Friday, March 03, 2006


Music: Ely Opry

After the Quincy Jam Session last night, a few of us ... me, Sondra and Andrew ... drove out to Ely to play with the bluegrass group who meets there on Thursday nights. We got there sometime between 9:30 and 10:00. Some of the group had already left or left shortly after ten, but there were quite a few who stayed and played until late. We left around midnight and they were still playing when we left. I met a lot of people, but only remember two names at the moment … John the fiddler and Allen who played the mandolin.

I had a great time. It was just like being back home to me. I grew up playing bluegrass, country and gospel with my family. The whole time I was playing and singing, I could feel myself smiling away. They probably think I’m crazy, but I was just thinking of people. I sang Great Speckled Bird, which was a favorite of both my Grandma and Grandpa Williams, both of whom are gone now. It was just like having them with me again. I could see their smiling faces in my mind while I was singing. Especially Grandpa.

Okay, that just made me cry … but I really had a good time and I’m looking forward to going back.

My big accomplishment of the evening was learning Foggy Mountain Breakdown on my fiddle!! I don’t have it down perfect, but I’ve got a pretty good outline of it and it sounds really cool. One of the banjo players played it. Then he went through it a couple of times slowly and helped me figure out some of the notes and slides. Then another banjo player played it with me three more times and I think it’ll stick. I can play by ear and play along with what’s being played at the time, but for it to stick in my memory, I have to play it a few times … or a lot of times … and then it’s filed somewhere up there in my brain. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that I can find it when I want it!!!!

But it’s there … somewhere!!!!

My Patsy Cline songs were a huge hit!!

We practiced doing chords on the fiddles. Playing my mandolin has really helped me with that. I’ll have to work on that some more.

All in all, a great time. No trouble finding it, but I was a little confused trying to find the right roads back in the dark. I’ll do better next time. J


I used to play Foggy Mt. Breakdown with the Kirksville group I played with. It's a fun tune and easy to imrpovise on. Maybe next week we can play it!
I'll work on it some more this week. I'm not great at it, but can play a general outline. It is a fun tune ... epsecially with a banjo picker leading the way!
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