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AlanN
Feb-13-2011, 5:28pm
Recently seeded the mp3 player with the 2 1980's studio albums

I Can't Stand To Ramble
and
Part Of A Story

Forgot how good these are. Terrific songs, harmonies and JR on mandolin. Itzbin Reel is taken at a slower pace than I pick it. I like it there. I think there was a live recording done, too, with Blue Night, some others. Are there any other recordings that this particular band did back then?

R. Kane
Feb-13-2011, 5:42pm
Good n Live is available on iTunes. None of the others, though.

Spruce
Feb-13-2011, 6:27pm
Are there any other recordings that this particular band did back then?

There are lots of good live soundboards kicking around of that particular band....
Not sure where you might find those....

I remember going to see them just about every week in the 70's at a pizza joint...
They ripped...

The original band had Laurie Lewis onboard too...

Man, I miss those days....

mandopete
Feb-15-2011, 10:12am
FWIW I have been bugging the Wintergrass people to stage a Good Ol' Persons reunion gig. John Reischman told me that it's entirely possible and that the only tricky part is to get Sally Van Meter.

My understanding is that Kathy Kallick owns the rights to their old recordings, you might contact her. I know we have a neat live collection CD at the radio station, along with some vinyl.

AlanN
Feb-15-2011, 10:39am
That band had a real niche, very much was of the California bg sound back then. I remember there was a later version of the band that toured, I caught them at the Salem County fairgrounds, Brandywine Bluegrass Festival in S. Jersey, probably 1996 or so. Todd Phillips was on bass then. Talking to John, I told him I had caught the TRU at The Bottom Line in NYC in 1981. He said that was the first time he had played in the Big Apple.

Long ago and far away...

SternART
Feb-15-2011, 11:15am
Yeah..... I feel more like I do now, than I did back then. (frankspeak)

AlanN
Feb-15-2011, 11:37am
A cool number they did was 'You Don't Miss Your Water...', start off in '3' time, then kick into bg time. John's solo on the fast part was, in a word, awesome.

journeybear
Feb-15-2011, 11:43am
Long ago and far away is right. I remember the fiddler Kevin Wimmer from well before he joined Good Ol' Persons, when I attended his senior recital at Wesleyan on the advice of Stacey Phillips, who had been tutoring him (so to speak) on the nuances of playing fiddle, as different from violin. For a year or two after that he played in a six-person band around CT with other people who had been in the same Wesleyan program, some of whom (the mandolin player, for instance) had built their own instruments. (My interest was mostly focussed on the banjo player, who had a nice clawhammer style and was seriously cute to boot.) When Kevin left only to resurface later in Good Ol' Persons on stage at Winterhawk during the time when I went there every year, it was one of those "Hey! I know that guy!" moments I'll always remember. To learn now of the other members of that band (I recognized Laurie Lewis, but didn't know of John Reischman's existence until I joined the Café) and the high regard they and the band itself command is very gratifying, to think of how far someone I knew back in the day travelled. This was all back in the early to mid-1980s. Nice to be reminded of this all these years later.

Potosimando
Feb-15-2011, 12:01pm
I have a Good-ol'-Persons CD titled "Anywhere the Wind Blows" (Kaleidoscope K-38) , recorded from Feb. thru May 1989. The CD lists the above "I Can't Stand to Ramble" (Kaleidoscope F-17) and "Part of a Story" (Kaleidoscope F-26 and C-26), as also available. I was told that "Anywhere the Wind Blows" was GOP's last album and that very few copies were ever distributed because of a fire or something that destroyed most of the CD's early on (I don't have any idea how much truth there might be to that story however).

AlanN
Feb-15-2011, 12:04pm
My intro into the stylings of JR (likely same for many) was his work on the 2 Rice records Backwaters and Still Inside. He literally burst on the scene then, right in the midst of Dawg music. His playing was subtle, hip and sparkling sounding. Not quite as strident or forceful as Grisman (which was great in its own right), but rather sophisticated and complex. JR was the perfect mando guy for Tony on those recordings. And his North Of The Border recording is still very much listened to today.

Spruce
Feb-15-2011, 1:15pm
Man, what a hotbed for California bluegrass in the Bay Area back in the 70's, with some incredible musicians playing every night at places like Paul's Saloon and the aforementioned Red Vest Pizza Parlor.
Hard to imagine the intercom shouting "PIZZA ORDER NUMBER 65!!! over an amazing John Reischman mandolin solo...... ;)

I ran into Kathy and her family over in Hawaii last summer, and we had a great time talking about those days in the 70's....
We all met up to go see an amazing evening of music with Ledward Kaapana at a little microbrewery just east of Honolulu, which reminded both of us of the Red Vest days...
Here's a shot:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/DSC01123-Version2-1.jpg

journeybear
Feb-15-2011, 10:44pm
That is quite a tease. I'm sure a lot of folks here know who all of them are, but I don't, not on sight. Care to share?

Further research turned up the name of the band Kevin was in before Good Ol' Persons - Little City String Band. He left before they recorded, apparently. That may have been named for a previous name for Middletown, where Wesleyan U. is located. They also played Cajun music as The Swampstompers. That was after Kevin had left and been replaced by Sandol Astrausky. Amy Davis, the banjo player I mentioned, is now in NC, playing in The Hushpuppies. And I just found out Sandol is living in my old home town in RI. :disbelief: Small world indeed! Sometimes I love the internet, when it helps sort out longstanding mysteries, find long lost friends, and turn up fascinating information like that. Well, to me anyway. ;)

worldviewman
Jan-11-2012, 10:52pm
There are lots of good live soundboards kicking around of that particular band....
Not sure where you might find those....

I remember going to see them just about every week in the 70's at a pizza joint...
They ripped...

The original band had Laurie Lewis onboard too...

Man, I miss those days....

_________________________

Was that at the Red Vest Pizza Parlor in El Cerrito? My wife and I would make the trek from Fremont regularly to catch them along with some other great Bay Area bands of that era - great stuff!

Ivan Kelsall
Jan-12-2012, 2:24am
As a rider to this thread,who were the members of the Grant Street String Band back in the early '80's ?. I saw them at a Bluegrass Festival over here in the UK. Now,the LP info.names these members :- Laurie Lewis / Beth Weil / Greg Townsend / Tom Bekeny & Steve Krouse ,but when i saw them they had a Banjo player with them & i always thought that it was Keith Little. Did Keith Little ever play with TGSSB ?,
Ivan

Cornelius Morris
Jan-12-2012, 10:57am
Rutabaga Boogie!

Paul Kotapish
Jan-12-2012, 2:55pm
Did Keith Little ever play with TGSSB ?

Keith did play banjo with Laurie and Grant Street for a while in the early '80s. Laurie is still on Grant Street--we were neighbors for a long while when I lived around the corner--but the band has evolved into the "Right Hands," with Tom Rozum, Chad Manning, Andrew Conklin, and Patrick Sauber (with occasional subs from Todd Phillips, Craig Smith, and Scott Huffman)--great players all.

Bought my first F-5 at the Fifth String when they had a shop next to Paul's Saloon back in the '70s. We were busking our way down the coast and stopped in San Francisco to hear some of the great bands. The Good Ol' Persons were playing Paul's Saloon and we got there early, so I stopped into the Fifth String and dropped every penny I had--and then some--on one of Stan Miller's original rosewood F-5s. Great trip!

The Bay Area had a bunch of wonderful bluegrass and old-time bands going in those days, and was (and still is) a hugely influential scene for strong women fronting bands and writing their own material. Any Old Time String Band had some great players, for example, and the Arkansas Sheiks were another all-star string band of the era.

Any Old Time:

80885

L to R: Valerie Mindel, Suzy Thompson, Sue Draheim, Genny Haley, Kate Brislin

Arkansas Sheiks:

80884

L to R: Tom Marion, Michael Drayton, Josie Mendelsohn, Hoyle Osborne, Karana Drayton, Laurie Lewis, Tony Marcus, and Kate Brislin.

Ivan Kelsall
Jan-13-2012, 6:19am
Hi Paul - Many thanks for that. I'm certain that it was Keith Little who was playing Banjo when i saw them back then.They played the Edale Bluegrass Festival,in Derbyshire UK ,always held on the first full weekend in June - it was snowing !. Don't forget the Vern Williams band with whom Keith Played for quite a while.One of the finest 'trad.'bands from CA,
Ivan

mandopete
Jan-13-2012, 11:30am
I saw Keith playing with Kathy Kallick years ago up in Canada in a group called "The Little Big Band" with John Reischman and Todd Phillips. This was about the time that Todd Phillips released his Bill Monroe tribute recording. I thought that was a great line up!

AlanN
Jan-13-2012, 11:40am
I remember that band. So many small permutations of who played with who back then. They were all great.

mandopete
Jan-13-2012, 1:19pm
So many small permutations of who played with who back then. They were all great.

NorCal Bluegrass Mafia!

That was the first time I heard John play Cat's Eye and Big Bug.

:)

AlanN
Jan-13-2012, 1:36pm
Cat's Eye.

Whazzat?

mandopete
Jan-13-2012, 4:49pm
Cat's Eye.

Whazzat?


Never heard that one? It's on North of the Border.

AlanN
Jan-13-2012, 5:42pm
Ah, thanks. Then I need to dig that out of the pile and listen again.

Paul Kotapish
Jan-13-2012, 8:07pm
Hi Paul - Don't forget the Vern Williams band with whom Keith Played for quite a while. One of the finest 'trad.'bands from CA

Absolutely, Ivan. Vern (and Ray, too) was the true vine for sure. And there were plenty of other great bands from that era--High Country (still going strong), Phantoms of the Opry, Done Gone, Old and in the Way (if only briefly), Blue Flame String Band, and loads more, plus individuals like Jody Stecher, Eric Thompson, et al, who moved in and out of various bands at the time.

Ivan Kelsall
Jan-14-2012, 1:59am
I saw Butch Waller & High Country over here many years ago.I think they played the Abergele (in Wales UK) Bluegrass Festival in 1991.Tom Beckeney was with them as was Larry Cohea on Banjo & Jim Mintun on Dobro. It was the first time i heard the song 'Cold Rain & Snow'. Jim sang it & although i've heard Del McCoury's version of it many times since,Jim Mintun 'nailed it' totally.I'm pretty sure that Butch Waller's brother was in the band as well - a great weekend !,
Ivan

AW Meyer
Jan-14-2012, 12:22pm
This is available at CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kkbmllps#

Chris Rogers
Jan-14-2012, 12:50pm
Ivan, that's the same lineup for High Country that is still playing now, with Glen Dauphin on bass and high tenor/lead. They have a relatively recent release, Perfectly Good Companion" that is very good.


I saw Butch Waller & High Country over here many years ago.I think they played the Abergele (in Wales UK) Bluegrass Festival in 1991.Tom Beckeney was with them as was Larry Cohea on Banjo & Jim Mintun on Dobro. It was the first time i heard the song 'Cold Rain & Snow'. Jim sang it & although i've heard Del McCoury's version of it many times since,Jim Mintun 'nailed it' totally.I'm pretty sure that Butch Waller's brother was in the band as well - a great weekend !,
Ivan

Jmoss
Jan-14-2012, 5:15pm
Bought my first F-5 at the Fifth String when they had a shop next to Paul's Saloon back in the '70s. We were busking our way down the coast and stopped in San Francisco to hear some of the great bands. The Good Ol' Persons were playing Paul's Saloon and we got there early, so I stopped into the Fifth String and dropped every penny I had--and then some--on one of Stan Miller's original rosewood F-5s. Great trip!

The Bay Area had a bunch of wonderful bluegrass and old-time bands going in those days, and was (and still is) a hugely influential scene for strong women fronting bands and writing their own material. Any Old Time String Band had some great players, for example, and the Arkansas Sheiks were another all-star string band of the era.


San Francisco was a breeding ground for Bluegrass music in the middle to late 1970s. It was exciting and based largely around the all Bluegrass venue Paul's Saloon. There were other venues of course, but that combination of Paul's and 5th String Music next door to each other had a magic that attracted Bluegrass musicians from all over the world. Then just as they would appear, they would join a band. That was the magic. There were other venues, but none as important to the development of bands as was Paul's.

I remember even before I began playing there in 1976 I would hear these stories about how it was a focal point for Bluegrass music in California. I don't think there was anywhere else in the state where the then off-beat music of Bluegrass was so concentrated. Paul was just the kind of guy who could make a place like that work too. He was an absolute dictator. No one else in San Francisco could make a go of Bluegrass and more than a few tried. Even the name Bluegrass was the kiss of death to a club, but not at Paul's.

When the CBA was being organized, all the bands played for free at a show in Fairfield California to raise money for this California Bluegrass festival concept. The idea was to only allow California bands. I remember recording the performances of some of these bands such as the GOP. It was developed by the musicians of California for the musicians of California. My band played there, all the bands from the bay area as well as Vern's band played there. All to raise money for the establishment of the California Bluegrass Association where all the bands would take a share of the profits. How things changed. That was the first thing to go. The bands soon began being paid a fixed amount. Then in time, it was hard to find a California band at all at a CBA festival. When I was in High Country (1976 - 1982) we did play a lot of CBA events. It was later that the people running the CBA, some of which it was reported did not even like Bluegrass, would not remember the intent of the movement that led to it's creation.

I remember negotiating with Monroe to bring High Country to Bean Blossom. I knew Bill and Kenny by then. It was clean and straight forward. Kenny Baker drove me to Monroe's office and we talked.

Not at all like that at the CBA, the very organization that was originally funded organized by the bands for the bands. Sometimes a single owner is much better at keeping to a concept then a bunch of goof balls on a board of directors.

Paul's Saloon was like Bean Blossom in that you just needed to talk to Paul. For all of his drawbacks, Paul created the environment for a movement.

Jim Moss

Spruce
Jan-14-2012, 5:26pm
I saw Butch Waller & High Country over here many years ago.

I remember seeing them open for the Grateful Dead in '71 at the Hollywood Palladium...
Now that was an interesting bill... ;)

Jmoss
Jan-14-2012, 5:47pm
I remember seeing them open for the Grateful Dead in '71 at the Hollywood Palladium...
Now that was an interesting bill... ;)

I remember Garcia back stage at Paul's when the members of the Good Ol Boys had finished their recording sessions and decided to storm the place. The band was on stage, Don Reno, Frank Wakefield, David Nelson, etc and Garcia was back stage with his banjo playing with the locals. I remember he was very nice to everyone. I am not sure who the scheduled band was that night.

Jim Moss

djweiss
Jan-14-2012, 7:25pm
I saw Butch Waller & High Country over here many years ago.I think they played the Abergele (in Wales UK) Bluegrass Festival in 1991.Tom Beckeney was with them as was Larry Cohea on Banjo & Jim Mintun on Dobro. It was the first time i heard the song 'Cold Rain & Snow'. Jim sang it & although i've heard Del McCoury's version of it many times since,Jim Mintun 'nailed it' totally.I'm pretty sure that Butch Waller's brother was in the band as well - a great weekend !,
Ivan

I was just in Oakland for a New Years Day party, and everyone you mentioned was there, as was most of the others listed in this thread...Bluegrass in the Bay Area is going strong...

Ivan Kelsall
Jan-15-2012, 3:11am
What an awesome recipe - Californian sunshine & Bluegrass music !!!!. Count me in,but only for a 100 years or so - i wish. If the line-up for High Country is still the same as it was in '91,they must have one of the longest standing ( if not THE longest) line-ups in Bluegrass ever. Now there's a good example of if it ain't broke,don't mend it.
I'm long overdue for a visit to the US,so maybe CA's the place to head for - it's worth more than a thought or 3,:cool:
Ivan:mandosmiley:

Jmoss
Jan-19-2012, 6:01am
High Country has a long history with a lot of the musicians from the SF Bay Area.
They were the 2nd Bluegrass band to play at Pauls as I understand it. It is in a
book about Jerry Garcia somewhere that Butch was the first person to give Garcia LSD.
The author told me that one night at Paul's when he was interviewing Butch.
It was hard to believe, but he gave the interview.

Here is a little interview from 1977 in BAM (Bay Area Music). The band was pretty
young back then. I found this BAM at my mom's house a couple of weeks back.

http://www.candlewater.com/HighCountry/

Jim Moss

Ivan Kelsall
Jan-19-2012, 6:22am
Thanks for the[info.Jim. I certainly don't know of any other band that has stayed together with the principal members still in the band.It looks like Larry Cohea has been there since day one !!. I spoke with Larry for quite a while years back & found out that he not only played but 'made' Banjos.A lady Banjo picker that i know,but who's name i can't remember,( no change there then !), has one of Larry's Banjos & it's a super instrument,with the neck 'tailor made' to suit her small hands. Larry was also the first person i ever saw with a 'case for his case',a beautifully made canvas zip-up case that somebody he knew made for him. He did give me the guy's name but i lost it.
Here's a YouTube clip of Vern Williams with another terrific CA musician doing the honours on "Sally Goodin" -the great Ed Neff,
Ivan
http://youtu.be/3WyAZWd5fwE

I used to know how to 'embed ' clips on here but not any more, & the 'insert video' function doesn't work with the whole 'embed' URL,:mad:

Jmoss
Jan-19-2012, 7:07am
No, the original "WB Raccoon Records" band was band leader Butch Waller, Ed Neff, Bruce Nemerov on Banjo, Chris Boutwell on Guitar and Lonny Feiner on Bass. However, that is just High Country. When thinking of Butch Waller, he goes back even more to another Bluegrass band or so. That is what I meant by the Garcia LSD reference. I mean, when you think of Jerry Garcia, you think of the Dead. When you think of the Dead you think of LSD. So, to have this writer come up and tell you that this mandolin player was around playing Bluegrass before Garcia tried LSD, is to really say something about how long Butch has been active in the SF Bay Area music scene.

I think it is more like this, if you are High Country, after this much time, just about everyone in the Bay Area Bluegrass scene has played in the band over the last, what?... 42 years or so? You probably play with the people you enjoy playing with. The people you like to hang out with. That is my guess at least.

By the way, Lonny Feiner was at Bean Blossom in 1973 jamming with Bob Black and Kenny Baker. He played on Baker's Dry and Dusty album that was recorded there in Bean Blossom... at the hotel in town.

Jim Moss

windyriver
Jun-21-2012, 12:53pm
Thought folks on this thread would be interested to know that on August 18 the Bluegrass Signal program on KALW will be playing a live recording of the GOP from the 80's, along with lots of other great shows this summer.
I'm guessing most folks on this site already know about Peter Thompsons great Bluegrass program and his elist but just in case will copy the info below;

Bluegrass Signal
Saturdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm on www.KALW.org (91.7 FM in the Bay Area)

NOTES:
- The area's most comprehensive bluegrass calendar is part of every show (between 7:30 and 8 pm), and often includes musical previews.
- All KALW local music programs, including "Bluegrass Signal," are archived for one week and can be listened to on demand. Just go here and select "Bluegrass Signal" to hear that week's program.
- The first hour of "Bluegrass Signal" is re-broadcast on an all-bluegrass internet station. Go to WAMU's "Bluegrass Country for the complete schedule and more information.

June 23 & 30: Across the Tracks
New releases and reissues, with selections from Audie Blaylock & Redline, Travers Chandler & Avery County, Rounder's Earl Scruggs Tribute, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, Tony Rice, Karl Shiflett, Don Rigsby & Charlie Sizemore, Lou Reid & Carolina, Ola Belle Reed, Ted Lundy, Kathy Kallick, Blue & Lonesome, Jimmy Gaudreau & Moondi Klein, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Lonesome Sisters, Heather Berry & Tony Mabe, Alan Tompkins, Tim Martin, The Bailes Brothers, Clyde Moody, and, yes, others.

LIVE ON ARRIVAL!
Throughout the months of July and August, presentations of live recordings from a variety of bluegrass and old time musicians.

July 7: The Stanley Brothers, Roscoe Holcomb, Cousin Emmy, and the New Lost City Ramblers (live in Germany, 1966).

July 14: Doc & Merle Watson (live in NY, 1970) and Doc Watson with Nashville Bluegrass Band (live at MerleFest, 2006).

July 21: Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers (live in Pittsburgh, 1971) and J.D. Crowe & the New South (live in Japan, 1975).

J.D. Crowe & the New South in 1975


July 28: Old & In the Way (live in San Francisco, 1973) and Jesse McReynolds with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (live in SF, 2010)

Aug. 4: A break from the live recordings to present musical previews of next weekend's annual Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival.

Aug. 11: Blue & Lonesome (Live in Australia, 2011) and The Bluegrass Quintet [Grisman, Rice, Green, Keith, Phillips] (Live in Japan, 1976).

Aug. 18: Hot Rize (live in Kansas, 1986) and Good Ol' Persons (live in Holland and Canada, 1985-1991).

Good Ol' Persons in 1985 (photo: Irene Young)


Aug. 25: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (live in Ohio, 2012) and a variety of contemporary bands (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer benefit concerts, 2006-2011).

mandopete
Jun-22-2012, 9:30am
Ah, Bluegrass Signal - as in the tune by John Reischman.

I get it.

midyearguru
Jul-11-2012, 5:55pm
My first introduction to the band was right when Sally Van Meter joined them. Paul Shelaski was on mandolin, Laurie Lewis on violin, Kathy Kallick guitar, Markie Shubb bass, and Sally on dobro & banjo. Sally and I would drive down from Chico, Ca. and I'd be treated to such wonderful music while sitting at Paul's Saloon (and their mandatory 1 drink minimum per set rule) or at the Red Vest Pizza Parlor (yes.....while pizza orders were being called over the loudspeaker). And then John Reischman came along.......................