Author: Varner, Mark

Dear friends,

Without getting political, it seems like there’s an eight hundred pound gorilla in the living room, on this, the eve of Tuesday’s big election. It’s hard NOT talking about it, but we all get along pretty well when we check that temporal stuff at the door and talk, think and play bluegrass and old time music – the eternal. Personally I value the diversity of ideas in this wonderful country and think that some push and pull tween different groups is better than lock step agreement. If the founding fathers had all been of the same mind this country would be less great for it. They fought like cats and dogs and came up with one heck of a brilliant government. Maybe they got through the process by remembering that they all loved the America they were creating – just had their own stubborn way of showing it.

What a ride it’s been for the past two years. Now we’re on the cusp of taking the direction the Electoral College demands. Hope we make a good decision. Times are pretty crazy.

I suppose I am guilty at times of enthusiastically lauding this bluegrass association of ours. The leadership and the members have shown a work ethic and creativity over the thirty-some years we’ve been promoting the best music what am. It’s really remarkable that folks that might not agree on too many other issues have worked together to grow this mighty thing.

Whenever one of the CBA’s movers and shakers “retires” from their position in the organization it gives us a moment to reflect on their service. Take Rosanna Young, our volunteer coordinator. After years of making this huge task seem easy she’s ready to give some other lucky person a chance at the job. I noted a post on the message board suggesting she be replaced by a team. That’s not unreasonable. Many hands make light work. I can tell you that the jobs done by my predecessor as Bluegrass Breakdown editor, Suzanne Denison, have been spread between several volunteers. It seems to me if there enough “new generation” types coming forward to do the jobs we can look more like a bucket brigade than rugged individualists. Lots of the new volunteers have kids and jobs (from which it’s looking we will NEVER retire from, given the economy), so spreading the work around is a good thing.

It’s a few days late for Halloween, but this little video clip transcends the holiday. Go to I watched it and was blown away. If you’ve never heard Tuvan throat singing, it’s peculiar. The experts can create three voices simultaneously. Leave it to the Abbotts to find a new use for this exotic singing style!

Your pal,
Mark Varner
Posted:  11/3/2008

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