Hooked on Bluegrass

Alex "The Dog" Cornish

Well, I can tell you one thing, it sure wasn’t by accident that I got hooked on bluegrass. I wasn’t even two months old when my owner started placing me in the middle of his circle of musician friends during jams. I remember as a pup curling up against the spike of the stand up bass, the thump, thump, thump reminding me of my mom’s heart beat as I would doze off to sleep. And of course there were the endless hours of screeching fiddle practice my owner put us all through, up to three hours per day at one point. If you’d ask me at this time in my dog life whether I’d ever be hooked on bluegrass I’d have said, ‘Yes, when cats fly.’

But the truth is, the music did start growing on me after a few years…..it certainly wasn’t the violin screeching, and my owner and his pals jamming, well, not so much. But recorded music was played around the house all the time, even sometimes when the humans weren’t at home (the female owner used to leave music on for her parrot, a disgusting little feathery creature….as if anything would make the bird less neurotic.) My favorites? Well, I’d have to say Red Allen ranks way up there. I loved pretty much everything Grisman did, especially his dawg music. (Lame spelling, I know.) And I love Jimmy Martin. I doubt any bluegrass artist sang more songs about his dogs than Jimmy did.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually thought about the bluegrass instrument I’d play if I had opposing thumbs. I’m thinking banjo. Given all the banjo players my owner’s brought to the house over the years, I’m thinking they could use all the help they can get in elevating the banjo gene pool.

Favorite bluegrass event? Definitely the CBA’s spring and fall campouts. I’ve made many, many lasting friendships at the campouts. Least favorite? No question it would have to be the Fathers Day Festival. These people discriminate against man’s (and woman’s) best friend and when responsible, loyal dog owners complain (and I’m not including MY owners in this group) they get a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about liability insurance and loud barking. Loud barking? Have these people ever listened to a banjo player at three a.m.? Gimme a break.

(posted 6/28/2008)

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