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Friday, June 4, 2010


scott freeman, edwin lacy, willard gayheart - 4jun10

This week's music at the Front Porch in Woodlawn featured guest clawhammer banjo man Edwin Lacy. Lacy is originally from Wytheville, lives now in Indianapolis, a Presbyterian preacher, wanting to move back to the area, seeking a church in Bristol, I believe he said, so he can be back in his music world. Edwin Lacy played banjo with SKEETER & THE SKIDMARKS making 2 albums at Hay Holler label in Roanoke, 1990 and 91. They were called a "progressive old-time" band. I think of what they did something like bluegrassing old-time tunes in their own style of bluegrass. They were fine albums that have held their own over 20 years. They're out of print and they've been getting requests for concerts and a new album. Saturday they're doing a concert in Boone, and have some studio time scheduled to record some tracks for the upcoming Skeeter & The Skidmarks release.

The musicians pictured above are the band minus bass, Sandy Grover Mason, who was there, but didn't play bass with them tonite. The space was a bit confined. Willard sang The Yellow Rose of Texas, the original lyrics, and a couple of songs he wrote, The Salet Song and Robin D. Edwin and Scott made some beautiful music with the banjo and mandolin. Scott played the fiddle some. They all sang individually and together. All are good singers, good musicians, good songwriters, good composers and good entertainers.

The little camera I have will take video. I made video of 2 tunes tonight. One of Willard singing Yellow Rose of Texas and Scott and Lacy picking an instrumental. The camera did its part with near perfection. I was a bit jerky sometimes. Zoom-in and zoom-out were out of my control for how far and how much. It was alright. Adds to the homemade quality of it. The little camera is versatile in what it can do. It's a FUJIFILM Finepix S1500 10.0 megapixels. It can do a lot more than I know how to make it do. I wanted a simple point-and-shoot camera. Had no idea it would do videos too. I made a few very short films of Jr on his riding mower cutting the grass. When I get it figured out how to email videos, I'll send some to Scott. I send him a selection of the better photographs every week for his collection of photographs of musical events. I take the pictures for myself anyway, so I share them with him. Part of the fun of emails.

I've listened to Edwin Lacy's banjo for several years on record. By tonight I have a pretty high respect for him as a banjo picker, composer, songwriter and singer. Lacy is the banjo with HUNGRY HASH HOUSE RAMBLERS where Scott plays mandolin, Doug Rorrer guitar, Taylor Rorrer guitar and fiddle. They have a couple of super nice albums too at the Flying Cloud label, Doug Rorrer's label for Northwestern North Carolina's acousitc traditional music. He has quite a good catalog. Hungry Hash House Ramblers made some excellent music. It's a gathering of musicians who appreciate each other's musicianship and enjoy making music together. Those 2 HHHR albums are forever listenable like Skeeter & The Skidmarks 2 albums.

It was a big enjoyment for me tonight to have Lacy in person picking with Scott and Willard. Lacy's musician friends have missed him frightfully since he's been in Indianapolis the last several years. Scott spoke of him having a possibility of being transferred to Bristol, closer to his musical center. It must be harmful to him musically to live so far away from his musician friends. It was evident in the look on his face when he said it's possible he might get the transfer that he probably will. Closer to home. Bristol would be good place for him. He probably already knows Tim White and the VW Boys and the Bristol music people. That would be the best thing for the music of Southwest Virginia, to have Edwin Lacy back. He was back tonight.

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