Even for a guy who gets to work with some amazing people and visit some of the country’s most wonderful historic places, yesterday was an extraordinary day. (And not just because I passed 10,000 visitors to More to Come…the DJB Blog – thank you readers.)
For a bluegrass loving preservationist to have a chance to speak from the place where Earl Scruggs came onstage some 60 years ago with Bill Monroe to play White House Blues and give birth to bluegrass music was an honor. To be able to tell 2,000 conference attendees why this place matters was a thrill. To be able to hear the bluegrass I’d chosen over the Ryman’s speakers for the 30 minutes before we kicked off the conference was just a rush. I knew it was going to be a great evening when the Laurie Lewis tune Who Will Watch the Home Place? – with its haunting acappella chorus at the end – was the last song played just before I stepped on stage. What a perfect bluegrass sentiment for people who work to save – and watch – home places all across the world.
I also had a little fun later in the evening, when I joined my brother Joe (on bass) and my colleague at the National Trust Brian Turner (on banjo) to play a couple of old-time tunes (Over the Waterfall and Angelina Baker) for the patrons of the conference. We played at Union Station in a beautiful room with live acoustics. It was the perfect cap to the afternoon and evening.
More to come…