Hooked on Bluegrass

Steve Johnson

The bluegrass I heard streaming over the Grand Ol Opry as my Dad stared at his second-hand radio simply had no immediate impact on me as a kid. It just didn't seem relevant to fishing in the pond or to playing Tarzan in the kudzu, and I feared that the more I was around Dad the more rows of potatoes he'd have me hoe, which was a constant threat to the important things in life as I saw it.

It wasn't until years later, when I was working my way through school and trying to catch up with the hippie movement, that all the lines merged. I was commuting from school one evening, with the way cool rock station blaring out of the rear speakers, when the DJ sneaked in a "Goose Creek Symphony" record. What the huh???... rock hillbillies! The electric fiddle screamed "Uncle Pen" so that you could feel it through your bones. I turned it up above a listenable level. And I was high. Finally, naturally, really high, man. So that would have the ultimate effect of bringing me back home.

I bought my dad a guitar the next Christmas. And myself a fiddle, young fool that I was.

(posted 1/15/2006)

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