Oct. 3, 2016
Story By Butch Worrell of One Heart Photo
Photos By Butch Worrell of One Heart Photo
Bob had come to Nashville to receive the Lifetime Achievement award from the Americana Music Association and also participate in the awards show to honor Merle Haggard by performing “Mama Tried” with Buddy Miller and the Americana “all Star” band. As part of Bob's participation in “Americana” week, the next day Buddy Miller held a question and answer discussion event on “Blue Mountain”, Bob's first new solo album in 30 years, with Bob and Josh Kaufman, his co-producer, that included both playbacks from and live performances.
(see set list photo in photo gallery)
Jed Hilly, the executive director of the Americana Music Association, introduced Bob and stated in his opening remarks that without the Grateful Dead there might never had been an Americana Music Genre. The way they drew on their American musical roots to create their own unique sound while paying homage to that heritage that inspired them, helped pave the way to bring so many traditions to the fore front of popular music.
In Bob's case, the “cowboy” country music he was exposed to at the age of 15 when he spent a summer working on a ranch in Wyoming, was a huge influence. He was the “kid with a guitar” and played and sang songs that would stay with him and percolate in his soul til recently when he began work on “Blue Mountain”. The story he tells of chasing down the elusive title song itself was like a musical holy grail.
Bob played some songs live with the accompaniment of Josh Kaufman on electric guitar while Bob played his recent acquisition, an old acoustic Mahogany Martin 00-17 depression era “cowboy” style guitar. He referred to it as “one of the stars” of the album.
From the haunting tones of “Blue Mountain” itself to the rocking melody of “Lay My Lily Down” to the the rollicking, fun “KI-YI Bossie” the songs he played made one want more. Not only just the recorded music on the Album but the experience of seeing him play/sing these songs on his current tour. (Tour info at Bob's website the bottom of the article.)
A.J. Santella, Bob's long time guitar tech, keeps Bob tuned up and ready to play. He also co-wrote “KI-YI Bossie”.
The "set list" held by a classic Jerry Garcia doll
The at capacity crowd included notables such as the Mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry, with Metro Councilman Dave Rosenberg who were there to hear Bob as was acclaimed concert photographer Jay Blakesberg.