We always just called him Gerald, and we saw him playing in bands, and with his own band, for a number of years. He was a great fiddle player, had an eye for talent, and we once saw him exhibit the patience of a saint. We later saw his father playing the fiddle and realized where some of his musical talent hat come from.
Joe Mullins produces a wonderful music festival, in March and November of each year. The line-up features top bands and musicians, and the venue is also top-notch. Today I am featuring Summertown Road, which opened the show on Friday, March 26, 2010.
Summertown Road’s newest member, Zach Rambo is a good addition to the group. He can sing lead and harmony, and does a great job on mandolin. We will be looking forward to seeing him with the group in the future.
This is a band with no weak link. I always enjoy seeing Jack Hicks; it brings back good memories of him on stage with Conway Twitty, just a few year ago. Did I just tell my age?
Although Jack usually plays the banjo with Summertown road, he can play any of the instruments on stage, and probably some that are not there.
Here is Bo Elvis, aka Bo Isaac.
It is hard to get a good photo for the bass player in the back, but he came out front on a few this time!
We spend a great weekend down at Joe Mullins’ fabulous Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival. If anyone needs to know how to run a show, they need look no farther that that fine example, or any of the Adams & Anderson presentations. Today I am concentrating on an overview Southern Ohio festival. Papa is working on his pictures, and I will to do a quick review of each band’s performances later this week, when I can illustrate with them.
Central to the Festival’s success is the nice facility; the Roberts Centre is a roomy conference center. I have never waited in line at the woman’s rest room, something I cannot say that for any other entertainment event that I have attended over the years. There is sufficient parking, and overnight RV parking is free. Although it is not a campground, but complementary parking is a real nice feature. The attached hotel, a Holiday Inn, fills up fast, but there are a variety of hotels in all price ranges located in the area.
Although the room where the music is presented has super high ceilings (think gym), the sound crew does a good job of controlling the echo. The good result comes from several year’s experience in the building, and a desire to satisfy the festival’s customers. Mr. Mullins told us that the sound crew spent an entire day in the rafters, using lasers and aiming the speakers to minimize problems, and maximize sound distribution.
Next to the music area another room contains vendors, artists product tables, and a snack bar; with tables allowing room to visit and eat. A separate room for jamming is located nearby, and there is jamming in halls after the show. A great recent addition is a buffet dinner just down the hall. We have enjoyed excellent food at a reasonable price, with quick service when we have elected to eat there. There is also a chain restaurant, Max & Erma’s, located in the adjacent Holiday Inn.
Mr. Mullins serves as the MC for his own festivals. Although this might not be appropriate for all promoters, it is a perfect fit for Joe, who is one of several radio personalities on his four area radio stations. Joe’s band, The Radio Ramblers, also performs at each Festival. Wow! Imagine having the business Savoy to pull together two wonderful festivals each year, operate a broadcasting company, act as an MC, and also use what may be his most respected talent, playing that banjo and singing. Joe was member of the original Longview, along with James King, Dudley Cornell, Don Rigsby, Glen Duncan, and Marshall Wilborn. At that time many of us were impressed by his soaring tenor singing and ringing banjo, and nothing has changed there.
This spring’s festival is history, but I recommend that you consider attending next November’s edition, November 11, 12 and 14.
There are a number of good reasons to be at the Roberts Centre, Wilmington, Ohio Friday and Saturday, March 26-27, 2010. It is the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival, spring edition.
Let me see, Doyle Lawson, Dailey & Vincent, James King, Summertown Road, Paul Williams, NewFound Road, Kenny and Amanda Smith and Larry Stephenson. Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers will also hit the stage. Joe acts as MC for his show, the each one we have attended has been superior.
You’ve heard the hype, just give a little listen, and I know you will try to be there!
Papa and I took off last weekend, heading out to shake the cabin fever which has taken root around here. I think we were successful, I feel more energy and may actually get something done this week, if I continue like yesterday. Our first stop was Owens Community College, where we saw the Grascals. We last saw them at the Jekyll Island New Year’s Eve festival, in January. The show featured a few numbers from their upcoming CD that we had not previously heard. The Grascals do a tight stage show, with lots of smiles, with great presentation.
Of course, they also have good instrumentals, very good. We were able to pre-order their new CD, which is coming out on March 30th. At the attractive price of $9.99, that was a no-brainer. I also grabbed Kristin Scott Benson’s latest, it was missing from my collection. The Grascals are headed out on the Hank, Jr., Rowdy Friends Tour, in addition to their own busy schedule. It looks like a successful 2010 for the band. The rest of Papa’s pictures are posted on his site.
On Saturday, we drove on over to Kidron, Ohio to visit Lehman’s hardware. We have pursed the catalog and the website, but never actually seen the store. The store was bigger than life, and we had fun looking at all the available items. I did not buy one of each, but I wanted to!
We walked up the street and ate in a restaurant in the basement of a meat market, a wonderful lunch in a n on-tourist setting. On the way back I noticed the name on a building that serves as the Fire Department: Bixler. How the Bixler family of Kidron, Ohio is related to Papa’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Bixler (1860-1935), is a puzzle for another day. We did get a good shot of the building to bring home.
Then, off to Mansfield, Ohio, home of the beautiful Renaissance Theater, to see Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Ralph is looking good, and singing well. He did a couple of Clawhammer tunes, always crowd favorites. Nathan (on guitar) is all grown up, no longer the little kid at the back of the stage with the spoons.
It was nice to see Jimmy Cameron on bass and vocals, doing a fine job. The entire band did a fine job, and we really enjoyed the show.
All good things come to an end, and we had to get back home to work on the yard and garden. Well, I slept a lot of Sunday, my allergies and sinus problems are a real problem this time of year. But Papa worked on the garden, and it looks like it is drying out pretty well.
We had a great time, a little taste of summer, and saw some great music!
I have been placed a few blogs that offer shopping tips, links to free stuff, and so on in my feed reader lately. Some of the items I have procured have been worth my time and effort.
This is a free bar of soap I just received in the mail:
I guess I did not read the form too well, I was actually expecting a normal size bar of soap, not one the size of a chapstick. I am putting it into my donations box, you might want to send for one and donate it to a local shelter. Make your request here.
This is not exactly a bluegrass concert, but it will contain my favorite bluegrass instrument, banjo. I can only explain how I feel about banjo music by referring to Carl Pagter, who said something like, “of course I am happy playing banjo, it is a happy instrument.” I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but the message was clear, banjos are happy, and he was happy playing his.
In the same vein, I am happy listening to banjo music, but especially bluegrass. The high lonesome, trouble infused, gospel inspired music commonly heard at bluegrass festivals and concerts hits home for me. By far the majority of music I listen to and enjoy is bluegrass and bluegrass related. I am just one of many people who arrived at bluegrass festivals after hearing 1960′s folk and string band music, and liking it. I never had an instrument, and can barely pick out a tune, but I am drawn to the sound. While we were wandering a festival grounds one evening, my older granddaughter said, “We will walk until we find the music, then we will put our chairs down and listen.” As we approached a jam the younger one, sitting in the stroller I was pushing said, “A BANJO!” I knew exactly how she felt.
Back to the concert. Steve Martin is not known for his banjo playing, but he does know how to play one. His Grammy winning CD, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, was in my computer just a few days after it was released. There is some good singing on it, too. There is some frailing, some picking, some singing, and some fun on the disc. Steve made the rounds, as only a well known entertainer could, The TV shows, all the big newspapers, and so on. Although The Crow was nominated, it did not win a IBMA award, and that is not a surprise, since it is not a CD of bluegrass music. But the Grammy win also did not surprise me, since Martin’s name would be known to the voters, and because I like the album and it’s diversity. It cannot hurt bluegrass to have a well known person playing a little of it. Just my opinion, drop the tomatoes, please.
And then, there are the Steep Canyon Rangers. The Rangers are one of my favorite groups, I love their music, and we own every CD they have released. It is solidly bluegrass, and it is original. These are excellent musicians who prove that it is not necessary to play the same 25 Bill Monroe/Flatt and Scruggs/Ralph Stanley songs, or sit on hay bales to play bluegrass music. Drop the tomatoes, please, and give this a minute.
A couple of summers ago, in order to see the Rangers at The Ark, we stopped off in Ann Arbor while driving Lex to a weekend event. I talked in advance to the parking authority, and they directed me. I still think it was one-time luck that we found a place to park. I will say, the show was wonderful!
Although we last saw the Rangers do a full set almost a year ago at the Dumplin’ Valley JuneFest, we did see a small morsel of the Martin/Ranger combination at the IBMA Awards Show in October. I’m looking forward to more on April 19th! To hold me over, I am haunting YouTube and MySpace, and playing my CD’s.
I have spent a little time on the end of a snow shovel this week, Papa even ran the blower once or twice. I actually looks a little like winter here now, but I can feel spring in the air, and I am looking forward to it.
GS3 and sisters GD1 and GD2 will be visiting this weekend, and I am really looking forward to that. The combination of their school and activity schedule and my reluctance to drive on wet, slippery, roads had really limited my opportunities to see them this winter. GS3 is just a few days from his 11th birthday, so I am making a birthday cake today. That same day also marks a birthday for S-in-L, however, he will not be 11!
Bluegrass lovers should check out my updated schedule on the sidebar. Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers will be down at Maumee at the Glass City Opry tomorrow! We won’t be going because of our guests, but the Radio Ramblers are a good band, and put on a great show. Head down if you can.
And now, I’m off for an oil change and some little kid type groceries. Have a great weekend, I know I will.
I know I have been absent, very absent from this blog. Sometimes that is just the way it goes, I guess. I have been working hard on my genealogical research, and on my genealogy blog. I have been expanding my reading of genealogy blogs, and cutting back on Facebook time.
The biggest change is that I am spending three or more hours a day exercising. That’s right, three hours. I got Wii Fit Plus, and I am enjoying some aspects of the exercise. I got a pedometer, and I can tell how much I am walking lazy I am. The reason for this change in couch potato behavior? My blood pressure is still rising, not falling. The four(!) medications I take are not solving the problem, and my doctor is at her wits end. I need to be more active, and perhaps even lose some weight to have any chance at controlling that problem.
Watch my widget at the bottom of the sidebar. It is time to make that weight go down, and along with it, hopefully the blood pressure.
In other news, one of the blogs I started reading is this one. I like the author’s positive perspective on life, and I think a positive outlook is one key to happiness. The post I linked to is about lists. That is so much like me, I might have written it. I never move without my list. I often do things, then write them on the list, then cross them off. As if to indicate these things were importance enough to make the list, why else would I waste time doing them? I have blogged about my list obsession twice times, here, and here. I have mentioned my lists many more times, or at least it was on the list, so I probably meant to mention them.
It turns out that I am not the only person with a blog who lives from list to list. Some of these people are going to actually post their lists. I suspect they will be somehow on a higher plane that my grocery and to-do lists, but we shall see. I’m thinking about joining in, what do you think?
Our friend, Margaret Sparks died Friday. Margaret had been fighting cancer for some time, but things like this always hit home when they happen.
Margaret was a neighbor of M-in-L, and she was our neighbor when we lived at our home in Cadillac, from 1973 until we moved in 1990. She was a lady, a good neighbor, and a member of the church M-in-L attends, Meauwataka Free Methodist. For many years, a hug from Margaret accompanied our trips to the church, mostly on holiday weekends when we did not have to hurry home on Sunday morning. Margaret, M-in-L and I even worked at the same place for several years, a shop which made seat covers for Oldsmobiles.
Margaret always enjoyed seeing the children, but especially on Halloween. She greeted them with a big smile, and I believe D2 even took GS3 to Margaret’s home one year when she lived in the area. I am going to miss seeing her on our visits “up north”, and I know many other people will feel a void in their lives.