Book Report Sept/Oct 23
Dear Friends, Neighbours and Fans. I apologise for the delay in the September book report. It’s now middle October and there’s a lot of catching up too !
I left home around the 7th of September, after receiving an okay from my doctor. and I headed North to Tennessee. Had a nice visit with my friend John Arnold and his dad, Bob, who just turned 99 years old! John Arnold is been my main guitar repair man & Pal for about 40plus years!
Next stop was Jonesboro Tennessee at the International Story telling center where I spent a week as an Artist in Residence. Every afternoon at 2 o’clock, I made my way down to the theatre where I did a show with more stories than songs to the delight of all the attendees …. Nice to be in a cooler climate too! It was a beautiful weekend in Jonesboro. Was great to have lunch one day with my old buddies, Ed Snoderly & Phil Leonard from The Down Home, in Johnson City, where I first performed over 40years ago… and it’s still a great venue!
Next stop was Nashville, Tennessee where I camped out in the driveway of Fats & Kristi Rose! My dear old friends planned my 80th Birthday Celebration at their favourite club, The Five Spot. It’s so hard to believe that I was going to be 80 years old on October 5th! Fats & I started working together 50years ago!
Nancy flew up to Nashville on October 3, and we had a great visit with Fats and Kristi Rose and a surprise visit from our travelling pals, Mark & Mary from California, who planned to stop in Nashville for my birthday party at the five spot on their way home from the east coast.
On Thursday the night before my birthday, we headed down to the five spot for celebration to begin. The place was packed right to brim with most people standing up . The Fats Kaplin Gang, opened up the show with various guest artists, performing a song or two and of course a little magic…after the break, KR, took the stage and belted out a few beautiful songs with The Fatman & “The Gang"…. What a voice!
Fats gave a little background about our early years and I opened up with a recital of Jason Wilber‘s song Amazing Grace(How Sweet She Was)…..Crazy that Jason & Fats both were in John Prine’s last band. The place went wild and a large time was had by all ! Fats then joined me on the the fiddle …. And it was like old times….I am so pleased and proud to have watched his career blossom and that we both still fondly remember the times we had back in the day… Nancy flew home a few days later on the 7th of October and I made my way up to West Virginia to perform on NPR's Mountain Stage for the first time in over 30 years! They asked why it had been so long, and I said, “I lost their phone number”…….It was a great experience, and I was glad to finally meet the “not so new host, Kathy Mattea, who was in Nashville, making hit records back in the 80’s, back when I was regularly appearing on Ralph Emory’s hit tv show, Nashville Now! “Another large”, time was had by all. It was really great to hear Maria Muldaur’s daughter, Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson perform songs from their latest album. The Show will be aired later this month ….
I left West Virginia at 9:30 Sunday evening and made it all the way to Little Rock Arkansas, where I slept on the 11th which was Wednesday about three 450 mile a days later…. My show at Poor David's pub was okay. The small audience was very responsive and I did enjoy it.
Next, we did our annual Guitar Workshop at my friends Shan and Linda‘s house in Ft Worth. Susan flew in from New York and Barry drove from the Houston area. The weather was great. Everybody learned a little bit more of my style. We ate well and enjoyed the camaraderie. They all were students at Jorma Kaukonen’s ,Fur Peace Ranch!
I made a stop in Austin for lunch with my dear old friend, Michelle Pain, and then headed south towards Houston. Always great to hear of her adventures.
The audience at the Mucky Duck was not a mighty crowd, but very enthusiastic. I spent the next night at a flying J truck stop on my way towards Beaumont Texas where I ended up camping out for a few days,taking care of some business and preparing for the Old mill Fest up in Kennard Texas.
The Old Mill Fest is always great ! Hosted on their family farm , Lloyd, April & Margaret Wright bring together a wonderful“Old Timey” gathering of musicians and fans for one of the weekends I always look forward to taking part in. I believe this was my third time to being included! Was the best weather we could have hoped for! It was a Special treat to hear my pal, Pip Gillette & Lloyd play some tunes that Pip & Waddy Mitchell made up ….“ That’s All Folks”, By For Now...Book