1981—Berkshire Bluegrass
1193 As Rick’s musical tastes and skills developed, he “got into” bluegrass, which mystified me no end, at first. At his urging, and in an effort to support him and to understand (perhaps even somewhat to share) this new esthetic direction on the part of my firstborn, I accompanied Rick and his delightful friend Patrick Egan to the Berkshire Bluegrass Festival, just across the state boundary in New York, where we camped out over the weekend and became acquainted with the Dry Branch Fire Squad, the Seldom Scene, and other distinguished emitters of the high, lonesome sound.

As in New Orleans, eight years earlier, I went expecting and intending not to fall in love. Here, again, despite the alfalfa stubble and other obvious contrasting elements, I failed. Some months later, I dragged Valerie to a Dry Branch performance at Hancock Hall in Boston, from which she returned wishing audibly that she could take Ron Thomason home with her. Her CD collection of the Squad’s work remains definitive, into the Twenty-First Century.
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