Author: Sargent, Geoff

Last Call for 2011

It must be the third Sunday and time for my column.

Yes folks, we are in the home stretch to close out the year and tally up how it’s gone for the past 12 or so months. And I’ll make no bones about it, it has been an eventful year. So get your orders in, get your message board shots out, and get prepared to put new strings on your instrument, the bar will be closing until 2012.
Music-wise I had a pretty good run of it in 2011. The year kicked with one of my Bands playing SFBOT, and then later Vern’s stage. It’s going to be hard to top that anytime soon but we are trying.

After the Vern’s gig though, Fred Cone, our Bass player, decided to move onto the big jam in the sky and we are still trying to find his replacement. We’ve been able to play with some really good guys on Bass, but for various reasons it hasn’t jelled yet. Jeez…looking for a new Bass player is lot like dating; got a few good first dates, found an elegant player that we really like, but we have to share him with two other bands. Did you ever have a girl friend when you were younger that had a couple of other boyfriends. Frustrating wasn’t it! But like those old girl friends we’ll keep on enjoying our time together and hope it will work out. Gives a new meaning for “getting to first Bass”.

Oh let’s see, what other eventful things have happened……oh yes I finally made a CBA campout and discovered that I got elected to the Board. Is there a correlation here? Actually, I am very honored to have been elected and allowed the privilege to help lead the CBA. The whole experience is a little intimidating, there is a significant amount of work and preparation for the monthly meetings, but my respect for the other board members has done nothing but increase the more I work with them. These are serious and committed folks. No matter what the issue, there is quite a bit of discussion and thought, sometimes shall we say “animated discussion”, but the decisions are always made with the future of the CBA in mind. I think it will be a hugely rewarding 2012 serving on the board and I am looking forward to it……and getting a new desk, out of the boiler room in the CBA Tower. Maybe space in the Econoline will open up.

So 2012. There is lots of music to be played in only 12 months and I am wracking my brain over how to maximize my bluegrass playing time. Well first on the list would be an event that could be called Sleepless in Bakersfield (not starring Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan) where a lonely dobro player finally finds his true…….huh what am I thinking. Unfortunately for me, the great 48 is going to be a last minute “on the fly decision”. My better half tolerates my musical escapades and I have to choose my Bluegrass commitments carefully. Since I already have two other musical commitments in January, the great 48 might have to wait yet another year.

But, there are a couple of festivals, music camps, and campouts that I get to hit this year. Speaking of festivals, I want to issue a challenge to the folks in RV land at the Father’s Day Festival, also affectionately known as the heavy metal section. WE DON’T SEE ENOUGH OF YA’LL HANGIN IN TENT CITY. I suspect that some of you look at tent city like a seething mosh pit of bluegrass humanity. Don’t be scared of our noisy enthusiasm, we really are gentle. Now having said that, if we don’t see more of ya’ll playing amongst the tents, don’t be surprised if we bring that mosh pit your way to pillage and plunder with fast fiddle tunes. If you need navigational assistance to tent city, just look for Camp Carnage, my camp, which will be adorned with flashing landing lights to help lost intergalactic jammers find their way to Grass Valley. I’ll bet ET is a banjo player…….just has that look.

What other 2012 resolutions do I need to make. Oh yes…..I need to get the Tour de Jam back on track. I admit that for the past couple of years it has been in a rut and I have been seduced by one or two local jams. So this is directed to Bert “Quiz Master” Daniels……I will Tour up your way 2012.

Apart from that, I’m planning on keeping my head down, which is what most dobro players do, and hope to see you at a jam in the new year.
Posted:  12/18/2011

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