All posts tagged: Jerry Douglas

Terrific roots music coming to Washington this fall

We’re into fall here in the Washington region and that means that the acoustic music scene is busy pointing toward those holiday concerts.  But before December arrives, there are a few highlights for lovers of bluegrass, Americana, and roots music in the District of Columbia. This Monday, the Blue Moon Cowgirls and flatpicking champion Orrin Star are featured at the Institute of Musical Traditions concert in Rockville.  I’ve heard Star before, and he’s a treat for those who like the old flat top. Country singer extraordinaire Patty Loveless will be at the Birchmere on November 1st.  She’ll no doubt be featuring tunes from  her new album, Mountain Soul II. The original Mountain Soul was a terrific album, and the follow-up begins with a great version of that old country classic, Busted. (Well the bills are all due and the babies need shoes, we’re busted…) Sure to be a great show. For those who don’t mind a bit of a drive, folksinger John Gorka is playing on November 20th at the historic Avalon Theatre in beautiful …

Sleep is Overrated When You’ve Got Music to Fuel the Soul

At the end of a busy first day at the National Preservation Conference in Nashville, I took off to the Grand Ole Opry House with about 20 close friends for the taping of a PBS special celebrating 40 Years of Rounder Records.  (Look for the show on March 10, 2010.)  While it started late and ended even later, it was an amazing evening of music. Here’s just a few highlights: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas playing that great accordion-driven dance music from Louisiana, where the “crawfish got soul and the alligators got the blues.”  My accordion-playing friend Jim Harrington would have loved it.  As my colleague and seatmate  Caroline Barker said, “If I could move my feet like Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas I’d be a dancer instead of a preservationist (perhaps).” Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn singing and playing Keys to the Kingdom.  I heard them do the tune at Merlefest, but it was even better in the controlled setting of the Opry House.  Then Bela and Jerry Douglas played a duet …

Jerry Douglas, Travis Tritt, and the Fretboard Journal cap first day of Merlefest 2009

With just a Dobro, acoustic guitar, and one great country blues voice, Jerry Douglas and Travis Tritt filled the North Carolina night with terrific music at the end of Day One of Merlefest 2009. I left this morning and drove to Wilkesboro on a picture perfect spring day.  The Shenandoah was beautiful as I drove up the valley: red-buds were everywhere, and the hardwoods were just beginning to green.  Just another reason I treasure my 15 years in Staunton and go back as often as possible. I arrived at the Wilkes Community College campus — home to Merlefest — in time to catch most of the Lovell Sisters’ act.  I’ve written about the Lovell Sisters before, but they continue to grow as musicians and as a band, with more complex arrangements and beautiful harmony singing.   They ended with a tune by that well-known bluegrass composer Jimi Hendrix. Wayne Henderson followed on the Cabin Stage.  Wearing his Boston Red Sox hat (see photo at right) and finger-picking on a beautiful Henderson guitar, Wayne and his band-mates …

Getting Ready for Merlefest

Later this week I’ll head to North Carolina for four days of bluegrass, blues, and Americana music at Merlefest.  I was reviewing the lineup tonight to begin to get a sense of how to schedule my time among the 14 stages.  In the process, I was reminded of recent stories about some of these musicians on More to Come…: Tony Rice Missy Raines and the New Hip Wayne Henderson and Doc Watson Jerry Douglas (with two posts) and the Lovell Sisters. I’ll be adding reviews and updates from Merlefest later this week, so return to find out what’s caught my fancy. More to come… DJB

Wayne Henderson, John Monteleone and more in Fretboard Journal

The Winter 2009 issue of The Fretboard Journal arrived in my mailbox yesterday, which means that I’ve been reading cover-to-cover for the last 24 hours.  As always there are articles about some of my favorite people in the music business.  But in every issue I’m also introduced to new musicians and new guitars.  What a great magazine! This issue has articles on several terrific players, including jazz legend Jim Hall and a tribute to the late country pioneer Jerry Reed.   There’s an extended article celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, where you can learn how dobro god Jerry Douglas got one of his nicknames (and its not “Flux”).  But the articles on two luthiers – John Monteleone and Wayne Henderson – are my favorites in the current issue.  I was taken by the beauty of Monteleone’s instruments many years ago after David Grisman featured a Monteleone mandolin on the album cover of Quintet ’80.  John Monteleone’s archtop guitars are beautiful and innovative.  (The Fretboard Journal is known for publishing beautiful pictures of guitar eye …

There’s at least one good story in today’s Wall Street Journal

On the day the stock market fell another 678 points, the only good story I could find in today’s Wall Street Journal was on Dobro God Jerry Douglas.  Entitled:  Jerry Douglas:  Irreplaceable Instrumentalist, it is a nice feature on how Douglas thinks like a vocalist when he plays.  The article also has Douglas’ take on why so many young bluegrassers expand their playing into more jazz-oriented music:  Bluegrass is such a chops-oriented music. It builds stamina and strength in your hands because it’s such a physical music, so hard-driving. And you have to stay up; you can’t just play half the song. Sometimes it seems like it’s an endurance test to see who can play fastest the longest! And with that training, you can go just about anywhere else, because you’ve already played all those notes in rapid succession. Thanks to the irreplaceable Bluegrass Blog for highlighting this story on an otherwise dreary news day. More to come… DJB

Interviews with Dobro Master Jerry Douglas

My father sent along the news that WPLN public radio in Nashville featured an interview on August 18th with Dobro master Jerry Douglas that some readers will find interesting.  The interview and an on-line web extra are available at WPLN’s web site.   Many of you will recognize Douglas’ name from his work with Alison Kraus + Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, but those of us who’ve been listening to bluegrass and new acoustic music since the 1970s know that he’s played with just about everyone – from the Country Gentlemen (his first professional gig as a teenager), to J.D. Crowe and the New South (with bandmates Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs), to Boone Creek, to Nashville session man extraordinaire from the 1980s on.  At least one regular reader of More to Come thinks Jerry Douglas is God.  If you want to see him live, go to YouTube to see this great set from Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival featuring Vince Gill and Jerry Douglas. This posting reminds me that I haven’t made my quarterly update on …