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, 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 unplugged ever since.

A couple of years later in 1974 while attending Penn State University in rural central Pennsylvania I saw an ad one day in a music store for a band looking for bass player to fill in on gigs when their regular bassist had another gig. The name of the band at that time was Mason-Dixon, and I 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 who 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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