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JFS #112 The Peter Rowan Interview….


Did you ever feel lonesome? That high lonesome feeling of Appalachia. Where lush green hills and streams created the perfect environment for Bluegrass Music.

How then do you account for musicians who didn't grow up in this region but were still able to be authentic and true to American roots music.

Obviously it starts in the home. And my guests home was full of instruments and musicians. He understood the Alamo and how too beg steal or borrow two nickels or a dime to croon, yodel and sing be it Tex Mex, Bay State Boogie or the train of the sea.

Truly though my guest was always a performer. However he was one of these 2nd generation players who had the opportunity to learn @ the foot of the master Bill Monroe.

And what did he instill in my guest? How about the idea of cultivating your his own sound? "What do you have to say for yourself cause you sure sound a lot like me and that ain't good."

Be yourself and burn. Don't matter if its in front of 5 people with a total of 3 teeth in a barn in Eastern Kentucky. Don't worry about perfection. You need mathematics but you also need love, spirituality and urgency when you play this music. Otherwise it is sterile and nothing like the Blue Ridge Mountains.

My guest today is one of the most accomplished American musicians in his generation. Quality and sophistication, adaptability and appreciation of cultures. Inherently a kid from Boston who was as authentic in his delivery as Tex Logan or Red Allen, Winnie Winston and Ralph Rinsler.

He has collaborated for the better part of 4 decades with his peers David Dawg Grisman, Bill Keith, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Richard Greene, Warren Smith, Ozzie Ahlers,  brothers Chris and Lorin. John Nagy, Billy Mundi, Herb Buschler and Bill Stevenson.

He shows no signs of slowing down even if he occasionally feels sorrow for the deeds  he has done.

Still Old and in the Way Peter Rowan welcome to the JFS.