Hooked on Bluegrass

Kip Martin



I was introduced to Bluegrass as a pre-teen by some of my Dad's students (he was a Philosophy professor) and remember the Flatt and Scruggs 'Live at Carnegie Hall' album being played quite a bit in my small-town home in Western PA. I gravitated towards Rock music as a teenager, but somehow still managed to stumble upon John Hartford, the Dillards, Earl Scruggs Revue, Old and In the Way, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Later, I served on my college's Concert Committee and found myself tasked with showing John Hartford around town and later took him around to various after-concert parties. I already loved his music, but was most impressed with him as a person--I believe I became a True Believer that day.

This past summer, 25+ years later, I found myself playing bass with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I've been blessed to have worked with several bluegrass 'stars' over the years, but when I looked across the stage that night with the 'Nitties', I realized my dreams had come true. I play and record bluegrass several times per week, and still work very hard at honing my craft. And let the record show that the hair on the back of my neck still stands on end when that old, grey, West Coast bluegrass band launches into 'Midnight Moonlight'. Thanks!

(posted 4/16/2006)


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