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First & Lasting Impressions; How I became a Banjo player...(installment #2)

Posted by Lauriemac on Monday, July 13, 2009


It turns out that, that scruffy ole man was Odell McGuire and he was as old then, as I am now. Puts things into perspective! And that ‘old man’ was the reason for the revitalization of Old Time Music in Rockbridge County, VA.
Now, I am not a historian, nor was I one of the young that Odell mentored. Matter of fact, Odell’s wife Mata and owner of the White Column Inn was my mentor in creating a culture & environment that evoked relationships of community, family and love. And, I did have the fun job of dancing and working with the likes of the next generation of Old Time musicians. This is where I met Bruce Molsky, Michael James Cott, James Leva, David & Mary Winston, Andy & Toni Williams, Richie Stearns and Mike Seeger (when he blew into town and decided, to stay!). And many others as this was, ‘THE destination location’. So much music those years. Every where. My little cabin on the river, was a crash pad for many of the pickers rolling through, from one festival to another, or gig’s south, west, north and east. An enveloping, a submergence into traditional tunes. It was a way of Being.
And as the music drifted in and out like the organic motion of breathe, lives change and folks saunter in other directions. While some made this music an integral part of their existence, I continued to have it on the periphery. Local party’s, a club or restaurant venue… but it wasn’t until I opened my own restaurant in 1993 that it truly started to seep back into my life and really, in a way that it felt like it had never left... perhaps, just resting.
Remembering what I had learned of community, family & love from Mata McGuire, I opened my café doors on Thursday nights to acoustic music and with that, again came the Old Time tunes along with the old friends. I felt that my little café soaked up the tunes through the well worn wood floors and porous hand made brick. That that little room brightened with a memory of traditional music being played there in some other incarnation, time and space, as it was built in the late 1800’s.
Still this was not quite enough to get a banjo or anything else for that matter in my hands, yet it did ignite that visceral yearn for traditional music in and around my life.
(installment #2) still… TBC...

1 comment on “First & Lasting Impressions; How I became a Banjo player...(installment #2)”

clio Says:
Monday, July 13, 2009 @12:57:10 PM

Can't wait for the next exciting chapter!

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