Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin
Editor's note: MOLD Man, whose columns usually appear here on Mondays and Wednesdays, has been missing in action for a couple of weeks, and no one seems to know or care where he is. There is even a posting on the Message Board asking as to his whereabouts, but there have been no replies. In the meantime, here is an edited version of Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin's always incisive and informative entry from last week
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
“Cheaters never prosper.” This is an old English saying that comes from the phrase “Dishonest efforts will not bring real success” from the early 19th century. But as everyone knows, here in the early 21st century, someone has to win the upcoming Super Bowl football match on February 1st, and whichever team does, the coach will certainly prosper in ways that most of us can only dream about. With there being no real football news to satisfy Joe and Josephine Sportsfan until the big game, the media folks are apoplectic about possible cheating with the so-called "Deflategate" scandal that is making headlines. In reality, just about everyone cheats in some form or another, whether it is on their inflated resumes, on their income taxes, with their spouses, by speeding while driving on the highway, etc. This “Deflategate” is just another weapon of mass distraction to get your mind off issues that really matter, and to also gin up interest in the game itself. It is just another football game where corporations spend millions of dollars to put on commercials with the hope that you will be talking about them days after the event itself. My advice? Turn off the idiot box (permanently!) and get together with some friends to either watch or play some music. Your lives will be much richer by doing this instead of watching some game that will have zero effect on your life. Unless, of course, you are a wager-placing fan…
Making money with bluegrass? Gosh, what a novel concept! Apparently the IBMA World of Bluegrass gathering this past October in Raleigh, NC, was a very profitable experience not only for here.the city of Raleigh, but for the IBMA itself. Read the details
Rock of ages. At age 87, Dr. Ralph (no last name needed here) is still putting out new recordings. This is from Rolling Stone: “Ralph Stanley, whose latest album, Ralph Stanley and Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow, was released this week through Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. The 13-track disc, co-produced by Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller, features guest appearances from an impressive array of Stanley's many musical disciples, including Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Ann Womack and Josh Turner.”
Wanted: Photos of JD. Ted Kuster, the indefatigable CBA San Francisco VP and driving force behind the JD’s Bluegrass Kitchen cookbook project, needs some photos of CBA Bluegrass Ambassador JD Rhynes to go along with the recipes and songs in the book. If you have any that you can contribute, please contact Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gambling on bluegrass in Reno. Cindy Gray and the Mountain Music Parlor have established quite the thriving bluegrass scene in Reno, NV. Read all about it in Bluegrass Today.
Life’s railway to heaven. Dixie Hall, the beloved and prolific bluegrass songwriter (as well as wife of 46-years to Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall), died on the 15th at age 80 after a lengthy illness. She wrote over 500 songs in a songwriting career that did not begin until her later years. Julia Mainer, wife and musical partner of renowned old-time country music artist Wade Mainer, went to that big jam in the sky on the 21st at age 95 after sustaining injuries in a fall. Dallas Taylor, the drummer that played on the first Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young albums, died recently at age 66 of unknown causes.
Tough old gals. Check out this nice story from the Huffington Post titled 15 Badass Art World Heroines Over 70 Years Old that haven’t let age slow them down one bit.
Jimi does Dylan. Back in the halcyon daze of yesteryear, if you ever wondered how incredible rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix ever came up with his unique version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” wonder no more. Read this story behind the recording.
The times they are a changing… Speaking of old Bob, he has a new album out of American standards, and did he give his first interview about it to Rolling Stone? How about the New York Times? Billboard Magazine? No, no and no. He knows the age of his fans, and where the money is, so he gave the interview to – are you ready for this? – AARP The Magazine! That’s right. He is 73-years-old now, and so are most of his fans…
Just for the heck of it. The All Girl Boys – perhaps the greatest name ever for an all-female bluegrass band (that was also from the Bay Area) – singing “Climbing Up the Mountain” and two other songs that you should listen to here.
Plucking the strings. Want to see something fascinating? Check out what happened here when an enterprising picker decided to place his iPhone camera inside of his acoustic guitar. Pretty dang cool!
Music for free. Performers, songwriters and studio musicians are having a heck of time making money anymore in the ever-evolving music business due to new rules and technological improvements. And Gillian Welch has something to say/sing about it in her song “Everything is Free” which you can watch her sing, uh, for free, here.
Music calendars. There are a handful of shows listed in this column today, but if you want to find out what kind of music is going on in your area, as stated above, look at Peter Thompson’s calendar or also check out the CBA or the Northern California Bluegrass Society event
Coming attractions. The Keith Little Band will be headlining the Redwood Bluegrass Associates show in Mountain View on February 7th. The annual Sweethearts of the Radio show at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station will take place on February 14th with Ron Thomason & Heidi Clare, The Blue Diamond Strings, and more. It will be Adkins and Loudermilk playing A Night at the Grange in Morgan Hill on February 28th. The Del McCoury Band will be playing two separate shows on February 28th at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Bluegrass on the River in Lake Havasu, AZ, on March 6th-8th, will feature Blue Highway, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Spinney Brothers, Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass Mountaineers, Karl Shiflett & Big Country, Adkins & Loudermilk, and more. The 14th Annual Sonoma Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Sebastopol is scheduled for March 14th. Don’t miss The Claire Lynch Band on March 14th at the Redwood Bluegrass Associates. WinterWonderGrass in Squaw Valley on March 20th-22nd will have The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Brothers Comatose, Front Country, The T Sisters, and more. The Cloverdale Old-Time Fiddle Contest will be held on April 11th. The final Redwood Bluegrass Associates of the season will feature Crary, Evans and Spurgin April 11th. Go to all of the links for complete info listings. Also, buy a Sunday SF Chronicle and hold on to the Pink Section all week.
The view from Nashvegas. On Fridays a popular regular feature in this column are the CD reviews and commentaries by Randy Pitts, the man in the know in Music City USA, a.k.a. Nashville. Here is a recommendation on an up and coming artist as well as a CD review.
“I’ve been telling you for some time now about Trey Hensley, and now you can read all about him in The Nashville Scene.”
Randog's Daily Pick 1/22/2015
Janet Miller A Younger Place
Janet's father, James Miller, and her uncles, were The Miller Brothers, and her brother Wes is a longtime stalwart of the Indiana bluegrass and country scenes; her late brother Joel was also a talented bluegrasser. I was lucky to hear Janet and Joel sing together a couple of times, and they had that special sibling harmony thing that turns up in bluegrass families. So it's no surprise that Janet is a talented musician in her own right – it courses through her veins. But for whatever reason, she's never seriously pursued a full-time musical career, or even recorded much – she was busy raising a family and making a living (she has a grown son in the Army, difficult as that is to believe) until now. This debut album shows her to be quite an extraordinary talent, both as a vocalist and especially as an inventive and imaginative songwriter. There are fourteen Janet Miller originals here, all delivered in her winsome, affecting voice, ably backed by longtime Ohio Valley bluegrass favorites The Whitaker Brothers, accompanied on some cuts by onetime Blue Grass Boy and Osborne Brothers band member Dana Cupp. I first heard of Janet via a song her brother Wes recorded, entitled – I think – "It Hurts More to Stay," one of the really good songs she's written. It isn't here, but there are plenty more where that one came from, including "Lost In You," "Now I Know What I Needed," "He Left Her Wanting More," "Dark, Lonely Nights," "I'm Saving My Dances," and lest you think she can't get down when she wants, there's "Bluegrass Pickin' Man." There's also a moving gospel original entitled "He's Shown Me a Better Way." She has also written one of the best songs about a dog that I haven’t heard in a long time, which isn't here, and I can't remember the name...but the woman can write and sing. For my bluegrass musician friends who are looking for material, I strongly suggest you look here...other people already are.
Comments, questions, quips and tips? Send an email to email@example.com. For more info than you need to know about Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin, go to his Carltone web site. Missed a Friday MOLD? Don’t fret, just click here to read past columns.