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Bluff Country Gathering

Posted by bsed55 on Thursday, May 22, 2008

This having been the 10th annual, and my own 9th time in Lanesboro, MN, this one may have been in the top 2 or 3. What is my metric? That's not always easy to explain. I usually chalk it up to what I call the Lanesboro 'Magic', and it was working overtime last week. One of the defining qualities of this supernatural force is summed up in the word Friendship. Every time I go, I meet more great people and continue to have great experiences with the folks I already know. There's no head cases and none of that "inside joke" kind of stuff (where you have to be a member of a clique to understand some of the between tune banter). The instructors were really good. Brad Leftwich was, well, Brad (you know what you're getting with him, and even so, I got more than I bargained for). But while I'm still not ready to assign syllables to bowing patterns (Min-ne-so-ta=4 changes of bow direction), I was floored by how much I WASN'T hearing in a simple tune like Fall on my Knees, which I've been playing for years. Much more going on than I thought! Steve Rosen! He gets my award for best instructor! I started with beginning backup guitar, and learned a walk pattern. Fantastic! Then in his banjo class he taught the tune Roscoe. There was this 12 year old boy in there who was having some trouble keeping up. Steve asked him what he was having trouble with, what was perplexing him. Then he asked "Are you prepared to be de-mystified?" And that was it for me! What a great thing for him to do. He took the time to catch this kid up. "Are you prepared to be de-mystified?" As a teacher myself, this question carries a lot of power. It is so non-threatening and really conveys the idea that you can do this. There was something else that Steve was doing as a humorous aside. He would make a funny statement of some sort, and then he would point right in front of him and make a sound like he was engraving a symbol into the air with his finger and he would say "Copyright!" So anyhow I hope he didn't copywrite that question. What else? I spent time with the Minnesota contingent, played some great tunes with them and participated in a couple potluck dinners. I rode my bike a lot. Stayed up playing until 1 or 2a.m. each night, then got up at 6 next morning, drank coffee and headed off onto the most gorgeous bike trails this side of creation. Bird activity was always good. Blue-wing warblers, Bobolink, Red-bellied woodpeckers, turkeys, Great-creasted flycatchers, Indigo buntings, Wood thrushes...... But I didn't make it to the little town of Whalen, MN (pop.50) which had a parade that Saturday. The town is so small that the parade participants stand in one place while the spectators walk around them. 360 days until I can go back![

2 comments on “Bluff Country Gathering”

fishinmusician Says:
Friday, May 23, 2008 @12:59:21 PM

Hey Bruce,

It was great hanging out with you...I can only second everything your said about the "magic" of Lanesboro.  The instructors were all exceptional, and I have hours and hours of recordings of great tunes to learn.  Then there was the jamming everywhere you turned that was the frosting on the cake.  I'm only now recovering from the 4-5 hours of sleep for three nights in a row :)


judge holden Says:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @4:19:26 PM

hey bruce,
you don't have the sheet music pdf for fall on my knees by any chance, do you?

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