Hooked on Bluegrass
Tina Louise Barr
As a native Californian, I first became interested in the autoharp after having seen Mother Maybelle Carter play one on television. I had always enjoyed listening to country music on KTRB in Modesto, as well as watching televised country music shows on KLOC Channel 19. I had taught myself to play chords on the guitar as a teenager, repeating chord progressions from country hits I heard on the radio.
My first autoharp was a mail-order purchase from Sears, and I was playing Red River Valley and Cotton Fields Back Home within a half hour after opening the carton. Years later, I attended a bluegrass festival in Coulterville, CA for "something to do." One of the many local bands performing was THE KALIFORNIA KIDZ, a bluegrass group from Empire, led by Dan Knowles. Later that same year I decided to take a guitar class. The next year I found myself "on tour" as the rhythm guitar player for THE KALIFORNIA KIDZ, one of my first gigs being the Coulterville bluegrass festival! Bluegrass people are truly special folks.
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