Friday, February 17, 2012

Strummin' On the Old Banjo

I dreamed I could play music last night. I mean really play. Enter the *sigh* -  This was only a dream, but I woke up thinking I could pick up any instrument and wail. It felt good and it's going on the bucket list.

I've always loved music. I grew up in the country and my parents had music playing all the time(THANK YOU, parental units). I remember working my little fingers through their albums and my dad sweating bullets thinking I might mess them up. I remember the day he finally gave in and just taught me how to properly handle and play them. I loved looking at the covers, hearing the scratch of the needle, and anxiously awaiting the sounds to begin.

I coveted my own little crayola record player and my tiny suitcase of 45's, all of which I still have. My godfather was manager of a Record Bar and so I had the "hook up" when it came to promo single albums. I had a Menudo record before anyone in my small southern town had ever heard of them. Wait! Who were they again? Many of those promos are probably still unknowns to my fellow townsfolk.

I was exposed to and liked all kinds of music and still do, but one instrument has always stood out in the inner melody of my brain...the banjo. I fell in love with the sweet twang when I was but a wee child. I loved Jim Henson's Rainbow Connection having, banjo playing, singing, froggy persona and Steve Martin claw hammering away on SNL when I could sneak a peek. To me these men were finger pickin' heroes.

As I got older, I learned to love the genius of Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Jerry Garcia, and Bela Fleck, and I sought out their music and performances too. At many a bluegrass show, the banjo player always gets the brunt of the jokes. Banjos are in constant need of re-tuning and they are a peculiar instrument. When Rachel Griffiths named her kid Banjo, I thought it was great while others only considered Tuba to be a worse choice. But still, I hear a Foggy Mountain Breakdown or an Orange Blossom Special and I just can't help but smile.

I WILL "folk"it up one day. For now, I'm all ears. If you have any banjo-rific song selections, please send them my way.  A good friend shared this one, so if you too are a fan, enjoy.

Just a'twangin!

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