Hooked on Bluegrass

Kelvin Gregory

Actually I have been hooked on bluegrass two times or perhaps the first time I wiggled off the hook.

I started playing music back in the 60's for the same reason a lot of adolecent males did. The Beatles, Rolling Stones etc. I wanted to be like them and most young people seemed to like hanging around with the band. Which gave you a leg up in the girl scene.

My brother and I both learned to play guitar on beater instruments and one year to our surprise my parents bought us new guitars for Christmas. I got a Fender Stratocaster, and my brother a Fender Precision bass. Man those thing's where sweet and I really wish I still had them today!

My brother and I both played in many garage bands all through high school and many fun times where had out in our garage with the door open and all of our friends would show up.

After high school I married my high school sweetheart Kathy and trying to make a living took the place of music for the next ten years.

In the late seventies a buddy invited me to an annual party that was held in the hills above Bakersfield that was called "The Pig Gig". A pig was roasted in the ground and the party went on for the whole weekend. There were a lot of different musicians there playing all types of music.

I was really drawn to the guys who where playing the bluegrass music. I picked up on the fact that they could just shout out a song and everyone just joined in and by the time the song ended everyone was playing it really good.

I met a guy that day that was a member of a bluegrass band called Two Weeks Notice. He kind of filled me in on the scene,showed me around, and shared his music collection with me. He had hundreds of albums and cassets and I was able to hear a lot of different kinds of bluegrass. I really loved Hot Rize and they still remain one of my favorites. I was Hooked.

I went out and bought a banjo, and I played and played and eventually got to the point that I could play with others. My friend in the band mentioned to me that they had just lost their bass player and would I want to give it a try. I had actually learned to play the bass back in the day and said sure. Well within a month of purchasing a bass I was in the band.

I played in that band for several years and had a blast. But my professional life took another twist and I started a new business. My wife and I had added two mouths to our family, a son and a daughter. Raising and providing for the children pushed the music to the side again.

Fast forward to 2007. A couple that my wife and I know knew that I enjoyed bluegrass music and invited Kathy and I to attend Super Grass here in Bakersfield. We went had dinner and really enjoyed the top notch entertainment. But what really got my interest was the jamming on the 9th floor.

When I left that night I told my wife and friends that I would be up there jamming at next years Supergrass. My friends said sure you will, but my wife recognized that glazed look in my eyes and chimed in "I have seen that look before".

I was Hooked again. Within a month I had purchased a mandolin and began practicing non-stop. Well my prediction to be playing on the 9th floor at the Supergrass 2008 festival did not happen because the event was not held, but I was jamming on the 2nd. floor at "Superjam". My good friends who were responsible for getting me "hooked" again were there to see and hear the jamming.

I am very happy to be back in the music and I have already met so many great folks. This time I am in it for good. My kids are grown and on their own, my professional life is winding down and retirement is on the horizon, and I am anxious to start a new chapter of my life.

This chapter begins like this "Hey Kelvin my name is Roger do you know how to play Nellie Kane ... yeah I think I know it in the key E" one ... and two ... and three ...

(posted 2/18/2008)

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