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Book Reports

May 12

May 12, 2005

Three weeks on the road! MerleFest was the best ever! Robert Lockwood and his bass player Gene were a big hit. He was in great form and played two long sets to enthusiastic crowds. Hard to believe that he is 90 years old!! John Mooney was unbelievable, playing his National archtop thru 2 Fender Twins...First time we got a call from the main stage that we were drowning out the banjos!! Mary Flower has never been better and was a crowd pleaser as was Corey Harris. Henry Butler's plane was late, but he brought The New Orleans Jazz Fest to MerleFest for sure. He opened with a few tributes to James Booker, my all time favorite New Orleans piano man. What a time, what a time...

Got to talk with old friends Jerry and Jill Douglas, Bob Carlin, Josh Pinkham and a bunch of other folks. Heard some great bluegrass, americana and roots music every day. Henry Butler, an award winning Photographer, insisted on taking a few snaps of me (he is blind!). Can't wait to see those photos!

Preston Poe got some good footage of Mr. Lockwood talking about me for "the film" which is coming along, he says. Maybe it will be released early in 2006. John Jackson's manager and one of my best pals, Trish, attended this year as my guest along with Michael Roach and Renado who wrangled a press pass. Maybe they will read about MerleFest in Italy in the near future...It was so good to see Trish having such a good time.

Nancy and Maureen flew in Thursday night and we enjoyed our reunion. The girls love MerleFest as much as I do and they had quite a time visiting with friends, getting daily backstage messages and digging the music. One more week of teaching school for Nancy before her first 'summer vacation'. From what she tells me about teaching special ed K-2, she will be more then ready to join me on the road. Be plenty of time to enjoy our 'camping' across the country this Summer. in between my gigs.

John Arnold, my #1 luthier, tweaked up the 1930 mahogany Nick Lucas while Chrysler 'tweaked up' the bus in Newport, Tn. yesterday. The guitar turned out great, a few new frets, a new saddle, a dab of glue on a couple of braces and it's now in tip-top shape. John is the best when it comes to working on vintage guitars or building his own. He has built instruments for Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Raymond Fairchild and about 60 others. His guitars have been awarded to contest winners from Winfield to Merlefest.

Well that about catches us up for now. You folks take care and we'll see ya on the road!

By For Now,