As it was a holiday weekend, there was another different program offering in the place of DJ Jenny & her "Trail Mix" show from 2-3PM: it was none other than our own Jim Beaver, who played an hour's worth of early stringband music from some of the earliest performers featured on the Grand Ole Opry. Those tunes were especially appropriate since WSM began broadcasting what would be known as the Grand Ole Opry on November 28, 1925. As you likely know, lots of that early stringband stuff from performers like Sam & Kirk McGee and Uncle Jimmy Thompson, and, of course, Uncle Dave Macon ("The Dixie Dewdrop") certainly influenced what would later be called Bluegrass music. By the way, Jim suggested a book title for those interested in learning more about the early history of the Grand Ole Opry. Noted country music historian, the late Charles K. Wolfe wrote a book in 1999 titled A Good-Natured Riot: The Birth Of The Grand Ole Opry. I have added this book to my reading list -- perhaps you might be interested in doing so, as well.
On Saturday night, recognized Bluegrass pioneer and New England (and perhaps, Florida?) Bluegrass legend, Sam Tidwell, performed at the local Killingly Grange hall. Sam has not been in the best of health for the last couple of years, but when he feels like playing music, he is still a treat to hear. When I was growing up, I remember my brother, Dave, playing the music of Sam and his musical partner, Fred Pike (who made his home in nearby Oneco, CT for a number of years), along with their group, the Kennebec Valley Boys, many, many times. Sam's quite a storyteller, too, and it's great to see him out playing once again (and getting some nice recognition).
Along with music from Sam and Fred, I thought it would be fun to spotlight performers from all six states that make up New England, so along with Sam (who could represent both his native Rhode Island & his adopted home of Maine) and Fred (CT & ME), we heard music from Jimmy Gaudreau (RI), Dan Tyminski (Vermont), White Mountain Bluegrass (New Hampshire), and the late Joe Val (Massachusetts). Who says that folks from north of the Mason-Dixon Line can't make some fabulous Bluegrass music?
There wasn't much time for new music on Sunday, but we did include newer tunes from Volume Five, the Boxcars, Balsam Range, Lou Reid & Carolina, Big Country Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent, and Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa. Christmas season is upon us, too, so we included an older Christmas tune from Tony Trischka (and friends), as well as a brand-spanking new song co-written by Tom T. & Dixie Hall, along with the performer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers.
After our two-hour preemption, we included a gospel set beginnning about 6:30PM.
Don't forget to join Jim on Sunday afternoon from 4-7PM -- basketball games & weird UCONN power outages notwithstanding.
Enjoy the remainder of the week!
- The Mill / Laurie Lewis & Grant Street / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
- Salty Dog Blues / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Grand Ole Opry Live Classics / Cracker Barrel
- Blue Moon Of Kentucky / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Grand Ole Opry Live Classics / Cracker Barrel
- Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes / Jim & Jesse / Grand Ole Opry Live Classics / Cracker Barrel
- The Last Log Drive / Fred Pike, Sam Tidwell & the Kennebec Valley Boys / The Last Log Drive / Revonah
- Follow The Leader / Jimmy Gaudreau / In Good Company / CMH
- I Ain't Taking You Back No More / Dan Tyminski / Wheels / Rounder
- I've Had A Time / White Mountain Bluegrass / Aragon Mill / Strictly Country
- Ginger Brandy / Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys / One Morning In May / Rounder
- Headed Home For Maine / Fred Pike, Sam Tidwell & the Kennebec Valley Boys / The Last Log Drive / Revonah
- More Pretty Girls Than One / Crowe Brothers with Russell Moore, Sammy Shelor, Mike Hartgrove / The All-Star Jam: Live At Graves Mountain / Rural Rhythm
- Down In A Mine / Volume Five / Down In A Cell / Mountain Fever Records
- Quicksand / Darren Beachley & Legends Of The Potomac / Take Off / Patuxent Music
- Look For Me / Angelica Grim / Look For Me / Patuxent Music
- I've Been Waiting / The Boxcars / The Boxcars / Mountain Home
- Precious Child / Tony Trischka / Glory Shone Around / Rounder
- Kentucky Noel / Chris Jones & the Night Drivers / Good Home Grown Christmas Sampler / Blue Circle
- Katy Hill / Johnny Warren & Charlie Cushman / A Tribute To Fiddlin' Paul Warren / Self-Produced
- The Boys In Hats And Ties / Big Country Bluegrass / The Boys In Hats And Ties / Rebel
- Your Love Is Like A Flower / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Selected Cuts, 1952-1955 / JSP Records
- Your Love Is Like A Flower / Dailey & Vincent / Brothers From Different Mothers / Rounder
- Another Day / Reno & Smiley / Early Years, 1951-1959 / Gusto
- Next Train Smokin' / Spinney Brothers / Going Home / Self-Produced
- The Court Of Love / Rhonda Vincent / Taken / Upper Management Music
- My Old Kentucky And You / Larry Stephenson with Ricky Skaggs / 20th Anniversary / Pinecastle
- Suwannee River Hoedown / Jessie Baker / Yessir! / Patuxent Music
- Won't You Come And Sing For Me / Hot Rize / Every Time I Feel The Spirit / Sugar Hill
- For Him / Gary Waldrep Band / Road Leading Home / Blue Circle Records
- It's Just Like Heaven / Bill Yates & Friends / Country Gentlemen Tribute, Volume II / Mastershield Records
- Will He Wait A Little Longer / Stanley Brothers / Selected Cuts, 1955-1956 / JSP Records
- Gonna Be Movin' / Balsam Range / Trains I Missed / Mountain Home
- God's Front Porch / Lou Reid & Carolina / Sounds Like Heaven To Me / Rural Rhythm Christian
- Cabin In The Sky / Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa / Out In The Middle Of Nowhere / Self-Produced
- His Loving Care / Junior Sisk / Look To The Light: Songs Of Faith From The Pen Of Rick Lang / Rural Rhythm Christian
- Shouting In The Air / Johnson Mountain Boys / Let The Whole World Talk / Rounder
- I'm On A Journey / Bear Bridge Band / One More Ride / Open Road
- Black Mountain Blues / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder