Author: Bartlett, Regina

Harmony Road

Like an old song with a sweet refrain, Harmony Road has been running up and down the California highways. The Great 48 Hour Jam in Bakersfield has filled the air with music and is now infamous; and definitely an event not to be missed among California musicians.

Congratulations to Wendy Burch Steel for her recent concert at the Freight & Salvage. What a way to celebrate an album release! Such fine music and friends playing with you.

It was great to hear the Tuttle’s and AJ Lee on KPIG Radio’s Live Show, "Please Stand By", on Sunday morning before their concert at Don Quixote’s. They made quite an impression and they made quite a buzz in Santa Cruz. Folks are still talking about the almost sold out audience at the Sunday Matinee Show.

Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.
Recently, I was entertained by my friend Linda McRae’s awesome acoustic show at the Ugly Mug, in Soquel. I had met Linda last year through my friend and great fiddler, Barbara Lamb, when I attended IBMA in Nashville. Linda and I played for Steve Keys down at "The Porch", in Santa Margarita, when she toured California. She plays claw hammer banjo, guitar and accordian and is a wonderful songwriter. She also plays the 'porch board'. It’s a contraption that she plays with her feet. She stomps on one side and it’s a bass like drum and the other side it's a tamborine. When she plays it, she’s the whole band. She recently taught a songwriting workshop at Folsom Prison - her third time there. She has been nominated for a Canadian Juno award on her latest cd, “Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts“.

Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.

I sure do enjoy the shows at Don Quixote’s. They are up close and personal and you can have dinner and drinks and great Mexican food. I went and heard my my old friend from the Deadly Gentlemen, Dominic Leslie, playing with Rushad Eggleston, of Crooked Still. I was surprised to see Audie Blaylock and band members of Redline in the audience. It was a great show with incredible music.

Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.

Tuesday night, Audie Blaylock and Redline and the fabulously talented Jesse Brock played the best Bluegrass music that was full of amazing instrumentals and sweet vocals. Audie has a young band full of young pickers that can pick and play and keep up with him! He said that he was glad to be back in California and loves all the folks that have seen him at Plymouth, and Grass Valley, and that he’s giving a Band workshop at Gryphon Strings on Saturday.

I’ll just come right out and say it, I love Audie Blaylock’s guitar playing. He ain’t no gunslinger guitar player, if you know what I mean. He’s fun to play with and if you listen and watch, you can actually learn something about Bluegrass music and especially when you consider that for many years he played with Jimmy Martin. I’m proud to say I was fortunate to jam and play music with Audie at my very first Grass Valley Festival. I always learn from watching Audie Blaylock play.

Please take note of the upcoming shows and let this wonderful band know that we California Bluegrassers love their music. Audie and the band played like it was standing room only! They ended a gospel song with a real bluegrass ending and someone from the audience yelled out "eat your heart out Doyle Lawson!" Folks were laughing over that for quite a while. We all had fun together, the band and the audience.
Oh and as usual, the newlywed, Jesse Brock on mandolin, just tore it up!

What a band! Audie can sure sing and his rhythm guitar is stellar! I introduced Audie to my friend, lap steel virtuoso Patti Maxine. She is one of the hardest working musicians and a session player in constant demand in Santa Cruz, California. She had never seen Audie Blaylock and Redline before, and was impressed with their musicianship and harmony.

At the table next to me was the Varner Family: Mark, Allison, Marty, and Veronica and her friend enjoying the music and dinner. Marty is so tall now and Veronica is beautiful. Later on, up in the front row Mark and Marty, sat carefully watching those notes and riffs fly across the stage and Bluegrass Music played like it should be played.

How wonderful to see Maria Nadauld!
Thanks for bringing these wonderful musicians out to the West Coast!
The remaining shows are:
Friday night in Pleasanton. Saturday in Mountain View. Sunday in Weaverville. Monday in Folsom. Tuesday in Chico. Thursday in San Diego. And then off to Larry & Sondra Baker's in Yuma, AZ.

Driving home that night, I wondered how do they do it; how do they do what they do?
How do they keep up with the demands of touring and continue playing such fine music.

Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.

I read an article in the LA Times by David Ackert:
“Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”

Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.

Welcome to the newest CBA Welcome Columnist, Sid Lewis!

Like an old song with a sweet refrain,
Thanks for traveling to my neck of the woods and playing such fine music with me.
So until next time, I’ll see you out there, on Harmony Road.

Posted:  1/18/2013

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