Saturday, August 11, 2007

Little Known Fact About Me

Johnson Mountain Boys
Hanover, Massachusetts, 1981

Sure, I loved Guns-n-Roses, Megadeth, AC/DC, Metallica and many other hard rock bands. Most people who knew me "back in the day" knew that was the stuff I listened to a lot. If you really knew me you know I loved 70s rock a lot more. Though 99% of the music I listen to know is Christian, I still think Lynyrd Skynyrd is the best band of all time. I loved to listen to the Beach Boys too, but VERY few people knew that about me. I loved OLD R&B and Motown stuff. My mom and I loved to listen to Elvis Presley and one of my favorite Christmas presents of all time was a Jerry Lee Lewis cassette. (All time favorite was the THREE times -- one album and two cassettes -- I received "Second Helping" by LS -- I kept wearing copies out...I now own it on CD for the second time.)

I digress...or, I'm not so sure you can do that on your own blogspot...

The point to all of this is the band pictured above. Because, though LS is the best band, the best music - hands down - of all time is Bluegrass. I loved, and still love Bluegrass music. The Johnson Mountain Boys were the MARK for me during my late childhood and all through my teens (throw Seldom Scene in with them too). What I loved about JMB was two things: Dudley Connell's voice made me realize that Bluegrass is the white man's blues...which is nothing more than the story of a good man having a bad time. It's the grit; the truth and the horror wrapped around a melody and driven by a beat that slays me. It's stories told well by acoustic readers. It's simple folk's lives put to music. That's me and nobody put a voice to it better than Dudley Connell. Besides Connell's voice, it was the group's art: traditional bluegrass sound with fresh songs. EVERY BODY hashed out classic Bluegrass tunes. They are hard to improve on, and no amount of studio tomfoolery can make them better. So, JMB took it to the next level. They gave us trustworthy, down-home style in BRAND NEW songs. I was amazed!

It opened my mind to the possibilities of Bluegrass when I was on the verge of giving up.

What's this got to do with anything?

Nothing. It's just my life.

I VIVIDLY remember hearing that JMB disbanded and becoming emotionally and physically sad. Then I remembered the beauty of the craft is that, just like great old songs, great musicians are forever recycled in Bluegrass. Rock bands crash and burn or become irrelevant...Bluegrass folks just keep on keeping on!

1 comment:

Virgie said...

that is awesome Tim I would of never guess that you like bluegrass, yea you look like a AC/DC well maybe not =)
That brought back a lot of memories for me. When my dad was alive he passed on about 11 years ago with lung cancer. Mom Dad and Ralph and I would go camping at a blue grass festivals in Michigan. But that was in our drinking days so a lot of it wasn't so good. But we would take our lawn chairs and listen it was great. It would amaze me that some of the people would bring their own boards and clog I always wish that I had a board because I love to clog but I never had the nerve to do any thing like that. The people that would pick in the camp grounds were the best we would walk from one group to the next. I remember this man he was in his 80's he would play that fiddle he was great, and my foot would be a tapping and a skaking. =) Any how I just wanted to share this with you. And Im so glad that you shared that with us I would of never guessed. You have a blessed day
Your sister in Christ
Virgie