The Bluegrass Painter Blog


Snow vs. Music

As I had feared, a snowstorm is coinciding with the Meadville Bluegrass Festival...but, just talked to a friend who wisely counseled that "...that's what four wheel drive is for" so i guess I'm going anyway.

Orange_blossom_special Just spent a half hour on the Old-Time Music website. Listened to a few sound bites put on by site host, David Lynch and made the resolution to get the fiddle out more often and find some old-timey fiddlers to jam with. To my bluegrass buddies, please don't take this as heresy. My love of the old-time fiddle music melds comfortably my with love of bluegrass...they really aren't that far apart in material, sound or technique. Interestingly, I ran into Mark Tamsula, a superb old-time fiddler, at the Ice Jam Bluegrass Festival last weekend where Mark was on stage with a local school group that he coaches. Their set fit right in. 


Meadville Bluegrass Weekend

Fiddler_2 I hope the roads are clear on Saturday for a drive north on I-79 to the Meadville Days Inn. Folks are gathering there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for some good bluegrass picking. Some of the pickers and listeners will be out of the gang that was at the Butler Ice Jam last week. But, the Meadville gathering will reflect more of a western New York state influence.

Lots of jamming, good stage show, good time.

My plan is to get there Saturday morning for an afternoon of picking with friends old and new.


Preserving Mountain Music

Participating in the Augusta experience can be as diverse as actually taking part in the courses at the Augusta Festival in August or just jamming with other mountain music aficionados at "Pickin in the Park". 

Music jams ranging from bluegrass to old-time to gospel and more are held every Wednesday evening in Elkins, WV. Weather permitting the site is the town park adjacent to the Davis & Elkins College campus. Inclement weather doesn't stop anything, the jammers just move indoors to space provided by Davis & Elkins.

This excerpt from The Augusta Heritage Center website reveals the background and mission of the center.

Augusta was the historic name of West Virginia in its period of earliest settlement. In 1973, "Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops" was the name given to a summer program that was set up to help preserve the Appalachian heritage and traditions. In 1981, Davis & Elkins College became the sponsor of the program, renamed Augusta Heritage Center. In the 26 years since then, it has flourished and grown. Augusta Heritage Center is known nationally and internationally for its activities relating to traditional folk life and folk arts of many regions and cultures.

Bluegrassers_1  Augusta Heritage Center is best known for intensive week-long workshops that attract several hundred participants annually. Thousands more attend our public concerts, dances, and festivals. Augusta’s full-time staff, plus volunteers, seasonal staff, and work-study students, produce a great variety of quality workshops. These world-renowned workshops and festivals have brought together master artists, musicians, dancers, craftspeople, and enthusiasts of all ages.

Our year-round activities also include folklife research and documentation, our statewide West Virginia Folk Arts Apprenticeship program, production of films and audio recordings for a national audience, and outreach programs for young people and our local community.


Music on the mountain...

The_fiddler We have all kinds of music going on around here. But, its hard to separate good fiddling from good mountain music. Fiddle tunes are integral to hoe downs, bluegrass jams, old-time jams and traditional country music. I am always amazed at the quality of fiddlers all around us...and then find the same is true as we travel the Appalachian region stretching it a bit to encompass Maine and the Canadian maritime provinces on one end and Louisianna bayou country on the other.

And, the celtic roots of Appalachian fiddling are evident in Irish and Scottish music.

I did this little painting of my friend Randy Thomas, great country singer and leader of "Randy Thomas and Friends out of Terra Alta, WV. RAndy is kind enough to let me play with his group. Wish we got more gigs in the winter.Randy


and we like dogs

a painting of your pet is a way to show everybody how much you think of them...


This is a painting of our Siberian Husky that we called Zack. We lost Zack in July of 2005 and he is truly missed. But, Zack is with us everyday in painting and memory.