Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mountain View AR

What a beautiful trip down to Mt. View Arkansas last week. I drove in misty rain most of the way, enjoyed the coolness of the auditorium for a couple hours then made the three-hour trip back home in the drizzly rain. But I wouldn't have missed the time at the Ozark Folk Center for anything.

I wasn't able to meet up with Buddy Case and his wife, Karen. Sadly, Karen's mother passed away on Saturday so they were unable to attend the Thumb picking competition this year. My condolences to Karen and her family for their loss.

I did enjoy the jam session performance on Friday afternoon. It was a chance for some of the competitors to arrive and loosen up a bit before the weekend festivities got underway. I heard some unbelievable picking like I haven't heard in years. Legends such as Comer "Moon" Mullins, Eddie Adcock, Darryl Nixon and a young man by the name of Ben Hall made up the main jammers. They were accompanied by a 'washtub' picker whose name I didn't catch.

Thumb picking originated at the turn of the 20th Century and was made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. The basic concept uses one or two fingers to pick the lead notes on the strings while the thumb carries the base.

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