Weekend update

Here lately, people have been asking me what Biffle's doing with himself in Charleston. I always say, "He's teaching an art class at the College, and he's the hottest new banjo player in town, so he's playing all the time." I thought tonight would be an exception--we had plans to make kale soup--but he came galloping through the house just now, exclaiming, "I have to play at Taco Boy in 20 minutes!"

Yesterday he played at a bluegrass festival with one of his regular bands, Yeehaw Junction (ahem). We decided to make a road trip of it, so we took back roads and stopped in an adorable place called Georgetown, where we ate some ice cream and looked at sailboats.

Yeehaw Junction is an outstanding bluegrass band. Here's one of my favorite moments from the evening: their encore was this haunting song called "Blue Ridge," which they sing in beautiful four-part harmony. I love that they use one microphone for the whole show--very old school, and it gives you something to look at when they change places to play solos.

This morning, Biffle and I went jogging together. He's a great jogging companion, but here's an important tip for any of you who might be involved in a physical endeavor with him: don't believe him when he says you're in better shape than he is. He recently quit smoking, and he assured me that he can't even walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. "I am in terrible shape right now," he said. "Jogging is going to kill me." So I agreed to go. Well, I was impressed with myself for being able to go a mile, considering that I haven't jogged in about a year. I ground to a stop, panting, and Biffle decided that this was his chance to sprint an additional mile. If he gets emphysema and has to haul around an oxygen tank he'll probably still be in better shape than I am.


Walter said...

additional notes for alison's post:

first of all, i'd like to say that this was an excellent blog entry. one of her best, actually. That's because it WAS ALL ABOUT ME! i am my favorite subject and i like to hear other people talk about me. to paraphrase thoreau, i wouldn't talk so much about myself if other people would do it for me.

bluegrass notes: #1: just for the record, bluegrass musicians take "breaks" not "solos." for example: "tater, you take the first break and me and peanut'll take the next two."

#2: Alison notes the one microphone thing. I've perfomed with one mic quite often, but usually as a three piece. When you've got multiple lead singers and three of you taking breaks, you've got to choreograph a bit.
So here's a funny thing: No matter what kind of music i'm playing, over time i've developed a natural inclination to take a long bluegrass-like pause at the ends of people's breaks, i.e where you cause the whole band to just vamp on the 1 chord for a bar or two. I never really knew the reason the bluegrass music did this. The other night i figured it out---you're waiting for the other guy to get out of the way so you can get back up to the mic!

Cate Bush said...

Loved the post and loved hearing about the Walter :). W, Great seeing you play - wish I were closer so I could actually go. I guess that'll happen soon enough.


Anonymous said...

And here I was thinking that Walter looked liked he'd put on some weight in that picture with the ice cream...