The More or Less Daily News is a five-day per week, Monday through Friday, column. The feature's originator and chief writer, Mold "Moldy" Man, welcomes your emails; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Good hugely chilly Monday morning faithful readers of the Mold. Business first…late last night when I returned home my regular Tuesday night psychotherapy session (I try to keep a handful of clients even now in retirement), I discovered an email that I’d missed all day yesterday telling me that I’d misspelled David Naiditch’s name in yesterday's column, as well as spelling “smart” “smar.” Sorry, David. Sorry, smart.
And speaking of David, our M News Image of the Day(Earth on hammock), was inspired by another of his physics-based warning labels…”WARNING: This product warps space and time in its vicinity.” Makes you wanna read the warning labels from now on, doesn’t it?
CBA MILESTONE--In early 1978, readers of the new CBA bi- monthly publication, the Bluegrass Breakdown, are treated with an interview with Charlie Waller done by, who else, Member Number One Carl Pagter and his wife, Judy. The three hit a broad range of topics, but two shine an especially interesting light on the state of bluegrass music in the late seventies…
Judy: Do you think bluegrass is being developed and promoted properly here, that is, are we doing it right in order to create long-term and lasting affection for the music?
Charlie: Yeah, I think so. The thing I’d like to say is I’ve noticed an awful lot of festivals that we’ve worked in the past – if they get a little bit out of hand to where they want to dance maybe with a jug in their hand in front of the stage, then they’re doing something wrong…
Judy: That’s right. We…
Charlie: They ought to stop that because it’ll kill the whole thing.
Judy: That’s right…
Carl: Right from the start.
Charlie: Nip it in the bud.
(Both the alcohol in the audience area and the dancing up front at the stage are issues that were dealt with early by the CBA board of directors…nipped them in the bud, so to speak.)
Then Carl continues...
Carl: What do you think the future holds for bluegrass music in the West?
Charlie: Well, the way it’s been growin’, I think it’s on its way up. We’re gonna get more plays on the radio one of these days. I think they’ve got to realize sometime that people really like bluegrass music and they need more of it on the radio. And I do believe – I just don’t know where to lie the blame except that every radio station I ever talked to is allowed to play like one bluegrass record an hour.
(Happily, this was another problem addressed soon afterwards with the gradual proliferation of radio shows dedicated entirely to bluegrass and old-time music in and around the Bay Area.)
MOLDY MAIL BAG--"Your high moldiness: Here is a revealing e-mail I thought you may use in one of your columns. The regulatory powers of the EPA versus the FDA is particularly enlightening when it comes to the contents of a bottle of water. I have always suspected right from the get-go that this 'designer water' in a bottle is nothing but a scam of the highest order. This e-mail tends to prove it. If nothing else, it blows the whistle on the origin of a lot of this 'designer water' and it proves beyond any doubt what I’ve always believed…that generally speaking, people are incredibly stupid, and can be conned into anything. I'm sure you'll find this e-mail very hilarious as well as enlightening. Also, I am sure that the members of the California Bluegrass Association will appreciate you for bringing this to their attention. I remain your most ardent fan. -- JD Rhynes”
Thanks once again, Mr. Rhynes, for the tip on bottled water (click on this link here), but even more, for remaining my ardent fan. I have two now. You, and Connie in Mendocino (though, in truth, it feels to me like she's been on the fence every since we ran the duck and Velveeta cheese story. Kill the messenger much?).
The family that picks together sticks together--Time once again to remind folks in or near the neck of the woods about the Julian Family Fiddle Camp, which will be held next year from April 9-13 down in Southern CA. On the camp’s web site the organizers share a bit about their philosophy:
The Julian Family Fiddle Camp knows there's much to raising good people and fine musicians (yes, in that order). Indeed, in our view, a positive music camp experience is one that stimulates the interest in music by exposing us to a musical sub-culture that exemplifies patience and generosity through the sharing of traditional and accessible tunes - an experience that enhances, encourages and represents an ageless participation in a uniquely human celebration.
Okay, you’ve been told; my work here is done.
And now a word or two from a new addition to this column-- Season's greetings, MOLD readers! Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Larry Carlin, and from November of 2007 until December of 2010 I occupied this space as the writer of the Almost Daily News column, punching out the latest bluegrass news three times a week. Since retiring from the task I have been keeping a pretty low profile in Marin County while occasionally sending a news item to the ever mysterious and mellifluous MOLD Man. As a result of these mailings, MM has invited me to bask in the cyber limelight once again by submitting one item a week to the MOLD, and the lure of fame (but alas, no fortune) was irresistible. I hope you enjoy my weekly missive.
So then, on to my offering for the week…Here come the holidays! Once again the sounds of sleigh bells are being heard while the smell of chestnuts roasting over open fires permeates the air. According to the mass media, last Friday was “Black Friday” and this past Monday was “Cyber Monday,” where supposedly many of you sat at your computers and let your fingers do your holiday shopping for you. Instead of succumbing to the call of corporate consumerism, consider giving the gift of music in some form or another this holiday season – whether it be CDs, DVDs (Bluegrass Banjo Favorites by Bill Evans), concert and festival tickets (2014 Father’s Day Festival), instruments, or even CBA memberships! Buy music direct from the artists themselves and cut out the behemoth Amazonian middle man. Some CA acts with new recordings this year are the Kathy Kallick Band Time, Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally House and Garden, The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience Muddy Roads, Dix Bruce & Julie Cline Look at it Rain, Bill Evans Fine Time at Fletcher’s House, Under the Radar Plain Dirt Fashion, Wendy Burch Steel Open Wings, Patrice Haan We Must Be Arrows, and Peter Rowan The Old School. Also, if you want to buy some great bluegrass Christmas cards and other musical gifts for some other time of the year, go to artist Karen Cannon’s site. Music – the gift that keeps on giving year round…
Randog’s Daily Pick
Harley Allen: Live At The Bluebird Cafe
American Originals CD AMO-4008-2
One of the great joys of living in Nashville for the last 15 years or so has been the opportunity to attend shows at the famed Bluebird Café and seeing and hearing the real heroes of Music Row--the songwriters--show off their wares. That joy has been tempered somewhat recently by the popularity of the television show Nashville. The club is prominently featured there, and the place only holds 165 people, so it has become virtually impossible to get into the place if one decides to drop in on a whim. But when we first moved here, we went to the Bluebird a lot, often as not to see the late, great Harley Allen, one of the most successful Nashville writers of the '90s and in the early years of the new millennium. Harley was also a great bluegrass tenor singer and mandolin player, and a wickedly funny man. Red Allen was his father, and he inherited his dad's bluegrass chops and attitude, but in his songs and in his life, he seemed to be pulled equally and oppositely by his mom's influence; she was a strict Southern Baptist who, Harley often said, "believed that if you had any fun at all, you were going to hell." From that tension came some of his most memorable songs, some of which Chris and I heard for the first time at the Bluebird, perhaps most memorably, "Stray Dogs and Alley Cats," which is included here. His shows were always memorable, often hilarious (unless, for some reason, you aroused his ire and he focused his between-songs patter on you or someone at your table...). Also included, accompanied only by Harley's own guitar, are "The Little Girl,(two days after John Michael Montgomery cut it; it was a sensation already, as Harley documents here), "Another Good Reason Not To Drink," "Between The Devil and Me," "Free And Easy," "Everything I Love Is Killing Me," "Learning To Live with Me," with a total of twelve in all. Wonderful stuff, and a strong reminder of what a hole he left in this town.
J.D.’s Stuff-You-Don’t-Need-to-Know--The starfish is one of the only animals who can turn it's stomach inside-out. (If you drink a bottle of green crème de menthe, that will do the same thing, guaranteed!)
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