While growing up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I have many delightful memories of playing music with neighbors and friends. Whether on the front porch, the parlor room, the county fair, or under a big Sycamore tree at a family picnic, the music flowed with a lot of expression and drive. Regardless of the variety of skills and backgrounds, I've grown from every experience and every session. The wonderful vocal harmonies strike my imagination like the magnificence of the wind blowing through mountain treetops. I love the sound of wooden instruments and steel strings rising above a wooden floor in some old rustic country store.
What I've attempted to do is relate some of "the feel and excitement" that I expreienced while growing up in a rich tradition of acoustic music. The selections that you hear on this recording are reflections of some of my favorites throughout the years. I've combined a mixture of the old and contemporary songs and instrumentals along with a few original compositions.
It's been fun playing, recording, and performing the last few years with the members of Extra Measure. The group members are an "all foohills band" from Wilkes County, North Carolina. These talented musicians love to play traditional acoustic music. Although busy with musical pursuits of their own, each musician gave a lot of time and eneR.G.y to participate in this project. It's a pleasure to be associated with David Johnso, who appears as a guest musician. As a matter of trivia, David gave banjo lessons back in the early 1970's. David's skills helped us polish the finishing touches. Steve Kilby, who also appears, is one of the better known flat picking guitarists in western North Carolina and has won numerous guitar competitions over the years. It was also fun having Buddy Wright, a powerful bluegrass singer, join in for a song.
Working with this team was truly exciting. They all poured their heart
and soul into creating music. And it's my wish that this spirit of
enjoyment will carry over to your listening experience. So pull up the
old rocker and turn on the music. The banjos, fiddles, mandolins and
guitars are leaning by the hearth side. Stoke the fire and lend an ear.
Dance all night across the hardwood floor. I invite you to join the
celebration of the Banjo and Bow.
1. R.G. Absher- banjo on all selections except (13), lead guitar on (7,13), lead vocals on (3,7,13,15)
2. Billy Gee- bass on all selections, lead vocals on (1), harmony vocals on (3,16)
3. Tony Joines- lead guitar on (3,9,12), lead vocals on (1), harmony vocals on (3,16)
4. Mike Palmer- lead fingerstyle guitar on (6,7,15), rhythm guitar on all selections except (13), banjo on (13)
5. Jeff Pardue- fiddle on all cuts except (8), harmony vocals on (1,7,11,16), fiddle on (8)
6. Wes Tuttle- mandolin on all cuts, lead vocals on (5,8), harmony vocals on (1,7,11,16), fiddle on (8)
1. David Johnson- dobro on (1,3,4,6,7,8,9,11,4,15,17), Cello on (13)
2. Steve Kilby- lead guitar on (8,10,14,17)
3. Buddy Wright- lead vocals on (16)
This project is dedicated to my dad, the late Ray Absher, Sr., who took me to fiddlers conventions, bought me my first banjo, and encouraged me to play traditional music.