Hooked on Bluegrass

Bill Downs

Growing up in Colorado and Wyoming meant listening and dancing to Country-Western music. Back then it was the real deal. Hank Snow George, Jones, Hank Sr. - not the glitz and glitter, special stage effects that the "new" country is today trying to imitate the rock and roll bands.

Then, in the late 60’s and early 70’s my wife Faye and I started square dancing and there was this really great music that a lot of the square dances were called to. And the thing that really caught my ear was this great sounding instrument that sort of jumped out and grabbed you in this music, the banjo. I decided that the banjo was the instrument that I really wanted to play. I had played the guitar a little at that time, and figured that the banjo can’t be that much different!! Wrong!!

All my talk about the banjo resulted in Faye buying me a "starter" banjo for Christmas (An act she now regrets) and I started looking for Bluegrass Festivals, Concerts and whatever I could find. I found the CBA Fall Festival at Grass Valley. I met Hank Gibson in Napa, found some jams in the area and the hook was set.

(posted 12/4/2005)

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