I was in the middle of composing a summary of a facebook discussion about my American Voices post which, as often happens, was growing to near dissertation lengths (I think I have more drafts of posts save at this blog than actual posts) but have been a bit sidetracked by the new of the passing of Country Music legend, Ray Price.
Sometimes it’s good just to reflect on your musical experiences. I know I’ve said that in the grand scheme of things the Grammy Awards don’t mean much and given what I said in my previous post even a figure some of us might consider to be the elder statesmen of post WWII Anglo-American pop doesn’t seem to be known by a wide swath of younger audiences, it does still matter to some folks.
Last night I was meeting and rehearsing with my Central Asian music and dance project, Raks Makam, and tonight I get to meet and rehearse with my String Quartet. The previous night (Tuesday) I rehearsed with the IUS Orchestra which, as I said I do in alternation with the Klezmer group, The River City Klezmer Band, every Tuesday. Tomorrow night I meet with my Arabic band, Ahel El Nagam, and the bellydancers we’re playing for this Sunday to run through things.
Around this time last year I first started playing with the Klezmer group and my Balkan band, Kermes (now on hiatus) as well as intermittently with the IUS Orchestra. I started a new project with Celeste–a “Vintage Experimental Goth Music and Dance duo” called Secondhand. Raks Makam had been on hiatus for a bit since Taletha, my then partner, relocated to Colorado but is not back into the full swing of things with new collaborative partners.
My solo experimental noise act, Noiseman433, which had been on hiatus four a few years, was resurrected last year for a show opening for The Enigma last year and has been performing pretty regularly since. Reminds me that I have to update the website!
Two years today it was just part of my regular gig. I mentioned the other day that one of the search phrases that brought someone to this blog was “don helms” who was the steel guitarist of the Drifting Cowboys, who were the back-up band for Hank Williams Sr. I mentioned that I played a tribute show in Nashville after his passing–the tribute show happened two years ago tomorrow (March 8, 2009).
So what’s a classically-trained/world/experimental cellist doing at the what is otherwise known as the “Carnegie Hall of Country Music” (hence the joke in the blog post title)?
Well, a little over a year before the weekend referred to above I started playing in the back-up band of another Country Music legend, Ray Price. He’s a multi-Grammy award winner with a group called the Cherokee Cowboys named in honer of the Drifting Cowboys and Hank Williams Sr. since the Chief (That’s what we called Mr. Price) was with Williams in the last year or so of his life. After Hank Williams Sr.’s death, he took over the band and called them the Cherokee Cowboys.
Some former members of this band were Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Darrell McCall, Johnny Paycheck, Bobby Flores and Johnny Bush (amongst many others). This was the band I was a member of (so yeah, it’s kinda cool to say I played in the same band that Willie Nelson played in!).
How did I get there? That was due to my brother, Joe.
This is a prewritten post as I will be performing with with Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys at the “A Tribute to Don Helms” show to benefit the Don Helms Memorial Fund. The show will be at the Texas Troubadour Theatre and will also feature Bobby Bare and other guest performers. If any readers are so inclined then please come to the show for live old school Country-Western music as only multi-Grammy Award winner and Country Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Price, can present.