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Friday, October 8, 2010


skeeter & the skidmarks play I love you nelly

At the Front Porch Gallery in Woodlawn, Skeeter and the Skidmarks were back for another concert. This one they were hot. They started hot and played the whole show hot. It was some dynamite music tonight. I made video after video until the battery light came on and some after that. Edwin Lacy was visiting from Indiana, Sandy came up from Pilot Mountain area to play the bass. They're recording a few tracks at a time toward a 3rd cd. They made 2 in the first half of the 90s, then Edwin left for seminary, something he had to do. Willard and Scott found Katy Taylor, Randy Pasley, Tony Testerman to become Alternate Roots, and later Steve Lewis for their last 2 of 4 superb albums.

Alternate Roots didn't seem to attract a big fan base, because, to my ear, they were an art band playing bluegrass. They played for the music of it, for the musicianship, artful renderings of whatever they played. They weren't a band to get the crowd hollering and whistling. All through a concert Steve would hear "Fire Up the Banjer" several times and would keep on playing his incredibly articulate and artful dances with the strings. I'd be thinking, who needs more than we're getting? It's always incredible when Steve plays. Then, at the end of the show he fired it up with something like Sourwood Mountain all out bluegrass. Set the place crazy. For an artist getting the audience wound up excited is the cheap way. The artist would rather win the audience with the beauty of the music. We got plenty of that tonight, the beauty of the music.

Again, week after week, I hear such excellent music it puts me in awe of simply being there. It's like I've never been in the in-crowd before and suddenly I'm in a small group of people hearing this music that is worth $20 at someplace like Fairview Ruritan, or the Jamboree at Glendale Springs. I wouldn't think twice about paying $20 for a concert of this music we heard tonight at an auditorium with great sound and all that. Our music is happening in Willard's frame shop where he does his 9-5 to meet expenses. Scott does his 9-5 there too giving music lessons in a corner of the shop. Minnie, the white cat, lives there. It's her home. In the first weeks of people coming into her space in a big crowd of giants, she wasn't so sure she was happy about it.

Every week Minnie would walk around among everyone during the show, walk up the aisle to the musicians and walk among and around them, back down the aisle, checking everybody out, looking at them individually. She had just been clipped, given a punk crewcut with evidently scissors, even her whiskers cut off. She was in a foul mood all the time. Her full white fur is coming back now and she's in a better mood. Plus, by now she knows the crowd of giants that invade once a week is a bunch friendlies. They touch her, allow her her own cushion. I saw tonight she doesn't have to sniff me any more before I touch her. She recognizes me well enough by sight and voice. Animals need a verification of one sense with another whenever they're approached by people they don't see every day. I put my hand before her nose and she ignored it like to say, I know who you are. It's the same look Dori gives when I say I like a certain piece of art when she can't tolerate it.

Dori opened the show tonight with a song accompanied by Scott on guitar. The sound was set up best for her tonight that it has been so far. She sounded good. She always sounds good, though with the sound system a bit more finely tuned to her voice, she came through superbly. Her manner of singing makes me see Julie London of the 50s before and during Cry Me A River when she was well respected as a jazz singer of the day. Married to Jack Webb of Dragnet, the 50s highway patrol weekly on b&w tv, Sargent Friday. Do I remember that or is it false memory? That's from back when I was truly insane, the teenage years. Dori sings beautifully and she sings the way she feels it. She always gets enthusiastic applause and it's not because she's a blond. It's for some beautiful singing.

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