All posts tagged: Wayne Henderson

Play Ball!

My iPod is a genius.  It always knows my moods. Today, as I was unlocking my office door and finishing up the commute to work, what do you think came on the iPod (in shuffle mode, of course)?  Why, none other than Wayne Henderson playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Opening Day!  What could be more perfect!! Wayne is a die-hard Red Sox fan, and I’ve included a photo I took of him at Merlefest a couple of years ago to prove it.  If you don’t know about Wayne, check out the book Clapton’s Guitar. I’ve also attached the video of Wayne playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame for all those fans supporting teams today where hope springs eternal.  Go Nats! Enjoy. More to come… DJB

New wave and old standards shine at Merlefest 2009

Merlefest Day 2 began bright and early for me this morning, with a rousing performance at the Americana Stage by the DC-based band Scythian. I caught the irony of having a band fronted by two Ukrainian brothers opening up the Americana stage, but that’s the joy of Merlefest and hey, it is a post-Obama election world. Then came the first great surprise of the morning. I went to the Traditional Stage to hear the New North Carolina Ramblers, but walked in to a packed tent listening in rapt attention to 86-year-old festival patriarch Doc Watson playing a set with old time banjo wizard David Holt.  (It turns out the Ramblers were double-booked and so Doc and Holt were on-call.  And when I say packed, I mean packed.  The picture below was taken from the side because the front was crammed with kids and grandparents alike.)  Doc was in fine form, playing guitar and singing with lots of strength and emotion. Fiddle tunes (Whiskey Before Breakfast paired with Ragtime Annie) were interspersed with Travis-style picking (Deep River Blues) and even …

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 …