Monday, April 30, 2007

Addicted To 'Grass

A frequent sight at Merlefest each year: 80-something years old Doc Watson with flattop guitar in hand(for you Yankees, Doc pioneered flatpicking guitar). I was schooled for a few minutes this weekend by some mandolin whiz-kid who was about 13. He taught me the first few bars of Charlie Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple" at an age when most kids are shrieking about American Idol. This was after he sat in with another group of whiz-kids on the Hillside Stage that call themselves The Belleville Outfit. Swingin' times at Merlefest '07. The Duhks, The Waybacks, The Infamous Stringdusters, Uncle Earl, and Toubab Krewe are a few of the other young faces to be seen in Wilkesboro, NC this time of year. Among the more venerables are the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Tony Rice, and Peter Rowan.