Author: Cornish, Rick

The Almost Daily News

I think Lynn Quinones expressed my personal feelings most precisely on her Message Board post—“Say it Ain't So!”. In fact, that was my reaction to Larry when he informed me of his decision to retire from the ADN columnist duties a few weeks before his announcement. Someone, forget who, made the point that Larry’s Almost Daily News was a key factor in keeping the CBA web page relevant, and of course it’s true.

The ADN was begun eight years ago. It started slowly and over time grew into a pretty sizable undertaking, listing coming events, changes in band personnel, etc., always with a little (woeful inept) attempt at humor. I did the column then, as well as all of the daily Welcomes. (You’re thinking, man, this guy had time on his hands. But really, it was more like, man, this guy really, really, really wants to build traffic up on Then, three years ago, a miracle! Someone who knew EVERYBODY, someone who knew EVERYHTING that was happening acoustic music-wise, and someone who could turn a phrase faster than most people can blink, volunteered to take the Almost Daily over. Larry Carlin, as dozens of folks have expressed on the Message Board and in emails, was the perfect guy to do the column. Bright, witty, in the know, horribly industrious, well read, always upbeat….etc., etc., etc. And what a run he had; 466,221 words and 466 columns. He was there first with the good news and he respectfully and tastefully brought us the bad. When something big was about to happen musically, Larry was on top of it. When a newspaper article or NPR show or TV special was set to shine its light on ‘our music’, Larry was the guy who let us know.

So, what now? Well, for starters, I was successful in persuading Larry to leave the door open, just a little crack, to a possible sabbatical scenario rather than an out and out retirement. But even if he should return to the ADN, it’ll be in the long and not the short or mid-term. Naturally our first thought is to find a replacement Almost Daily News columnist, but what kind of person would that be? I’ve discussed this with Larry and, since between the two of us we have eight years experience writing the column, I believe we’ve come pretty close to identifying the basic job requirements.

First and foremost, we need someone who finds writing EASY. Not doable, but actually easy…..even enjoyable….kind of a no-brainer activity. We’ve got a couple dozen Welcome columnists, all good writers, and they regularly come out with some pretty incredible stuff. But there are precious few who’d tell you that writing their monthly column is like falling off a log.

Second, we need someone who’s got the time to knock out two or three columns per week…frankly two per week would be okay.

Third, we have to find someone who absolutely, unequivocally and with utter abandon, LOVES bluegrass music, (and as Larry does, roots, old-time, gospel, and generally all kinds of acoustic music.)

Fourth, we need someone who can work with B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher. Not a job for the squeamish.

What we DO NOT need is someone who has their finger on the pulse of everything bluegrass in California. I certainly didn’t when I started, and I’ll bet way back when, Larry didn’t either. This happens naturally over time. The good news is we’ve got a ton of folks who have regularly sent information to me, and later to Larry. And, bless his heart, we've got Peter Thompson whose monthly calendar is huge and well researched.

So, is there anyone out there who fits? Undoubtedly there is, but finding her or him could be tough. In the meantime, we here at are open to your suggestions for filling the ADN with something else. Alas, it’s a sad thought but one we may need to pursue until just that right correspondent is found.

One last point. The CBA web team will do its very best to keep relevant and useful even with the departure of our colleague, Larry. That's our promise and our mission.

Remember, contact me at

Posted:  1/4/2011

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