Saturday, July 30, 2011

Foggy Mountain Breakdown. An All-Star lineup plays it like you've never heard it before.

I started my musical noise-making at age five by covering the tops of Folger coffee cans with varying thicknesses of Elmer's Glue and using aluminum pie tins, cut to appropriate sizes, as cymbals.

Our family has a long history of actual musicianship, with many accomplished and published players, composers and pickers. From sitting on the porch of my maternal grandparents' house during the dog-days of summer and listening to my grandpa blow the French Harp (that's harmonica to you northerners) and various cousins work the squeezebox (accordion) and strum guitars and saw on fiddles, music passed the time when weather was such in Knox County, Texas that didn't allow us to tune in to the Grand Old Opry or the Louisiana Hay Ride.

On my paternal grandparents' side, the playing was a bit more formal and refined. My grandfather was one of six boys, all of whom played one instrument or another and who were popular for barn dances--especially at harvest time. The three girls in the family sang and with voices that would make angels swoon.

So with that history well entrenched, it didn't take too long for my incessant banging on the glue-lid Folgers drum set before my dad broke down and bought me my first guitar. It's been a love affair since and for almost five decades.

Playing in bands helped me pay bills while in college, and more importantly, it helped me overcome some of my natural shyness with those curvy, attractive young things of the opposite glandular gender.

Something about smoky bars in the South and watching a pair of tight jeans two-step and Cotton-Eye Joe and twist and contort the melodies and rhythms of your beloved Les Paul or Stratocaster.

As such, I've always had a deep appreciation for music performed live over that carefully arranged and performed and engineered in a studio.

Which brings me to this astounding rendition of Foggy Mountain Breakdown. The cast of players is legend. The playing is moving.

See who you recognize in this All-Star lineup of legendary players.

Who can you recognize and name in this lineup?


Keads said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murphy's Law said...

Other than Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs, I recognize Vince Gill and Albert Lee. TOTAL class jam session, and way too cool to grace Letterman's stage.

Makes me wanna head down to Nashville tonight for a few beers and some barbecue at a place I like on Broadway.

An Ordinary American said...

Marty Stuart is in there, and I can't remember the name of the guy on the acoustic steel string or the dobro.

I think that may be Jimmy Hall on the harmonica, but not sure.

I'm not that big of a bluegrass fan, although I have a HUGE amount of respect for bluegrass musicians--the stuff is NOT easy to play.

But when you have All-Star lineups like this, I can listen to just about anything, excluding hip-hop and rap (which are not music, in my opinion).


Old NFO said...

Nice, and a BUNCH of superstars... :-)