Author: Slim, Sims

A Little Bit of This and That

Today's column from Stuart (Slim) Sims
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lacking a compelling subject for this month’s column, I offer musings on some random topics culled from the CBA website.

Actually, it’s all Rick’s fault. When he first asked me to try my hand at this, I told him I thought I could do one now and then. After a string (two) of successful (personally gratifying) attempts, he put me on a regular schedule. Now I’m obliged to produce, inspiration or no.

So here we go.

We’ve been attending Kelvin Gregory’s 1st-Monday-of-the-Month jam at Rusty’s Pizza in Bakersfield. It’s a VERY enjoyable three hours of pickin’ and grinnin’. All skill levels are WELCOMED. Recently, a couple of youngsters (beginners) have shown up, and they are thrust into the spotlight by the best pickers. Some of the regulars (Frank Fisher, the Dagney Boys) can be seen on Nancy Z.’s Youtube site.

Despite the wailing and moaning from Whiskey Creek about Rick’s busy schedule, he seems bent on redesigning the website. He has asked for suggestions from the hoi polloi for improving the site. Speak now or forever . . . etc. My own expression of general satisfaction with the current format has been attributed to my relatively recent arrival.

According to a recent Message Board post, someone on the East Coast is writing a play about Northern California in the 1950s. That subject selection could be a story in itself, but the author is searching for banjo and fiddle music to accompany the production. I’m wondering how the NC folks are going to be portrayed. I’ve never thought of NC as a “redneck” stronghold.

An intrepid individual whose name will be withheld to protect the innocent (and naďve) is attempting to organize a gathering of the Welcome Column scribes at Grass Valley, an endeavor apparently akin to herding cats. His salvation may be that writers (and wannabes) seem to have a molecular attraction to adult beverages, which he has suggested will be present in abundance. Good Luck, Geoff…oops!

And finally, if you will allow me to vent for a moment, I’ve noticed a recent trend of individual performers recording “and friends” albums in which they record accompanied by an assembled group of well-known professional musicians. While it would be hard for a reasonably talented person to make a bad recording this way, I prefer, for better or for worse, to hear them in their “natural habitat,” i.e., if I hear you with your band at a festival and like what I hear, I expect to get the same “sound” on the CD I buy afterwards. I know the folks who record “with friends” can justify it six ways from Sunday, and the product is fine music, and the stars already have a band of crack musicians, but most of my meager collection is stuff I’ve heard live and enjoyed enough that I want more of it. Just, as they say, my $.02 worth!
Posted:  6/6/2009

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email