I have had the opportunity to meet many musicians over these many years. Some very casually, of course, some on a more personal basis. I have met some super folks, who also just happen to thrill music-lovers with their talents. And I have met some folks, who despite their musical abilities, I wouldn't go out of my way to say "hi" again. Now, for sure, I realize that lots of these musicians are besieged by fans, all telling them how fabulous they are, and that it must get pretty tiring to have so many fans wanting even a little part of you. In the acoustic music world that I mostly inhabit, I have found the performers to be very approachable; something that is a sweet phenomenon inherent to this genre. And I certainly don't expect friendships to spring up for the simple reason that I am a fan....
And Sam is one of the most personable fabulous musicians that I've had the priviledge to meet. He has thrilled me many many times musically; I love the fact that he will take on almost any genre of music and somehow make it his own. And the respect that he receives from his peers only validates my humble judgement of his abilities. Plus, there is that positive joy and energy that he exudes on stage...I have spent time watching the audience during his shows, and diggin' the fact that most folks simply cannnot help but smile.
My four children are all grown now, although I of course feel like my "work" will never be done; that they are going to need my advice for another long-time to come! As they were growing up they heard lots and lots of New Grass Revival, and I love to point out the fact that they all know all the words...>g< So---starting in 1996 with the release of "Glamour and Grits" I have given all of them the latest Sammy cd for christmas. It has become a fun family holiday tradition and they all get a charge out of it. They are not what I would call big fans, but if Sam is playing anywhere in Wisconsin and the timing is right, they all will gather for a family outing to see his concert. (see...my work is never done...g<)
In 2006 Sam released "Laps in Seven", which I certainly can highly recommend. It was released in April, and when I saw that he would be playing at the Magoliafest in October I had the bright idea that I'd see if he could sign the cds for my kids. (another timing thing...)
After his Magfest set I went back to my camp to get some cash and then went back to the cd buying area. Sam was busy talking with fans, but I got to visit with Lynn...I don't get to see her often enough and she's so much fun to talk with. (while we were visiting a young man came up, asking about Telluride. She answered him and then looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said: "Tell him what you think about Telluride, David... >g<)(my response: "Fabulous festival, gorgeous scenery...you should go.")
Anyhow, I told her my cd signing plan, and she told me that she had just put all the cds away; that yesterday was their wedding anniversary so they were anxious to take off, but that I should give them a call...after the World Series. (according to her, Sam is like an 11 year-old boy during the Series, especially seeing as how the Cardinals were in it!) About this time Sam came over and we chatted a bit, but I didn't mention the cds.
So after the Cardinals won in four I gave Sam a call. He was all for it...he took down the names of my kids and told me that he and Lynn were off for vacation, so he'd send the cds out right away. The cds arrived in a few days, all signed with a different christmas greeting to each. We really hadn't even talked about price, so I simply wrote out a check and mailed it to him.
About a month passed, and I was surprised to receive a voicemail...which was in typical Sam Bush fashion; a message a couple of minute long, telling me that he hoped I wouldn't be offended, but that he is going to rip up the check; that there was no need for me to pay him for what amounted to a very sweet gesture by both he and Lynn. I of course called him back, and we ended up talking about music for some time and me telling him that: no, I'm not offended in the least!
So it was with great fun when the kids opened what they already knew must have been a new Sam cd...lots of giggles. Fortunately I was able to save the voicemail so they could hear that at least I TRIED to buy them a present...>g<
I'm looking forward to more of the man's music...I get to see and hear him soon at Merlefest. And I know that it will be a treat....