Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Photo of Me Taken Over 10 Years Ago (Day 10)

Wow.  This photo was taken by the wife of our banjo player back in, I don't know, '98-ish?  Oh, yeah.  Didn't I tell you?  I used to sing lead in a bluegrass band called Southern Express.  Surprised?  Seriously, I love the stuff.  In case you're uninformed or perhaps even misinformed (as so many are who think bluegrass is, like, a twangy spin-off of country western... not even... more like the other way around, hello), bluegrass is enigmatically close to jazz with all its extemporaneous solos, perfect harmonies, tales of love and loss and murder because of it.  And, oh my, the people you meet at festivals are so nice.  If they love you, they scream for more. You may sing three encores of one song, just so they can bask in the heartfelt (or murderous, whichever) lyrics, the supersonic guitar pickin', and/or the voices that make you swear you're in heaven, listenin' to the heavenly angels themselves.

Yep.  We had a grand time.  Unfortunately, we eventually went our separate ways.  But I keep in touch with our guitar player, who still picks and gives lessons and is, like, one of the most talented people I know or, I suspect, ever will know.  It's most definitely one of the best times of my life, a time I shall never forget for all the fond memories I made with my fellow band-mates.

As a treat, here's a video of Brittany & Briana Pearse singing the famous "Down in the Willow Garden," one of them there murder songs I was tellin' ya 'bout. :)  Oh, and while you're at it, tell me one or two of your fondest memories. Is it from childhood? Adulthood? Were you a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger in another life?

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,



riamber said...

Bluegrass! My husband picks the banjo. He owns a Gibson pre-war banjo, that is his pride and joy. And another Gibson banjo that he took with him to Afghanistan to entertain the troops. I believe that banjo has made him a rockstar chaplain over there!
Bluegrass music is quite different, and haunting. The fans and the musicians are a different breed all together. It is such an intimate musical experience. The bands always seem to be joyful and thankful for fans. It's not that way in other types of music.

BREA said...

I think I loved the band trips...call me crazy!

Lynda R Young said...

music festivals (for any style of music) are brilliant. I love them.

Alyssia said...

Riamber, that's awesome! The banjo is such a beautiful, complex instrument. I myself fiddled (no pun intended) with the mandolin, and even chopped a bit on stage a few times, but never like my fellow bandmates. They were--still are--absolutely phenomenal.

Bonn! Me too! We always had a blast, didn't we? Ferris Beuller over and over, the guys playing Axis and Allies, like, 24/7, Fayard yelling at us when we were late... Good times. Good times.

And Lynda, I could not agree more. Every year in South Mississippi, the local rock station puts on "CPR Fest," with tons of new talent as well as older, more well-known rock bands. It's always an amazing show, really. Then of course there's Jazz Fest in New Orleans... LOVE. :)

Lela said...

I love bluegrass! You know, a really good soundtrack with some great bluegrass is from "O Brother Where Art Thou?" - great flick too! :) My aunt played the autoharp and would always get it down and play for us when we were little. Those were great times!

Jacqueline said...

Wow, Nikki, you are talented in so many expressive, creative ways!...I would love to hear you sing sometime; I can't even carry a tune with the car radio!

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