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Saturday, January 21, 2012


skeeter and the skidmarks

edwin lacy, sandy mason grover, willard gayheart

sandy mason grover and willard gayheart

edwin lacy and willard gayheart

scott freeman and edwin lacy

scott freeman

scott freeman

edwin lacy

willard gayheart

Another show of some very much alive mountain music by Skeeter and the Skidmarks at Willard Gayheart's gallery, The Front Porch, in the Fiddle and Plow series. This was the 5th or 6th, I suspect 6th, show they've played at the Front Porch in the last couple years of the Fiddle and Plow series. I know Skeeter's music backwards and forwards, and especially appreciate that every time they've put on a Skeeter show, each one was unique in the manner of how they played the songs. It all has to do with how and what they're feeling on a given night. Edwin drives a couple hours to get there and Sandy drives about that far too. As soon as the music started tonight I heard a new Skeeter vibe. It was an understated flow tonight. That doesn't say much. It was more relaxed than usual. The second time they played there, it was an assault from start to finish, on the intensity level of a concert in an auditorium. It's been different every time, and I was charmed to hear tonight a new sound I'd not heard from them.

I told Edwin and Scott after the show that they've messed up my mind. I know all the words to I Love You Nelly. I told Edwin, "It's your fault." In good humor. The funny part is I love the song now. It plays in my head, I know all the words. Just like Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon that Scott and Willard play with a western swing like Bob Wills. And Scott sang another western swing, Roly Poly. Skeeter's Yellow Rose Of Texas had a casual swing to it tonight. Maybe that's the word for tonight's music, casual. It wasn't casual like slack. They were right there with the music, making music every minute. When I say they make music, I mean music that's infectious, music that makes you tap your feet or move in whatever ways. It was the way they felt tonight. I love these songs now after hearing Scott and Willard play them the last couple years, as well as from the Skeeter and the Skidmarks cds, Hubbin It and Alternate Roots, both out of print. Scott put together some Skeeter songs from their 2 cds to make a 1 cd collection, a best-of kind of thing, though all songs on both albums are best of. Excellent, classic albums made in the early 90s. As fresh today as then. The Skeeter sound will always be fresh.

My feeling while sitting there in the presence of Scott and Willard's music, was I'm as satisfied hearing Scott and Willard as any music I've ever heard live. I don't need to pay $20 - $30 to hear Ricky Skaggs or Allison Krauss or Rhonda Vincent for some good music. Scott and Willard have a sound together that satisfies my ear for music as much as Ralph Stanley does. They are the equals in musicianship of people in Stanley's band. They're the equals of the professional musicians that run the roads in buses. Scott and Willard don't want to live like that. They want to make music and enjoy it, in the mountain way. Willard's singing is entirely different from Ralph Stanley's, but I love hearing Willard sing as much as I love hearing Ralph Stanley. If you're a Ralph Stanley fan, he's scheduled to play at Fairview Ruritan February 4, a Saturday.  

Toward the end of the show tonight, I was feeling one with the flow of the music. The band was in their groove and everybody in the place was in some kind of motion, especially the inner motion of flowing with the music within where we hear music, the place where we hear truly satisfying music. First, it's music that is music. I believe God sent me to them, them to me. Since I've known Scott, the music he and Willard make, then with their band Alternate Roots, now back to Skeeter, their band before Alternate Roots, back together and recording some tracks from time to time toward a new cd. I feel so privileged to be able to hear their music so much.

I feel like one of the people who lived in Greenwich Village when Bob Dylan was hanging in the Village, saw him all the time, when he wasn't heard of yet. Talented, they said of Dylan. Talented is what I say of Scott and Willard, Edwin and Sandy, too. When they get together, the sound that emerges is not the sound of any one of them. It's the Skeeter sound that happens when these four play together. One of them replaced by somebody else and the Skeeter sound is no longer happening. They're not a widely known band. They self-produce their music. Their musicianship is good as it gets, and their approach to a song is as good as it gets. Scott and Willard are the most actively creative people I know. Every time I drive home from a show at Woodlawn, I feel blessed. 


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