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Friday, July 2, 2010


scott freeman

willard gayheart

Tonight's entertainment at the Front Porch in Woodlawn was Willard Gayheart and Scott Freeman. Half a dozen folks showed up. 3 sets of what are becoming regulars. All were people who have been there before and know that the music is good before they step through the doorway. It was a third of Alternate Roots and half of Skeeter & The Skidmarks. Alternate Roots made 4 albums and the band dissolved. Jane's Addiction and Rage Against the Machine were rock bands that had their own sound and were out front in blazing new trails in the tradition. Each made 4 albums. Every one of the albums was a step beyond the one before. Alternate Roots made 4 albums, the first one really good and the second one better, then 3rd, then 4th, each continuing to be a step beyond the one before. Alternate Roots never got the attention the band deserved. It was a band of master musicians playing good songs really well.

Audiences tend to reward flash and show. Alternate Roots just made good music in the mountain tradition with their own interpretation of bluegass. Nobody in the band plays in the game of being cool. They don't hang out with crowds dedicated to being cool. They don't have followers stumbling over their heels. The music is too pure. It's music something like Thelonious Monk who took a long time to catch on because he was a serious musician looking for a new sound. His new sound was too new and audiences like familiar, songs they've heard before. None of them in Alternate Roots wanted to be a road band with a bus. They don't make crowd-pleaser music; they are artists when they're on stage performing their art. They play bluegrass of their own compositions and bluegrass traditional tunes, sometimes pop tunes. Alternate Roots will be discovered in the future and everyone will say THEY WERE REALLY GOOD. There will be a small run on AR music, articles will appear in bluegrass magazines, pictues of Scott and Katy in their old age, interviews, autographs, retro concerts, a little extra money for paying bills living on Social Security.

The music tonight, as always was superlative. I can't stay up any longer. I'm about to levitate into a horizontal position if I don't go lie down. That would be a unique experience. Good night.

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