Posts Tagged ‘Bluegrass’


Y’all Come To Tucker!

May 10, 2013

BIG MON YALL COMEWhen I ‘studied’ spanish in college and then went abroad, it was difficult to understand colloquialisms from one town to the next.  (When I got in trouble, I would  just “Puedo invitarte a una cerveza?” and that seemed to make me a lot of friends.)  Not so different in the south, really.   Imagine learning English for the first time, asking for directions and getting “head down the  road a piece tords the cut-off and hang a louie”….careful on that hard bend or you’ll tump over”.

Some don’t even have to make sense at all.  My dad still refers to a situation in disarray, as “like Ned and the first reader in there”.  Something to do with some kid he went to school with, I think, but he would say it around people who had no idea what the words meant, and yet they understood him perfectly.  In rare crude moments, he would also say things like, “I’m so hungry I could eat the ass end of a dead rhino” or “That boy don’t know his ass from second base”.

Here’s something all God’s chil’ren understand….  “Y’all Come!”

As in “Y’all come see The DejaBlue Grass Band” on Mainstreet Tucker, GA for Tucker Day on Saturday at 1:30PM.   Lotta good music and Main Street Tucker is getting to be a pretty cool place.  Lots of new restaurants, bars, and stuff to do over that way.  Don’t cost nothin’.  Y’all Come!






3 Words: Albino. Skunk. Festival.

March 27, 2013

Back in the single days in our crappy little apartment, my roomie Bruce and I made up our own little  ‘game’ of stringing three non-sensical words together to make a phrase.  The more incongruous the better:   Burlap category knob… Whispering shit pencil…gelatin ligament stink…you get the idea.  You then had to use it in a sentence.   Guess you had to be there. Made sense to us at the time. Lotta beer involved in a game like that.  We played it almost nightly.  Couldn’t seem to get anyone else as interested in our game as we were.  Hmmph.

Looks like some kindred spirits in Greer, South Cackalacky musta been eaves dropping on our game.  They came up with the Albino Skunk Festival.  Three incongruous words that don’t go together.  Lemme see if I can use it in a sentence….”The DejaBlue Grass Band will play the Albino Skunk Festival in Greer, SC.”    And we will do it Saturday, April 13th at 6:45.

Word is that someone at one point thought they saw an albino skunk on the property, but I think they musta been playing our game.   Our kinda peeps.  We never made a festival out of our idea, but these boys did, and that’s just as fine as it can be.

Camping, jamming, dancing, hanging with a KILLER selection of bands .  including Col. Bruce Hampton, Lake Street Dive, and Scott Miller among others.  What’s not to like?  You should join us.  Get there early.  We’re heading up Friday afternoon to stake out a spot and get settled.  You’ll see us fireside with a cold beer in one hand and an instrument in the other.  Come Join us!


P.S. Check this out from one of the Albino Skunk Fest bands,  Lake Street Dive….Three Words:  Serious. Music. Love!

Lake Street Dive “I Want You Back”


Goin’ Home

September 17, 2012

This song, “Halfway Home Cafe” performed by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder is one of my all-time favorites.  I love this song for many reasons, and have attempted to learn and play it but I simply cannot get through it without sobbing, particularly lately.  It embodies the redemption and security one can feel when going home.  My favorite line is  “I’m amazed that they (my family) still love me, and forgive me for the bitter seeds I’ve sown.”

While the band has long since considered Atlanta home, we do love the concept of “goin’ home”.   The  DejaBlue Grass Band has many different concepts of this idea called “home”: MJ is far from his Utah roots, while Todd, the only Atlanta native member of the band, lays his head not far from where he grew up.  Keith and I share similar stories in that the place we called home as kids doesn’t exist anymore.   As a matter of fact I attempted to capture that experience in a song we perform from time to time called  “Place That I Called Home” (click to listen).

That brings us to our fearless leader, Joey Bowers.  In my mind, Joey has the most iconic idea of “home” and he speaks of it reverently and fondly always.   It’s one of the reasons The DejaBlue Grass Band is thrilled to be heading to JB’s home town of Pickens, SC this weekend (Saturday 9/22) for the Pickens Founders Day Music Festival.   We look forward to sharing our music with Joey’s extensive group of family and friends, and according to the newspaper there, they are expecting to “jam the city” so there is sure to be a special vibe when we take the stage around 5PM.    If you’re up South Cackalacky way and are looking for a good time, come on home to Pickens and give us a holler.   Your mama’d be proud.

Pickens, SC Founders Day Music Festival, Sept. 22, 2012



July 30, 2008

Texas pickin' park
Bunchafolks, young and old, pickin

I took my 6 year-old to the 5th Street Bluegrass festival this weekend, (which is really just a big ol’ porch pickin’ in midtown) and it occurred to me: Bluegrass is the model for goverment moving forward…and perhaps the only road to world peace. Pickin’ circles occur in every community in every state in the union. They don’t discriminate on sex, age, race, religion, or instrumental orientation. Conservative traditionalists blend beautifully with new age progressives. Young pickers admire and commiserate with older pickers, each admiring the other for their stage in life. There are rules that govern the pickin’ circle, but they are self-policed. Nearly without incident, everyone abides and peacefully coexists. It rewards merit but doesn’t exclude those less fortunate (like me) who can’t keep up. There’s a place for everyone. There are loosely defined classes,to be sure, but based on effort and practice, one can move up easily if one so desires. Those who go on to greatness and fame are still accessible to the masses, and still represent the interests of what is core to the group. At a rock concert or blues concert or classical concert, there is a clear distinction between those who entertain and those who are to be entertained. At a bluegrass festival, it’s an all-skate. Some of the time is spent listening and admiring the bountiful talents of the featured bands on stage, but lots of time is spent pickin’ with or listening to others in attendance. Pickin’ communities sprout up all over, and people move freely from one to the next. At most festivals, the artists are completely accessible and, at some point in the day, are likely found pickin’ with the festavarians or giving instructions on how to become a better picker…giving back, as it were. All for the greater good of the bluegrass community. There is little rivalry and spitefulness among the bands themselves. Even in structured competition, (like the TBF band competition we were in) bands mixed and mingled, shared experiences and genuinely wished the others well. Magic is made at “All-Star Jams” when musicians from different bands come together for a delicious pickin’ gumbo.

Maybe Obama or McCain should pick Ralph Stanley as his running mate. That’s the ticket I’d pull the lever for. “A Pickin’ in Every Pot!”

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