How will you celebrate our nationís independence? Reflect on our freedoms? Sure. Exercise our constitutional right to gather with friends? You bet. In the back yard, with hot dogs, burgers, all the fixinís and, of course, lots of bluegrass. And donít forget to pick a patriotic tune or two.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULYÖ YEEHAW!
Where Theyíre Pickiní Ö
Looking for some good bluegrass in July and August? Just fetch your instrument and friends, get in the car and head out to these spots:
July 24-26: SALT RIVER ACRES BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, Oil City, Mich. More than a dozen bands, daily and weekend rates, camping. www.saltriveracres.com
Aug. 28-31: TRI-STATE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, Labor Day Weekend, Noble County 4-H Fairgrounds, Kendallville, Ind.; featuring Wildfire, Bluegrass Brothers, Valerie Smith and many others; http://www.bluegrassusa.net/nibgas.htm
A LITTLE BANJO HUMOR
A group of terrorists captured a busload of banjo players. They threatened to release one every hour until their demands were met.
. Ask Mike... The Banjo Master .
Howdy Mike, Was that you in the SRO crowd at the Kit Kat Club in suburban Detroit the day after the Dan McCarty Golf Classic in June? How come you didnít stick around to hear Uncle Tinker on the banjo? -Karaoke Guy, Sterling Heights, MI
Hi Karaoke, Yeah, I was there around 10 p.m. My brother Steve called me and Ö by the way, another terrific job on the tourney, Steve; my former Mackenzie classmates and I had a great time. Letís see, where was I, oh yeah, Steve called and said I gotta come down to the Kit Kat to see this guy playing banjo during karaoke night. So my Tennessee brother Larry and I hopped into the car, found the crowded club and fought our way through the smoke to talk to Uncle Tinker, who was sitting at the bar waiting for his turn at the mic. Steve did the intros. Anyway, Uncle Tinker has a few years on him, and so I asked: ME: Uncle Tinker, how long have you been playing the banjo. UNCLE TINKER: 70 years. How long have you been playing the banjo? ME: 4 years. To make a long story short, we waited till after midnight, and Uncle Tinker still wasnít up. With our eyes watering from the smoke, we went outside, gasped for fresh air and decided to go back to Momís. Sorry, Uncle Tinker, maybe another time. Be careful about spending all that time in smoke-filled places. It could stunt your banjoís growth. -Mike