Archive for October 7th, 2006

In The Presence of Patty

Blob32530 If I have the chance to hear Patty Loveless live, I do.  I especially want to see her live when she does an acoustic/bluegrass set, which I was fortunate enough to witness this evening.   I have loved to hear Patty sing since I was about 17 and I swear, she sings better now than ever. 

When Patty hit the stage out at Ridgetop tonight, and started in on "Pretty Little Miss", it brought tears to my eyes.  A few months away from her 50th birthday, the girl is not showing any signs of age.

Even though she didn’t do the 1 hour and 15 minutes she was scheduled to do, the 45 minutes was just an aboslute treat. B00005kg6501She did a lot of stuff from her amazing Mountain Soul album (mine and #2’s favorite from that one is Daniel Prayed and I thought he was going to jump up onstage with her band on that one) and stuff from other albums like Here I Am, Never Ending Song of Love, Blame It On Your Heart and she encored with The Grandpa That I Know. It was great.

F53230o6mny It’d have been even more perfect had she done songs from her Christmas album, Bluegrass and White Snow. #2 digs him some Santa Train.

After Mr. Smiff and them played and did their autograph thing, he had disappeared from the record table.  I found him backstage, putting his bass and amp up, in deep chat with Emory Gordy, Jr.  Emory is Patty’s husband and something of a bass legend.  (He was in Emmylou’s original Hot Band and played on all of her early stuff) I was telling Emory how great Patty sounded, blah, blah, gurm, gurm (but I was serious) and he said "You oughta hear her singing around the house."  Can you imagine? You look at Emory now and he looks like somebody’s cute little grandaddy.  Hard to believe he hung with Gram Parsons, once upon a time.

Pretty cool to get to go to work with Mr. Smiff two Saturdays in a row.  We don’t get to do that very often.

Scandal A’Brewin’ In The IBMA

There’s been a bit of controversy brewing all this week regarding last Thursday’s IBMA awards.  (Y’all haven’t heard me say a thing about that, now have you?!)  It’s just now hitting the mainstream news (thanks, Frank, for the heads up) but we’ve been hearing about it all week long.  You can read the article about the brouhaha here.

Bottom line…the Navy has a country/bluegrass band called Country Current.  Rhonda Vincent did a song on the show about veterans and service people.  It was nice, I reckon.  I was not out front, so I didn’t get the whole effect.  Country Current played right after her (I’m looking at the program).  Country Current was supposedly told not to do anything patriotic because it might offend some people in attendance. 

Some argue that it’s called the International Bluegrass Music Association, therefore, we shouldn’t do anything that remotely celebrates the United States of America because 2 people in the audience might be offended. The thing is, I doubt the people in attendance from other countries gave a rats ass if they sang From the Halls of Montezuma or I’m My Own Grandpa.  The ones griping about it are Americans who think patriotism has no place in an international organization.  I personally don’t understand how an American can feel that way, but, everybody has their own thing and that’s fine.  The majority of the audience dug it.  Seriously, there are like 2 people who thought it was wrong. I think they were Canadians.

I’m a little biased when it comes to David Crow.  David is a good friend of ours.  He traveled many, many miles with Mr. Smiff during the years he was with the Osborne Brothers.  David became part of the band when he was just a kid.   I think he was a student at Belmont at the time. He stayed with them even while he was in law school at Vanderbilt.  He still plays the Opry with Bobby Osborne (Sonny retired) on weekends.  David, Mr. Smiff and Brother In Law Smiff have a publishing company together.  There’s no finer guy around than David…he has a beautiful wife, two little boys and another little boy set to show up any second.  David is something like a kid brother to Mr. Smiff.

Apparently, through meetings held before the show, Country Current was told not to do their salute to the military (where they play each branch’s song and the members in the audience who’ve served in that branch stand, blah blah) and Wayne Taylor, who is the leader of the band said they would not.  Something changed in ol’ Wayne’s mind when the time came because they DID do the military salute.

As soon as the show was over, David promptly resigned. Not because he’s not patriotic, but, because he was lied to and was made to look bad.  Read the article. 

I think the whole stink is insane.  If there was going to be such a whoop tee do about the Navy Band doing something patriotic, why in the world did they have them there? That’s part of what they do.  Inviting the Navy bluegrass band and telling them not to do anything patriotic is something akin to inviting Billy Graham to an event and telling him "In your speech, whatever you do, don’t mention God."  This bunch wasn’t nominated for anything in the first place.

I could care less if they did patriotic numbers at all.  Two things about this make mad…they made our David look bad and now the IBMA does not have him as President anymore.  Secondly, this whole thing takes away from the people that won the awards and the music itself.  Call me crazy and selfish, but, I think people should be saying "How bout them Grascals?" and not "How bout that scandal?" 

Pete Wernick brought up a point this week that I agree with completely and that’s that Wayne Taylor,  a highly experienced military officer, would make a solid promise not to do something and then go back on his word.  That doesn’t seem to be what the Navy is about.