think.  For example, Cajun Mark, an affable chain smoker, once wrote a tune that was an early theme song for the Ladies Pro Rodeo circuit.  He did a fine rendition of the “Barbecue Blues” and of course someone called for “Mama’s Got the Know How.” 

        The Moose was away on business, so Darrell took over on the banjo, and I played the mandolin, except for covering the bass while the doghouse man went for a COHIBA cigar smoke break.

        I hadn’t seen Hudley Regan in a while, but he was off tour with his gospel band, and did much of the lead singing and the flat pick guitar.  Hud sings one called “The Boar Hawg Twist,” a crazy saga about being a hog farmer. 

       It reminded me of a favorite old patient who used to invite me to go hunt wild pigs with him.  The fellow had a terrible end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy, (bluegrass translation: his heart had done gone bad from hardening of the arteries and it was too far gone to operate) so I declined- I was afraid he’d drop over eight miles from the blacktop and I wasn’t stout enough to drag him out of the woods- but I sorta wish I had gone once before he died.  I’ll bet it was quite an adventure.

        Someone requested “Your Love is Like a Flower.” It is an old Flatt and Scruggs number, a standard everyone has done for years, and we accommodated.  We used to have a cassette tape of the tune in the newborn nursery at the hospital, and I always played it when I was doing circumcisions, but I got to worrying it might turn those little fellows against our music, so I quit when we got a new administrator who was a touch more formal.

       That is entirely another topic, but I know one Doc who believed that circumcisions were a cultural phenomenon, and not a medical procedure.  He was so resolute in his conviction that he refused to accept payment, except for a bottle of wine.  He was a bluegrass guy, too.

         Wild Bill, so named for his appearance akin to a wild animal (the boys once finagled him onto the cover of an unsuspecting “Pet Care” magazine) was there in his usual seat by the wood-stove.  “BlackJack” was played at warp speed, and at the end of the tune Bill took a last sip off his shine, wiped his scraggly ‘stache with his shirt sleeve, and then  hollered for us to “Play something peppy!”  I think the slow ones make him cry.  More on Bill down the road.

        It was a good jam session.  I didn’t tell anyone that folks were reading about them- I was afraid it would make them self conscious- but I’m sure if they knew they would say to have a fine Thanksgiving, and would invite you to come next week. 

                                             -Dr. B

The Bomb Shelter- A Bluegrass Hangout

November 19, 2007

        The Bomb Shelter (pronounced “Bum Shelter”) is an authentic pre-war (cold war) fallout shelter converted into an Eastern N.C. bluegrass hangout.  It is frequented by the famous, the infamous, and the unknown.  The jam sessions are most often good amateurs, with the occasional professional drifting through town in between gigs. 

        Once some folks were here from England to attend a very famous East Coast eclectic and bluegrass festival in Western N.C.  After jamming with them, I invited them to the Bomb Shelter, and I believe they enjoyed it more than the festival proper.  It didn’t hurt that Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen were in that night.  It was a couple of years before Charlie’s death, but the man had the clearest voice right up till the end.  What a singer.

        I’ve been asked many times how you get to the Bomb Shelter, and the answer is you can’t get there from here.  If you do stumble upon it though, you have to sign your name to the wall, play a few tunes, and swear to secrecy.   

        There will be much to follow re: Bomb Shelter jam sessions.  See you there one night.

 Dr. B