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Saturday, July 31, 2010


willard a-pickin and a-grinnin

At the Front Porch Gallery tonight was Willard Gayheart doing most of the singing, Scott Freeman playing mandolin and fiddle, sometimes singing, and Mike Gayheart, son of Willard, brother-in-law of Scott, played bass. Dori Freeman, Scott's daughter, sang a song and played guitar. She told me Wayne Henderson is working on her guitar right now. It may be done by the time she goes to school, a month from now. She's leaving the Henderson at home for weekends, and will take her Gibson with her to school to lessen the possibility of the Henderson being stolen.

Quite a crowd showed up tonight. Some of the people met Scott and Willard at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Parkway where they play Mon-Thu. They came to the music tonight for more of what they heard before as they're passing through. Good feeling among everybody. Willard and Scott both have a very receptive vibration that makes them easy to talk with and enjoyable. There's no foolishness in either one of them, though I doubt their wives would second that, and they're just straight-on who they are. They make everyone feel comfortable and at home.

I almost went to Boone tonight to see Ralph Stanley. It would have been a great show. Cherryholmes was with him, and I don't get too excited about them. They're top of the bluegrass charts, slick, professional bluegrass. They have good drive and good musicianship. They sound just like Rhonda Vincent. Ultra slick. Then there is Ralph Stanley, the voice and the sound of these mountains. The only thing slick about Ralph Stanley is he's sung every one of his songs at least 10,000 times. He's been singing them a long time. It would be an interesting show, two eras of bluegrass, the original and the contemporary. I feel like when I see Ralph Stanley I want it to be at Fairview Ruritan, at home among the people who love Ralph Stanley. At the show tonight in Farthing Auditorium in Boone where I saw George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic. I imagine Ralph Stanley folk music in Boone. At Fairview, he's the same as Elvis, better. I like being in an audience that is there because everyone loves Ralph Stanley, not where he's a novelty. Tell you what, he'll rock their world. He already has by now. Nobody there will forget Ralph Stanley.

I did not want to miss the night at Woodlawn. Whatever is happening there, it's good music. Really good music. Good company. Good friends. Small, the way I like it. I always get good pictures and good videos. If you'd like to see some, go to YouTube and write in the search box, hobblealong1. It will bring up all of them to pick from. I can't recommend one over any other. They are all excellent music, each a beauty in its own way. The music is good as it gets and the sound quality not bad at all. It's not perfect, but YouTube isn't about perfect. It's about the moment. These videos are records of moments in time.

Willard sang a good bit tonight, songs you don't hear much, Don't You Dare Love Anyone But Me, Sweet Virginia, Coney Island, When The Roses Bloom Again, The Salet Song, I Only Want A Buddie Not A Sweetheart, Blue Bonnet Lane and My Henderson Guitar. I believe he sang a few others, but these are the ones I remember. Scott sang a few and sang tenor sometimes with Willard. Scott played Sally Goodn on the fiddle. Foot tapping was going on all over the place. Sometimes people were clapping with the rhythm. The evidence that music is present. Their concert tonight would be the musical equal of a Stanley concert. The musicians at Woodlawn are equal with the Clinch Mountain Boys. Good mountain music at its best.

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