Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bluegrass in Ft. Worth, Rodeo in Houston

Dailey & Vincent, band and tour bus
This is going to be one of those weekends (actually Fri-Sun) during which my reading takes a backseat to another favorite hobby of mine: real country music, as in the form of some of the best bluegrass music on offer today.

I drove up to a little town just west of Ft. Worth called Argyle yesterday morning - almost exactly a five hour drive at my pace - so that I could be sure to get one of the 400 tickets to be sold at the door for last night's show.  By four p.m., ticket in hand, I drove the eight miles to Denton, TX, grabbed a motel room, and returned to the festival location for some great BBQ, potato salad, and beans.

The show was excellent, as it included three of my favorite bluegrass bands.  My only complaint is that the show was opened by another of those bands that play jazz using bluegrass instruments.  I have no doubt that these guys are all excellent musicians; I know they are from their numerous years performing in some of the best bluegrass bands of the last 25 years.  It's just that I don't have an ear for jazz; it all sounds like musical gibberish to me, and after an hour of it I'm ready to pull my hair out.

But the rest of the evening was a gem.  First up was Adam Steffey and The Boxcars, a relatively new band composed of some veteran musicians and singers who have regrouped to have some fun together.  Then came a band that I sincerely believe has the best country music stage show out there, bar none: Dailey & Vincent.  Their 70-minute show is a combination of upbeat songs, gospel music, traditional bluegrass, and a whole lot of comedy.  I've seen them several times now and it has been fun to watch them grow into such a topnotch act.  Last up for the evening was Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.  Doyle is one of the bluegrass oldsters, having been in the business for 48 years, but he surrounds himself with young musicians and singers who are as good as it gets.  His new banjo player, for instance, just turned 20 a few weeks ago - and looks about 14.  I got the "bluegrass fix" I needed to get me through to June when I'll hit the road for four days of concerts in Kentucky.

Selena Gomez
The festival lineup for today is a good one, too, but I had to drive back to Houston this morning to rest up for tomorrow's visit to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  I promised my granddaughter several weeks ago (not realizing that I had a conflict) that I would take her and her brother out there because she really wants to see Selena Gomez.  From what I understand, Selena Gomez is a Disney Channel star whose main claim to fame is that she's Justin Bieber's current girlfriend (I'm sure I'm shortchanging the girl's vocal talents - I hope so, anyway, for my sake).

Oh, and I'm reading a Vince Flynn political thriller right now and have managed to get about half way through the book, but that's mostly because it is such easy reading.  That's about all I can handle this weekend.

Wish me luck for tomorrow.  This could be painful.


  1. Selena Gomez has literary cachet, too. She played Beezus Quimby in the recent movie Ramona and Beezus.

  2. Susan, the music was not as painful as I thought it would be, but as far as I could tell she sang the same song 15 times...lots of very loud drums and a guitar made them all sound pretty much alike to me.