bluegrass bassists

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by pkr2, Sep 1, 2000.

  1. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I'm just curious. Do we have any bluegrass bassists here? I know there are a lot of us but they're seldom heard from.

    I just got a new cd by Marshal Wilborn that's fantastic. All bass solo tunes with mostly banjo and dobro accompanyment. Can you believe, a bluegrass cd without a guitar?
  2. While most are a little reluctent to say they play bluegrass I am not. I have played music of all types for 50 years and Bluegrass is the last style I have learned. The chords are way to easy but the precision it takes, makes it difficult to play. I only jam and don't play Bluegrass for money. I have a great love for the music and there are no better people on the Earth.
    SO play another cabin song.......Carl
  3. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I haven't played bluegrass for a couple years since my old group fell apart, but it sure is fun music.

    As somewhat limited as it may be considered, I often found it a bit of a challenge to play tunes I didn't know because the changes don't conform to, shall we say, conventional music, and can really throw your expectations into the trash pretty quickly. Before I lost my voice I really enjoying tossing in harmonies.

    I've been playing with a guy who does OLD ragtime blues, as in the Piedmont style, similar in some ways, and he's even more a challenge. Again, unexpected changes -- and after we play someone has to sweep up all the dropped beats -- it's the nature of the music, which ain't called 'ragged time' for nothin!

    There is a lot of pleasure in playing music out of the mainstream!

  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    I like to think,Bob, that the beauty of bluegrass is its simplicity.Both in the playing and the listening.

    It's not that easy to do well but it's pretty easy to reach the point where you actually are making music. G C D and a capo have made learning to play guitar lots easier. Also, I've found most real bluegrass nuts(meaning nuts in a nice way :)) to be very tolerant of beginners. I don't ever recall a bluegrass musician charging for music lessons.

    Actually I'm between bluegrass bands too for the moment. My banjo player suffered a mild heart attack which kinda threw a wrench into the plan. Anyway, he's doing great but can't play for a few days. I am very, very thankful. I can find another banjo player but good friends are hard to find.

    I started playing EBG in Jan. and have been spending a lot of time with it so the time will be well spent. I'm loving the EBG. I'm doing things on it with ease, that after 40 years of apprenticeship, I still can't do on the URB.

    My compliments on your website,Bob. Very interesting.
  5. On my last post I forgot to mention that I am a member of the Southwest Bluegrass association. please drop by for a visit to a great web site.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I have a great love for the music and there are no better people on the Earth.
    SO play another cabin song.......Carl

    That says it all, Bassdude. I've heard a lot of conversations mention the fact that bluegrass people are the greatest.

    I've been around long enough to see that bluegrass comes and goes in cycles. The timing is right for another group like the Osborne Bros. to come along and give it a good kick forward.

    My only regret is that bluegrass didn't prepare me for the kinds of music that I play now. It definitely didn't hurt me though. I feel like I'm stuck in a root/V world but it taught me that time is more important than melody to the average listener.

    Right on, bassdude, that's a great website. I didn't get all the way thru it but I'll go back. Good to know that B.G. is alive and well in California.
  7. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Yes bluegrass is cool... I've been to several weekend festivals and have yet to be disappointed. The one thing I don’t get…well maybe it's just me, but it seems like this music which at introduction was so inventive and daring is rather stagnant and confined... Especially for bass.

    Still, there is nothing like hanging out underneath the stars picking some old favorites in the pines.
  8. This for the non Bluegrassers out there, as Festivals go Bluegrass festivals are the best bargan in summertime fun, often costing less for admission than a hamburger, coke and fries at other festivals. It is also a way to see a lot of upright basses all together and sometimes find one for sale. Here is another website to visit
  9. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Hey... Just got back from the Wheatland Music festival... I went to a bass workshop by Mark Shatz and Marshal Wilborn. Gosh I hope I spelled them right. What a treat!

  10. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    J.C., I'm green with envy! If Marshal teaches just half as well as he plays you must have learned a lot. What sort of person is he?

    Did you by any chance get a copy of his c.d., Root Five? That has got to be my all time fav c.d. Talk about smooth. Wow.
  11. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Both Marshal and Mark made it look too easy and were nice to boot. For instance when I slap I look a bit like Pete Townsend with my arm doing this big whirlwind movement. These guys are so much more relaxed (or is it efficient) than I am capable of. If you watch them from behind you can barely tell they are playing.

    During the workshop, a lot of the folks asked questions about gear and setup… This was frustrating to me as there is so much talk of this online that I didn't care too much for that. But for those who care, Marshal uses the Realist and Mark uses and endorses the Fishman and uses a mike stuffed in the top of the F hole. They talked about simplicity, muting, injury and working with the rest of the band. Oh and I asked a question about how they record.

    They did a double bass duet of Buffalo Gals and a blues slap thing together, what a treat! All in all they spent about an hour and a quarter when the schedule only promised 45 minutes.

    Lynn Morris was there and some other guy from the band as Marshal and her were to perform after the workshop. She was rather nice and said a few things about her feelings about the roll of the bass in bluegrass music.

    The morning before the bass workshop, it rained. Well, that is an understatement. It was a real downpour it happened just after somebody sang a gospel song about Buddha. Somebody reflected about the irony of rain after a funny song. Apparently god has a sense of humor. Anyway, Somewhere on the festival grounds the adolescents and young adults took to sliding down the hill in the mud.

    So during our workshop you could hear yelling and screaming in the distances as the folks did the mud slide thing. Mark was particularly interested, as we kept getting interrupted and young women sauntered by wearing little more than mud. At one point Mark shared some wisdom with us - he said that muddy girls like bass players!

    More on Wheatland; if you want to play all night and then for breakfast - all weekend, as a bass player you pretty much have it made. There is a ratio of about 20 to 1 on the bands to bass player scale. So you just walk around with the old girl until you hear some good pickers and join in. If fact they are so happy to have a bass join in, that you pretty much don't have to bring your own beer. Just play and mooch. :p

    NO I don't have His CD but I got the video on Bluegrass slap. If you have a decent collection of folk and bluegrass recordings as I do, you will find him all over the place.

  12. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Right on J.C. I don't have a good collection of music. Makes me appreciate what little collection I do have though.

    Bluegrass festivals are more fun than eating dirt but I haven't been to one in a while. I know what you're saying about finding a group to pick with at festivals. I was at the Camp Springs, N.C. festival several years ago and fell in with a group of people picking in the parking lot. I must have played for the better part of an hour when I found out that one of the guitar pickers was Jimmy Martin. I was playing great till I found that out. All of a sudden I felt so intimidated that I just froze. I was getting ready to leave when Jimmy insisted that I keep playing. It really didn't take much insisting. I felt like I was in the presence of the gods. Best part was when some of the other guys in my band came up and there I was playing with one of the greats. My chest must have been puffed out for weeks.

    To me that's the beauty of festivals. The famous and the unknowns rub shoulders like they've known each other forever.

    Oh well, I'm starting to ramble. I guess you've got to try festivals before you really understand the rapport among bluegrass musicians. I'm sure that you do understand.

  13. I play bluegrass bass and love the sound of that big doghouse thumping like Bigfoot's keeping time and ready to dance! I'm not all that good but if I know the chords I can take it from there. Lots of great CDs out there too but the disappointing thing to me is many of the newer groups use electric bass. It sounds soft and lacks the forward drive of an upright. Love that thump, buddy!! I'll see if I can find the Wilborn cd and check it out. Thanks.
  14. Yesterday I went to the funeral of Terry Stanton the bass player and bandleader of the Bluegrass group the "Circuit Riders". This group is one of the better west coast groups and one of the longest running westcoast bluegrass acts. Terry was my friend and the model for my bluegrass groove. I will miss him a lot.
  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    That's a tough thing to deal with, Bassman. It's a sad day when the world loses a good musician. It's a sadder day still when you lose a good friend. My condolences.
  16. Sorry to hear of Terry Stanton's death. Though it will happen to us all, it is never easy to take for a close friend. Keep his memory bassdude, and remember him when you play his favorites. Sound travels real far.
  17. pkr2
    Just finished opening the Amelia Bluegrass Festival last weekend with Sandy Creek(Ralph Stanley, James King Country Gentlemen,Bluegrass Brothers and others were there). There are a bunch of Bluegrass thumpers on TB as well as blues and jazz. They have been a constant source of help and knowledge to me and other bassists. If I'm not mistaken Mike Childree plays a bunch of Bluegrass and has a couple of excellent cuts available for the listening on this site. An excellent form of music and the greatest people on earth.
    By the way does anyone out there know where I might find the tack on scrolls for a Kay bass? A friend broke his carrying his bass on stage the other night.
  18. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I'd contact Englehardt-Link. Shouldn't be a problem to get one of the curley-cues.
  19. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
  20. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA about a resurrected thread!

    Yep, I'm still here, and lots more of us are playing bluegrass (or just now admitting it) :) Oddly enough, It's just about supplanted all my other gigging. My band has gotten really busy in the last year or so.

    In fact, there seems to be an upswing in the discussion of the rootsier styles of music lately. I'm pretty glad to see it, as that's the stuff I enjoy most.