Author: Campbell, Bruce

Itís Not Just About the Music

I have suffered some vision problems lately; no, itís nothing serious! I just canít view the CBA Website from my work anymore. I never thought I spent all that much time at the CBA Website, but once I couldnít do it, I was taken aback by how disconnected I feel.

Itís not like Iíve fallen off the Earth; I'm still involved in the CBA, at Board meetings,
concerts, jam sessions and such. But all of a sudden, Iím not aware of what transpired on the Message Board. I didnít read the Welcome Message. I didnít see the clever news items. Iím SO out of the loop!

And this feeling of isolation brought home a thought Iíve had before: The lure of bluegrass goes way beyond the music. The real value of this musical genre lies in the overall community of its adherents. We share the bond of the music we love, sure, but itís not just a music appreciation club is it? Itís a social club as well.

This is worth considering as we slip into the brief darkness of the California winter. The weather doesnít encourage outdoor festival events for a while, but the holidays are all about getting together. Everyone does it Ů the only difference for us grassers is, our get-togethers always seem to involve pulling instruments out of cases at some point.

Our community of bluegrass lovers provides dividends way above and beyond the music itself. Sure, we can share musical conversations around a Coleman lantern until the sun comes up, but we can also spin some yarns and tell jokes and even argue about bluegrass and baseball for hours on end. Friends who met at bluegrass-oriented events enjoy other recreational pursuits as well, from hunting and fishing to quilting and recreational tractor riding to llama husbandry.

So, yes, being cut off from my online CBA community is vexing. But it doesnít mean The communityís gone away. I just have to use more old-fashioned ways to participate. Like actually getting out of the house once in a while. I can do this. I know I can!

Posted:  11/28/2012

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