Old And In The Way

In spite of what you might think -- especially given the fact that this blog is mostly for and about geezers -- the title of this piece does not refer to a pathetic old guy who is feeling a little unappreciated. It is instead about a short-lived 1970s bluegrass band of that name led by … Continue reading Old And In The Way

Bluegrass Western Style – Vern Williams

I love bluegrass music and especially enjoy the sound of a mandolin, an instrument that has come to be closely identified with it. In fact, guys like Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, and Jethro Burns (of Homer & Jethro) have turned the instrument into a familiar part of all kinds of country music, but one of … Continue reading Bluegrass Western Style – Vern Williams

Banjo Pioneer Earl Scruggs Will Be Missed

As you might have read, banjo wizard Earl Scruggs died recently at age 88. Although he is often remembered as part of the Grammy-winning duo Flatt & Scruggs, his career flourished for over four decades after the twosome split in 1969. Along the way he became one of the most admired and influential musicians in … Continue reading Banjo Pioneer Earl Scruggs Will Be Missed

Joe Val – The Voice Of New England Bluegrass

Not every country music performer hails from the rural heartland. Joe Val spent many years as one of the most respected country artists around, and he was an Italian/American (real name: Joseph Valiante) who was born and raised in the Boston area. But New England has always had a strong tradition in country music, including … Continue reading Joe Val – The Voice Of New England Bluegrass

Whitewall Tires Have Lost Their Coolness

So I was parked in a supermarket lot today waiting for Mrs. Big Geez to do her grocery shopping thing, an activity for which -- imagine this -- she doesn't want my assistance, when I spotted a geezer in a big car sporting whitewall tires. (The car, not the geezer.) They were the narrow kind, … Continue reading Whitewall Tires Have Lost Their Coolness

Appreciating Gospel Music For Its Own Sake

Although I believe that a person's spiritual beliefs are a private thing, I will confess that I'm not a regular church-goer -- in fact, the last time I attempted to sing a hymn my voice probably hadn't yet changed. But I've found that there are certain kinds of gospel music that really appeal to me, … Continue reading Appreciating Gospel Music For Its Own Sake

Chasing Memories Leads To Kentucky Colonels

I've been in a kind of funny place lately -- musically, I mean. I keep running across pictures or films of rural folk from years ago, many of the men in bib overalls and playing banjos, fiddles, or harmonicas, and I flash back to my own early childhood. But here's the catch -- although the … Continue reading Chasing Memories Leads To Kentucky Colonels

Classic Bluegrass – Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper

It's been a while since we featured country music on the ol' GMC, and even longer since the sub-genre known as bluegrass has made an appearance. That being the case, it seems only fitting to take a look at one of the best of the traditional bluegrass acts, a husband and wife team that also … Continue reading Classic Bluegrass – Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper

Olds Convertibles – Then And Now

During my teen years, I often rode shotgun with a buddy of mine who had a snazzy sky-blue Oldsmobile convertible. My own car was an old Buick often described as the 'Kitchen Cabinet Special'. (The origin of that name is spelled out in an earlier piece, Rebel Without A Clue.) I have to admit that … Continue reading Olds Convertibles – Then And Now

Don Stover’s Banjo Spoke To Miners

At one time or another I've mentioned coal miners; not only recognizing the part they've played in American history but also writing about how many families (including mine) have had connections to miners at some point. I've also written about the music of coal miners, and that leads us to one of the best instrumentalists … Continue reading Don Stover’s Banjo Spoke To Miners