Thank you for posting this. His style and virtuosity will be missed.
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I thank you as well. I actually had some association with
him back in 1966 when radio station KFDI in Wichita, Ks. decided to have an 'old time fiddle contest'. I was only 14 and he was a bit older. He, of course, won it going away and I was a very distant second. But already he displayed a very generous nature and a rare virtuousity. I'm sure that he will be remembered in many different ways as I know he touched many a person over his long and storied career.
Vassar was one of the true legends of bluegrass and Americana music and will be sorely missed. Luckily for all of us his recorded output was enormous so there are plenty of formats to enjoy his virtuoso playing. Vassar, we know you're in heaven playing, it's yet another reason not to fear what comes next, just think about the band!
My youngest daughter, Carri, was on first name basis with Vassar. She sings and plays mandolin. I have a picture of him with his arm around Carri's shoulder. They got together several times a year at bluegrass/folk festivals around Florida. He was a kind, grandfatherly type of person to her and she was very saddened by the news.
The Seattle Times had a brief obit for Vassar Clements in today's issue. Here's the link:
The obit mentions that Clements played with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -- I think that was the great recording they did titled "Will The Circle Be Unbroken", which featured a stellar collection of bluegrass musicians. If you like bluegrass and don't own this recording (re-mastered several years ago), you should add it to your collection.
One of the posters to this thread, C123666, mentions hearing Vassar "the year after Garcia died when Grisman reformed the 'Old and In the Way' band with Herb Peterson replacing Garcia on banjo." C123666, could you tell us more about this reformed Old and In the Way band, like who was in it, when was it performing, did it make any records, and how did it compare with the original Old and In the Way group? I've been a huge fan of the original Old and In the Way records for 30 years, and love all 3 CDs resulting from those 1973 concerts. I'm not a bluegrass expert and would be delighted to find out that there is some more similar stuff out there that I didn't know about and can now acquire. Thanks.
Saw Chris Hillman with Herb Pedersen last night at a little club in Piermont N.Y. Herb dedicated a song off Chris' new cd to the great Vassar Clements. He added that Vassar was always there for the neophytes trying to play his kind of music. You could tell Herb was really bummed by the loss. Hillman played mandolin throughout and Pedersen played acoustic guitar. Both were in exquisite voice and their duets were seamless. A good mix of Byrds, Burritos,Manasas, Desert Rose Band and some country classics. Great evening.
Well it has been a year today since my dad Donald Laby passed away and it hasnt gotten any easier for me or my family.
My father was the greatest man I have ever known. He always knew how to say the right things when I had problems. He taught me to be an honest, loving, good person, and to always do what I think is right, no matter what the cost.
He was into High Fidelity Stereo and taught me the balance of sound. He was always turning me on to good music and helped me in my quest to become a better musician. I have had many great experiences with music from violin to cello to voice to guitar, tenor banjo, keys and mandolin. I could not have done any of it without his support.
My dad was also a wonderful grandfather to my niece and nephew always opening their eyes to different possibilities, showing them photography and playing them songs on the stereo. He helped with their homework and kissed boo boos. Ill never forget how he would look at them just imaging their own possibilities.
He showed me the ropes of life to the fullest extent and I know he is learning the ropes of the after life so when Im done here, he can be by my side once again to help with the next process.
I cant say how important it is to tell the people closest to you how much you love them.
Just do it. Tell everyone you care about just how much they mean to you and how your life is better because they are a part of it!