When I was a kid, my mom played the ukulele and sang. My dad played the banjo … and sang. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t idyllic. They were divorced – I never saw them play music together – but playing and singing was a natural part of life – everyone did it – no?
When I was seven, my mom taught me three chords on the uke: G, C & D. That meant I could play hundreds of songs I knew – I could play ANYTHING! Little did I know that would include Bluegrass.
OK, so today I write and perform concertos and one woman shows, I coach musicians on improvisation, I write musicals, I use complicated music-writing software, blah blah blah – my musical life is COMPLEX … BUT … sometimes I get to pretend that a harp is just a big ukulele – and when I was staying with harpist Betsey Sessler last week in Charlotte N.C. she invited me in to jam in a rehearsal with her Bluegrass group.
So here I am playing G, D and C on the world’s biggest ukulele, joining with with the Blue Ridge Xpress: Greg Clarke on guitar, Bill Hughes on mandolin, and Tom McCrory on dobro (and Betsey Sessler on banjo … except when she took this photo).
Thanks, Mom! And thanks Betsey for inviting me in to jam!