I remember one concert I just HAD to go to with my lovely wife back around the early 1990s in Pocatello, Idaho. Country music artists Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt were playing together at the relatively spacious Holt Arena, and I’d seen a show with Tritt and Charlie Daniels matched up a while before that which turned into one of the liveliest shows I’d ever seen.
But that wasn’t the biggest reason why I HAD to go to that show with my lovely wife in Pocatello. No, it had to do with their opening act, Mark O’Connor.
I’m an Idaho native, and they take fiddling contests there very seriously, especially around the town of Weiser. O’Connor was already a legend in that state when it came to him winning so much in those contests back in the ’70s at a young age. I’d also been familiar with his work with bluegrass great David Grisman, his solo albums when he showed a flair for jazz-fusion and he’d play ALL of the instruments (I still have a few of those long out-of-print records in my vinyl collection, including one, “False Dawn,” shown in a video below), his straight-out jazz-fusion as Allen Sloan’s replacement on violin with The (Dixie) Dregs, his studio work, all of it.
Yes, I wanted to see Mark O’Connor live for the first time in my life, and I wanted my lovely wife — a private music teacher herself — to see and hear him as well. The crowd was largely there to see Stuart and Tritt, of course. They were two of the hottest tickets in country music at the time. O’Connor took to the large stage by himself, one lone spotlight just shining on him. And there were some people who were still “uninitiated” in the ways of O’Connor in the crowd, including a few seated in front of us.
When he started playing, the crowd took notice. “Hey, he’s pretty darn good,” someone among the “uninitiated” in front of us once chuckled with a nod and a huge smile.
He was more than just good. He was the “top cat” among the “Nashville Cats.” And I knew he would be.
- Learning about new tunes Part 8 (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- My music playlist for today (January 24, 2012 edition) (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- My music playlist for today (January 25, 2012 edition) (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)