Gail et Tom Watts sont des mélomanes rares, des amoureux de la musique. Dans leur maison dans les bois en Caroline du Nord, ils reçoivent de très nombreux musiciens, et c'est comme ça que nous nous sommes rencontrés, et sommes devenus grands amis.
Musiciens traditionnels eux-mêmes, ce sont de véritables encyclopédies de la musique des Appalaches. Ils se sont investis dans la production radiophonique (notamment pour la station WNCW, basée à Spindale dans les Appalaches), dans l'organisation de concerts au célèbre "Cook Shack" de Union Grove. Ils sont bénévoles depuis de nombreuses années, et ocuppent des postes-clef au "Merlefest", un immense festival "americana" qui a lieu à Wilkesboro au printemps. Et tout le reste du temps, ils n'hésitent pas à voyager et à faire des kilomètres pour se rendre à des concerts et des festivals, aller applaudir les artistes qu'ils aiment, et en découvrir toujours de nouveaux. A ces occasions, ils ont fait des centaines de vidéos live d'artistes de grand talent, que nous vous invitons à découvrir si vous avez un peu de temps sur la chaîne YouTube de Gail :
Nous mesurons la chance que nous avons de les avoir rencontrés, et ne pouvions pas imaginer enregistrer cet album de duos sans leur participation. Ils nous ont aussi, au fil des ans, présentés nombre de leurs amis qui sont également musiciens pour la plupart, et dont certains figurent sur l'album "Southern Sessions" !
Le jeu de guitare de Wayne Henderson est l'une des fiertés des Appalaches. Bien qu'il se soit produit à plusieurs reprises à Carnegie Hall lors de tournées des maîtres de la guitare, ainsi qu'en Asie et en Europe, il vit dans un petit hameau de Virginie et est un homme très humble et généreux.
En plus de sa réputation de guitariste, Henderson est un luthier de grand renom. Il a reçu en 1995 un award de la National Endowment for the Arts. Il produit une vingtaine d'instruments par an, guitares principalement, ainsi que des mandolines. Il était très proche de Doc Watson qui était en admiration devant ses instruments.
Nous avons eu la chance de le rencontrer à plusieurs reprises aux USA, de visiter son atelier de lutherie, d'être accueillis chez lui, et de le recevoir avec Helen White pour des concerts privés dans notre studio de Bretagne.
Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations in Asia. he played many times in Europe.
In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Good friend Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin. He said, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”
Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.” There is a waiting list for Henderson’s guitars made up of the famous (and not-so-famous).
Wayne was the 2014 convocation speaker at Appalachian State University in Boone. Read about it at www.news.appstate.edu/2014/09/05/wayne-henderson-2/ and view his talk on YouTube below.
Session of april 28th 2015
Herb has been playing double bass along with Wayne Henderson for more than 50 years. We have been honored to play and record with him and Wayne.
Herb Key grew up in musical family in Wilkes County. He has played music for most of his life, and he grew up listening to old Carter Family recordings, mesmerized with Mother Maybelle's guitar playing. He also listened to radio programs and has fond memories of listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights.
Herb's mother and father both played music, and his Uncle Bob, also a musician, showed Herb how to tune a guitar. When he was sixteen, Herb's parents bought him his own Silvertone guitar, an instrument he still owns. In school he played in a band with other friends in the Future Farmers of America. The group would play gospel music and other traditional music of the area.
In the 1970s, Herb, along with Larry Pennington, Raymond Pennington, and Paul Gentle, formed the High County Ramblers. Larry Pennington was a widely-known and respected banjo player from Ashe County who helped many musicians get involved with the local traditional music. His legacy is celebrated annually with a festival in Ashe County. Johnny Miller, and Wayne "Hot Picker" Henderson joined the band shortly after it was formed. This group won the Galax Fiddlers Convention in the bluegrass band category the year they formed.
Herb mentions Dan Crary and the Country Gentlemen and Doc Watson ("Our buddy down the road.") as being key musical influences. He recorded an album with the High County Ramblers, and later he recorded another album with fellow guitar players Wayne Henderson and Ray Cline to highlight the guitar styles of these pickers. Herb has won several ribbons in folk singing competitions at regional festivals.
Session du 28 avril 2015
Herb accompagne Wayne Henderson à la contrebasse depuis plus de 50 ans. Il travaille également dans son atelier de lutherie. Cette fidélité ne doit pas occulter le talent de ce musicien discret également guitariste et luthier. Comme beaucoup de gens de son âge, il a grandi dans une famille dans laquelle on écoutait la famille Carter et le Grand Ole Opry à la radio. Ses parents et son oncle étaient musiciens. Dans les années 70, Herb, avec Larry Pennington, Raymond Pennington, et Paul Gentle, crée the High County Ramblers. Il continue à jouer avec divers musiciens dans les festivals et fêtes des Appalaches et à enregistrer.
A singer, fiddler, guitarist and tunesmith, Helen White has toured extensively with Wayne in the U.S. and Europe. Her compositions include works for theater and video projects as well as a Booklist honored recording of original songs for children. Helen is the founder and served as regional director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program from program inception in February of 2000 to June of 2013. This renowned program serves students in 25 mountain counties in Virginia, North and South Carolina introducing them to their musical heritage through small group instruction in the instruments and music common to the region.
We were happy to welcome her and Wayne several times for private concerts and workshops in our studio in Brittanny !
Chanteuse, violoniste, guitariste et "songwriter", Helen White a donné de nombreux concerts avec Wayne Henderson aux US et en Europe. Elle a consacré une grande partie de son temps à des projets visant à faire connaître la culture traditionnelle des Appalaches à la jeunesse locale. Ses talents de musicienne et de chanteuse complètent merveilleusement ceux de Wayne.
Nous avons eu le plaisir de l'accueillir à plusieurs reprises pour des concerts et master classes dans notre studio de Bretagne ces dernières années.
Nous avons rencontré Panama la première fois en Hollande en 2001 chez Rob Dokter. Rob (the Doc) avait acheté un restaurant à Wittepaarden et organisait des concerts. Panama était en tournée en Europe. Nous l'avons revu à plusieurs reprises en france et aux USA chez lui près de Nashville, Tennessee. Nous sommes devenus amis et il a participé à plusieurs tournées avec le groupe Mary-Lou. Nous nous sommes également fréquemment produits avec lui aux USA. Il était depuis longtemps tout en haut de la liste des artistes américains avec lesquels nous rêvions d'enregistrer. Son dernier album, Choice Buds est toujours en vente sur son site : http://www.panamaredmusic.com/
Panama a écrit de très nombreuses chansons et il est très apprécié dans le milieu de la country alternative. Sa chanson "Wish For Yesterday" qui figure sur notre album, n'avait jamais été enregistrée auparavant.
Danny Finley (born April 15, 1945 in East Lynn, WV) is an American musician and song-writer, best-known under the name Panama Red.
He enlisted in the US Army in 1962, studied at the US Army Information School at Fort Slocum, NY, and was a Korea stringer for Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1963-64. He worked as a feature writer for the United Nations Command Korea Magazine "Friends of Freedom" in 1964-65. He was separated from active duty in 1965 and honorably discharged in 1968. Upon separation he lived for a short time in San Francisco, where he acquired the nickname Panama Red.
He left San Francisco in early 1966 and returned home to St. Petersburg, Florida. There he began to perform as a guitarist in several bands and as a solo folksinger, notably at the Beaux Arts Coffeehouse in Pinellas Park. In 1967 he moved to New York's Lower East Side and for six months managed a coffeehouse called the Cafe Eye on 10th Street across from Tompkins Square Park.
Returning to Florida he became a managing partner in a head shop called Yellow Submarine in Clearwater. Continuing to perform, he was a founding member of Bethlehem Asylum, a fusion band with two recordings on Ampex records, "Commit Yourself" and "Bethlehem Asylum" in 1970 and 1971. Bethlehem Asylum officially disbanded in 1972. The surviving members, Charlie DeChant (Hall and Oates) and Russell Buddy Helm (author of "Drumming the Spirit to Life") remain close friends.
In 1971 he moved to Nashville for a short period of time, where he became Billy Joe Shaver's guitar player and co-writer with Shaver of "Bottom Dollar." He appears on Shaver's record "Old Five and Dimers", produced by Kris Kristofferson. In 1972 he returned to Florida to take advantage of a scholarship in the Music Merchandising program at the University of Miami. He left after one semester to return to Nashville, and continued to play as Shaver's guitarist.
It was during this time that he made the acquaintance of Richard "Kinky" Friedman,1 and appeared as a guitarist on Kinky's record "Sold American", produced by Chuck Glaser. Shortly after returning from Miami he joined the Texas Jewboys(Kinky Friedman's band) in New York City, appearing with the Jewboys at Max's Kansas City. There, he began a collaboration with Friedman on Kinky's eponymous ABC album, written in fits and starts in NYC, Austin and Mexico. The album was recorded both in Nashville (Willie Nelson, producer) and.in Hollywood (Steve Barri, producer), and released in 1974. Between tours with the Texas Jewboys he worked as a recording musician in Nashville.
He parted from the Jewboys in 1975 and began performing as The Legendary Panama Red. From 1976 to 1979 he toured by bus with his band Montezuma's Revenge. He was the one of the first acts to appear at the Lone Star Cafe in New York City. He performed at Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas, the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto and at the Old Mill in Mill Valley, California as well as numerous other venues in the U.S.
His work with his band brought him to the attention of the producer/bassist Felix Pappalardi (Cream, Mountain), who subsequently became his friend, mentor and sometime employer. After Felix's untimely death in 1982, Panama entered into a period of solitude and, wanting to "use my left brain", he became a carpenter. He studied computer science at Miami Dade College in 1982 and 1983. In 1986 he enrolled as a radiography student at Northern New Mexico College. While a student there he edited portions of a radiologic physics textbook (Radiologic Science for Technologists, Bushong, 4th Edition). He graduated with a GPA of 3.89 and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, He also attended the University of New Mexico, majoring in Journalism.
In 1990 he moved to San Francisco and worked at the VA Medical Center there. He left employment there in 1993 and began to perform again. He performed and lived in Nevada City, California, for a while and then moved to Seattle, where he lived until 1999, when he left the country to live and work in Amsterdam. He returned to the U.S. on Christmas Day 2001.
Since his return to music he has made two albums (HomeGrown and Choice Buds), and has appeared in numerous small venues in America, interspersed with performances, both as a solo artist and as a backing guitarist, in Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
He continues to write and perform and currently lives in Rockvale, Tennessee.
He is credited by etymologist Barry Popik with the first use of the rhyming phrase "Lost in Austin" (1976).
Albums as Featured Performer
1970 "Commit Yourself" (w/ Bethlehem Asylum)
1971 "Bethlehem Asylum" (w/ Bethlehem Asylum)
2000: " HomeGrown"
2005: "Choice Buds"
The Bluegrass Bombers are a band from jacksonville near Little Rock (AR) :
David Evans : vocals, mandolin, fiddle
Steve Evans : vocals, guitar
Dave Durham : double bass
John Lee : vocals, dobro, banjo (unfotunately unavailable for our recording).
We met them in 2010. Steve heard Mary-Lou's "I wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart" version, and he offered to us to shoot a clip with them and us playing that song. Steve Evans the guitar player of the band loves video and is also THE specialist of the cowboy guitars. He wrote a very good book about that. His guitar collection is one of the sources of pride of the Jacksonville city.
Discreet and talented, the Bluegrass Bombers don't have any website, any cd released. They play gigs around for and with friends. The old musical tradition.
They have released several very nice and humouristic videos that you can watch here :