Hooked on Bluegrass

Mary Curtin

I had been playing fiddle with the Berryvale fiddlers around town in small events under direction of Evelyn Horner (one of the originators of Redding's District 6 Fiddle Association) and going to fiddle camp outs/contests with Evelyn. I started music later in life so I had a lot of catching up to do! I was too old to start contest fiddling and I missed the singing that the fiddle tunes did not always encompass so BG was the happy medium.

My first blue grass festival that I ever went to was the last festival that was held in Woodland in 2003 or 2004. The harmonies and the lyrics of life in those hard times is what really moved me. I bought my first BG compilation CD with 100 bluegrass songs on it at the festival from Eric at Tricopolis records. I played it to death driving weekly from Mt. Shasta City to Redding for my fiddle lessons.

People ask, "Why did I leave a beautiful place like Mt. Shasta and move to the bay area?" Well, besides family and getting out of the snow after 20 years, one other main reason was to get involved in BG jams on a regular basis and to study hard with a good BG fiddle teacher. I accepted a job as a school nurse (a dying profession in Calif.) and moved to Benicia. I got out my phone list from the CBA music camp and contacted those who lived close by to let them know I just relocated to the east bay and needed to meet people to jam with. Most folks eventually called me back and several I still jam with today.

I am an avid outdoor enthusiast so the festivals are a great venue for me to see bands and play at. I have met so many great folks through CBA events, festivals and local jams. I love hearing and reading about the history of BG and how it has evolved today. Sirius radio has broadened my knowledge of BG trivia and I love listening to the Truegrass and Gospel sessions on the station.

(posted 2/18/2008)

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