Another incredible evening with two good friends and musicians Tom Druckenmiller and Mike Beaky and the banjo. We launched into the evening with Sally Goodin and went from there, discussing the art of the banjo. Tom’s a great clawhammer player and Michael is wonderful on bluegrass banjo. Both came up with pithy observations on music in general and the banjo, in particular. Stories about the Banjo Gods like Bela, Tony, John McCutcheon, an array of old time players, Earl Scruggs, etc. We talked about the place of the banjo in a band, the power of playing in unison (old time music), the power and drive of respecting the bluegrass beat and playing as a band……and more.
This was college-level discussion, folks and as rich and deep as any music seminar that I have attended. I remain disappointed with the obvious lack of attendance to the series in general, especially with the quality of performance and high-level educational and cultural values presented. These are quite intellectually stimulating events.
A special surprise came at the end. It was a small crowd including a vaguely familiar face to my right in the pews. It turned out to be my good friend, John Gorka, in town for a set of East Coast gigs. I certainly didn’t expect to see my world-traveler from MN on a stormy, thunder and lightning Wednesday night in February. It is always great to see John, my folk brother, especially when he drops in from out of nowhere, to check up on the club and me, too.
I have some mighty friends with me on slow nights.