Hooked on Bluegrass

Larry Carlin

I started playing rock and roll as a kid at age 14 while growing up in a little log cabin in a hollow in the outskirts of Philadelphia. Then one day a few years later a friend from the neighborhood came by to play some music, and instead of bringing his Fender Stratocaster as usual, he brought his Guild D-35 acoustic. He said, “I want to show you some cool stuff I learned at the music store where I teach guitar,” and he proceeded to play “Black Mountain Rag.” Soon after I heard this I got out my acoustic guitar to accompany him, and I’ve been playing mostly unplugged ever since.

It was around this time that I also started listening to the Will the Circle Be Unbroken Volume I album. Man, talk about a bluegrass gold mine! I was soon hooked on bluegrass.

A couple of years later, while attending Penn State University in rural central Pennsylvania in 1974, I saw an ad one day in a music store for a band that was looking for bass player to fill in on gigs when their regular bassist had another commitment. The name of the band at that time was Mason-Dixon, and I soon became their alternate bass player. I played with them for a year or so before they changed names and went on the road. I stayed behind to finish school, and have been playing bluegrass bass since that time.

Oh, Mason-Dixon went on to become known as Whetstone Run, and some of the members that went through the band after I played with them were Chris Jones, Lynn Morris, and Marshall Wilborn. Man, if I’d only known what was to come...

(posted 1/12/2005)

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