Just got back from the Merlefest, a four day roots music festival held in Wilkesboro, NC every year. Saturday night I was astonished to see John Paul Jones walk on stage with a mandolin to play with singer Gillian Welch on two tunes. The next morning bassist John Cowan (ex New Grass Revival) wrapped up his band's set by inviting JPJ out to play bass on the NGR oldie "Calling Baton Rouge". In the middle they broke into "Dazed and Confused", complete with banjo, mandolin and fiddle solos. Other great bassists spotted over the weekend: Edgar Meyer played sets with Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas plus a solo performance of the 1st Bach cello suite (!!) and while I missed the band introductions, it appeared (and sounded) like it was Willie Weeks playing with Vince Gill.