29 April 2011

THE MUSIC AND PRESTON BLACK: Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys 04/30/1967 Bean Blossom, Indiana


    And digging deeper was pretty much what I was doing the day I found my LP misplaced behind Blizzard of Oz. On my way to return the record to the BLUEGRASS section the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen stepped out of the CLASSICAL stacks. She smiled. I smiled back. She asked what I had in my hand. On the cover a bunch of anonymous pickers sat in front of an old log cabin. The back of the record said Uncle Mason's Front Porch: Best of the Blackwater Sessions.
    And on the track list, between "Pretty Polly" and "Hangman's Reel" was a song called "The Sad Ballad of Preston Black", written by E. Black.
    I knew right then and there that if I could ever find the man who'd written that song, I'd have found my dad.

For me it's more about the date than the show. Tomorrow I'm celebrating my birthday in Bluegrass Country. All ready made my pilgrimage to Woodford Distillery. Dined on REAL KFC (and corn pudding and stewed tomatoes and mashed potatoes with white gravy....)

One of the things I love about bluegrass is the fluid interplay between musicians--banjo jumps from lead to rhythm as the mandolin takes over. The guitarist chucks along waiting for the nod that says it's his turn to take a lead. I like the organic way a song unfolds from a seed one of the players may have inadvertently dropped, almost as an aside. Just three or four notes that spark something in one of the other players who picks it up and runs with it. Bluegrass is about tragedy and love and heartbreak and cheeky humor. Here's a show to get you started. Best listened to with a nice glass of bourbon.

Download at Sugarmegs

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys
Bean Blossom Park
Bean Blossom, IN

Doug Green - Guitar
Byron Berline - Fiddle
Lamar Grier - Banjo
James Monroe - Bass

1. Watermelon on the Vine
2. Sally Goodin
3. Walls of Time
4. Bluegrass Breakdown
5. My Georgia Rose
6. Molly and Tenbrooks
7. Blue Moon of Kentucky
8. Brand New Shoes
9. Watson Blues
10. Rawhide
11. Uncle Pen
12. Whitehouse Blues
13. Little Cabin Home on the Hill
14. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold
15. Dusty Miller
16. Is It Too Late Now? - (Red Allen)
17. There Must Be Another Way to Live
18. Tennessee Wagoner - (Shorty Sheehan)
19. Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain

Monroe Archival Project
Direct Connect: bluegrasshub.no-ip.com

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