I’m with the drummer

June 23, 2010

Recently, my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and my husband entertained friends and neighbours. The concrete was at the Agricultural Society Hall (affectionately known as the Ag Hall) on Mayne Island. And it fulfilled more than one person’s fantasies. Here, allow me to explain with a story.

Nervous but ready my husband stands behind his drum kit. My brother-in-law is seen on stage without his guitar — a rare sighting.


Growing up, my family was divided musically. My youngest brother and I loved rock. We thrilled at the squeal of the electric guitar. We lost our souls to the solid drumbeat. I gleefully danced wildly to my favourite group. I practiced belting out the latest songs in front of the mirror, hairbrush mic in hand. I dreamed of dating a rock star.

The older, sadder, squarer family members listened to country. Do you believe it? Country. They were a lost cause.

I have remained faithful to rock for most of my life.

Then, however, I met a man. I fell in love. In his music collection I found not only rock but also jazz and even, I hate to admit it, country. How could this be? Surely it had only been a momentary lapse.

Then on my wedding day I was confronted by the truth. I was told plainly that if I wished to be a full-fledged member of my new clan I had to earn to enjoy Bluegrass.

Bluegrass — what was that?

The family decided that I had to be properly introduced. What better place then across the border in Tacoma, Washington at Wintergrass. It was to be a three-day introduction presided over by no other than the father of Bluegrass music himself:  Bill Munroe.

The father of Bluegrass music must be old than dirt, I reasoned.

My speculation was confirmed when Bill appeared on stage. He was a wizened, tired, old man. I was surprised that he hadn’t been wheeled onto the stage. He looked so fragile clutching his mandolin.

To his credit, he made it safely through the first couple of tunes. Then he appeared to keel over.

Was he clutching his chest?

We, in the audience, uttered a collective moan.

Our concerns were voiced in the words of one of the younger band members. “Is Bill alright?” He asked a senior member of the group.

“Bill, sure. He’s just getting, down.” We were told.

On clue, Bill showed exactly why this was his music. His hand moved at lightning speed over the strings.

The sweet sound he and his band produced stole my heart. It awoke in me a long dormant love for who I was and where I had come from. It spoke to me proudly of rural dirt roads, the smell of fresh-cut hay, and caring for your neighbour.

Last Friday night did I not only go home with the drummer but I also swung my partner to the sweet down-home lonesome sound of Bluegrass. All that on Mayne Island.

Say hi and howdy to my brother-in-law T.D. Christopher here:  www.myspace.com/mylittlerodeo

Visit me:  www.oknitting.com

Watch the master, Bill Munro (and his friends) — here:  http://videos.wittysparks.com/id/3860528240/

2 Responses to “I’m with the drummer”

  1. holessence Says:

    Leanne – What a great story to read this morning before I head out the door.

    And to have gone home with the drummer …

  2. Hi Laurie,
    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’re headed somewhere fun.

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