Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Douglas’

2016 Principle Gallery Wall shot aHad a very nice visit in Alexandria.  On Friday the weather always seemed on the verge of a huge thunderstorm, which had me a little apprehensive– even more than I normally be on the day of a show– about prospects for the opening reception of this year’s show, Part of the Pattern,  at the Principle Gallery on that evening.  However the storm never really hit with much force and the reception turned out well.

It was a really nice evening with a great crowd that kept me completely engaged throughout.  It was good catching up with folks who have been coming to the shows for many years now as well as greeting many new faces.  I can’t say “Thank You” enough to those who were able to come out on Friday and to our friends at the Principle Gallery–Michele, Clint, Pam, Haley, Pierre and Megan— who made it all possible. Oh, and special thanks to my canine friends at the gallery, Asher and Chase.

Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell

Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell

Word came out during our time there that Muhammad Ali had passed away.  Ali was a huge hero of mine when I was a child, part of what I consider the Holy Quartet of Heroes– Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Bob Gibson– who had much in common.  They were all dominant legends in their respective sports, the greatest winners of their times.

They were all strong and smart black men who were not afraid to go against the grain, to take a stand outside the world world of sports and say things that were not always popular nor politically correct.  They seemed to understand that that their sports were secondary to the state of the world.  They all transcended their sports and became cultural heroes and symbols, something more than mere performers on the athletic stage.

Ali was certainly a standout in that last category.  He was arguably the most widely recognized person on earth, a sports figure whose image was widely known throughout the world  decades after his time as an athlete had ended.  I remember reading, I think it was in Wilfrid Sheed‘s biography of Ali, about Ali’s picture hanging in mud huts in Africa.

He was so  much more than a boxer.   I have a hard time watching boxing today but I watched a lot of it when I was a kid and it was mainly because of Ali.  It was no less brutal a sport then but Ali made it seem like there was an air of poetry and gracefulness in it.  In my mind, I can still see his seemingly effortless movements around the ring, dancing lightly on the toes of his white shoes around plodding opponents.  It was a thing of beauty to see this big man move like he was being carried by the breeze as the other man would dive at him, often flailing away at a target that was there then gone in a flash.

He was the rarest of birds.  Style and substance.

Sorry to see him go.

Well, this song doesn’t have a lot to say about Ali but it is about a boxer and it is a beautiful song.  Below is a version of the great Simon and Garfunkel song as perfomed by Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin and dobro-master Jerry Douglas.

Thanks for stopping in today and have a great Sunday.

PS:  TODAY IS THE LAST FULL DAY — this event ends MONDAY, June 6, promptly at 12 noon–to take part in the event to raise funds for the Soarway Foundation‘s efforts in Nepal.   Your donation, which will help immensely, also gets you a chance at winning a painting of mine valued at $5000 plus a signed poster.  What more can you ask?  You get the pleasure from helping others, a tax deduction and a chance to win something fairly valuable.


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Early Sunday morning.  The West End Gallery show is delivered and with the studio feeling almost empty now, I take a small breath of relief.  Outside, it’s dark and shadowy as a soft rain falls, bringing the parched earth that same breath of relief.  Kind of a hazy, unfocused morning.  I think I’ll take this time to relax just a bit before plunging back into the  new work that waits for me.

For a gray morning, here’s a song, Hey Joe,  that is best known for the version done by the inimitable Jimi Hendrix.  I thought I would try to take the morning in a brighter direction so I’ll show it as done in a more upbeat  bluegrassy fashion by Tim O’Brien.  He has a way of  giving songs a different twist that I find appealing.  His version of Bob Dylan’s  Subterranean Homesick Blues is a great example with it’s mandolin and hambone handslaps.  On Hey Joe, O’Brien is joined by Jerry Douglas, the  master of the dobro.  Together, they make a dark song seem less ominous.

Good way to start a dark Sunday.

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Saturday and I’m not in the studio today.  Thought I’d have a little music that feels right for driving.  It’s the  seminal rock song, Hey Joe, recorded by many artists over the decades, most notably by Jimi Hendrix

This is not the Hendrix version.

It’s a version featuring one of my favorites, Tim O’Brien, performing a bluegrass tinged version of the song with the great Jerry Douglas, the master of the dobro.  I saw O’Brien perform several years ago at a local historic church, one that the previously mentioned Mark Twain used to attend.  It was a great acoustic show in a great space, something out of the norm for this area.  I was a fan before the show and his musicianship that evening only made me like his work more.

Anyway, enjoy the song and your Saturday…

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