Wednesday, September 2, 2009

newgrass festival musical finale....

I would say that it is a rare festival that I'm not most looking forward to the Sam Bush Band set...in fact, it has really never happened before! (Oh wait...there were those years of New Grass Revival...) But after learning from Kenny Lee back in April that on Sunday all blues hell was going to break loose, and why, I definitely was fired up by the fact that Duckbutter was going to close the festival!

I was staying overnight in Nashville many years ago, on my way to a Florida festival, when I noticed in the listings of musical events happening that night....."Duckbutter (Sam Bush & John Cowan)"; playing at 3rd & Lindsley. I had never heard of this band, but of course Sam and John were good enough for me! >g< At this point I hadn't listened to much rock 'n roll/rhythm 'n blues for a long time, but that was about to change! By the time the last of four sets started that night there weren't many folks in the club anymore, and I was actually sitting with my feet resting on the stage for part of the set...and I think I heard damned near most of the rockin' bluesy songs that I knew of and they were all played with a fervor! Since that night it's been a wish of mine to have both Lynn and my good buddy Mapleal hear Duckbutter...and this dream was realized when both of them were at the Newgrass Festival! (I knew it would make them smile...)

I also found at the festival that it was Kenny Lee who started the band, back around 1981. I had heard that Duckbutter was Sammy's excuse to wail on his electric guitar..at the 3rd & Lindsley that night there was a sign on stage depicting a mandolin with a slash through it; no mandolins allowed that night! These guys don't play together often; in fact from what I hear it's a rare and special occasion when they do. They obviously are good longtime buddies and just as obviously they are all musical masters. And they have sooo much fun!

Duckbutter includes Kenny Lee (Smith) on guitar, Sam on guitar, Byron House on bass, John Cowan on bass, but mostly vocals, Jeff Jones on drums, and Reese Wyans on keyboards. Reese was well known as the keyboardist for the Stevie Ray Vaughn Band.

Kenny Lee & Sam...



Sam & John...



The Man can get intense...>g<



Reese...



John and Byron...



Byron was havin' fun...



Kenny Lee can play guitar using a banana as a slide....



..or a chair



or even a banana-covered condom! (did I mention that Kenny Lee is a character? >g<)



Sam, Jeff, and John....




And there was a special guest, 11 year old Nick Williams! The young musician was a definite hit....

video

So....a hotter finish to a hot festival couldn't happen, in my book! And when Kenny Lee asked for advice concerning the festival in the coming years, I had a bunch of ideas; and the two that I'm sure will happen are these: Sam closes on Saturday night, and Duckbutter closes the festival!

Peace, David

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