Author: Bartlett, Regina

Harmony Road

How am I going to do this? Thank God for a Mother’s love. Well lately, I’ve had a hard journey on Harmony Road. My Mom, Jackie Bartlett passed away Oct. 29th. I was asked to play music for her Funeral Mass Memorial last week. I was told what songs to play and so to keep my mind occupied, I worked on the music for my Mom’s Celebration of Life. I slipped some traditional music into her Catholic funeral Mass.

Mom loved music and had studied the French horn with Louie Prima’s brother in Steubenville, Ohio. She played in her High School Marching Band. I was given her High School pin, a gold French horn.

I opened with an acapella version of “Where the Soul Never Dies” and then played and sang an acoustic standard version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“. The Offertory song was my Mother’s favorite hymn, “You Are Near“. I worked on that song and I’m proud to say it was a comforting piece of music to play and sing. The Communion song was the “Prayer of St. Francis, Make me an Instrument of Peace“. My Mom had a special request for “It’s a Small World” to be played. I wasn’t crazy about this song, but it grew on me when I thought about all the times we had gone to Disneyland together as a family. I also knew that I could put in traditional gospel songs and could also honor my Mother’s love for the Los Angeles Dodgers. “It’s A Small World Gospel Medley: I’ll Fly Away, Keep on the Sunny Side, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Take me Out to the Ball Game“. All the music worked. I was glad to have something to do and I am so thankful for the gift of music in my life and just how far reaching it continues to be.

My Mom kept everything. I was surprised to find a manila envelope full of my report cards, awards, my high school diploma and wedding announcement, postcards sent while I was on my honeymoon.

I opened a prayer book and out fell little letters to God for my Dad, my Brothers and Sisters, with pictures of us, asking for God’s guidance and help in our lives.

Our family mourned and celebrated our wonderful Mother.
We discovered that Mom had been Employee of the Year in 1995 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mom loved baseball and she loved the Los Angeles Dodgers who sent flowers and a letter telling us how much they loved our Mom.

I came home with things from my Mother’s home, cups, dishes, jewelry, record albums, cds, books. I am so thankful that I had a Mom who loved me and shared the gift of music with me. Mom loved Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Homer & Jethro, Bill Monroe, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Ray Charles, and we always talked on the phone during the Country Music Awards. I turned Mom onto Mark O’Conner and John Hartford. What will I do now that I can’t call her anymore! I always called her on my cell phone from the Father’s Day Festival, so she could hear the music and the jamming going on. Last time I did that, Randy Shelton and Ron Rose were playing with me at the Good Old Fashioned Festival. Mom loved it.

I did not know it, but my Mom was very proud that I am a Musician. When words failed and I felt sad and numb, music was there for me. I could pull a melody out of the air. I could play a song for me and for my family. I have taken this gift of music for granted. I thought everyone had the same gifts. I am blessed to have music in me. I am blessed with a family of friends that support me in my music.

There’s a Larry Cordle song “ Gone On Before” that has really comforted me a lot. The chorus goes:

I’m not really gone
Just gone on before
Not dead but alive
Just look around
and you can be sure
I’m not really gone,
I’m just gone on before.

Up next on Harmony Road this Sunday Nov. 18 at 7pm is
The First Annual California Banjo Extravaganza at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA
$15 adv./$18 door seated.

You'll find the next Boulder Creek 2012 WinterFest
Bluegrass Festival at Scopazzi’s November 30 - December 1, 2012. It’s always good and fun and the perfect musical celebration for the holidays. All your friends will be there. You don’t want to miss this sweet little gift of a festival.
Here’s the line up.

6-6:30 Regina Bartlett
6:30-7 Bobby Carr
7-8 Elicia Burton and the Fun Guys
8-9 Jean Butterfield
9-10 Stoney Mountain Ramblers
10-11 Eric Burman and the BrookdaleBluegrass Band
11-2am Stoney Mountain Ramblers at Joe's Bar

noon-1 Sidetrack
1-2 Rainy Escobar
2-3 BanjerDan
3-4 Gloria Darlings
4-6 dinner break
6-7 Front Country
7-8 Hello Trouble
8-9 Wakerobins
9-10 String Slingers
10-11 Cactus Bob and Prairie Flower

Have you seen Hello Trouble?
Some of the usual suspects are:

Ella Naiman
Meghan Leslie
Curtis Leslie
Henry Warde
Tom Naiman
And sometimes Linus Tremaine

Well they all went back to Georgia and played with Larry Gillis at the SwampGrass Festival. Of course they stirred up trouble everywhere they went, cause you know how they are…so good, so fine, so there you have it. Just love those humble great ones!!

I get by with a little help from my friends.
Until next time, I’ll see you out there on Harmony Road.

Posted:  11/16/2012

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