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Thread: Even the Big Boys get nervous

  1. #26

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Londy View Post
    You can see the mando player was nervous and you can see his left hand shaking pretty good. However, ALL the notes were very clean. He did a great job.
    Good musical performance under pressure, regardless of the genre, and Letterman seemed to genuinely like it. He doesn't always gush that much on musical guests.

    Londy hit the nail on the head, though. Steffey's left hand was big time nervous, but he absolutely nailed the break! That's a pro's pro. AJ doing this is good for bluegrass and hopefully his country career can weather the effects. ....or maybe at this point it just doesn't bother him.

  2. #27
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    The OP didn't really state they were playing bluegrass music, merely that he had a bluegrass ensemble. Kinda like saying a rock group played with a classical orchestra.

    I also think it hardly matters what any of us think about AJ's performance. The listening public thinks that any song with a banjo in it is bluegrass, they also think I play ukulele.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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  4. #28
    Registered User Rex Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    The biggest issue with me is that I just don't think the song itself is very strong. Typical modern country lyrics, only thing missing was the references to four wheel drives, pick-up trucks and tractors. Surely that isn't the strongest track off of the album? Heck, he doesn't even wear his cowboy hat like WSM.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Mediocrity View Post
    To quote Jack Black from School of Rock..........."Those who can....do, those who cant...teach"
    That must play havoc in teacher training colleges

  6. #30

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Hart View Post
    The biggest issue with me is that I just don't think the song itself is very strong. Typical modern country lyrics, only thing missing was the references to four wheel drives, pick-up trucks and tractors. Surely that isn't the strongest track off of the album? Heck, he doesn't even wear his cowboy hat like WSM.
    Not to mention Momma, prison, trains, or rain.

  7. #31

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Hart View Post
    The biggest issue with me is that I just don't think the song itself is very strong.
    I was thinking along those lines. As much drive as a Yugo in a headwind. That band should be able to make Celo Green runner up at the IBMA.

    Like my opinion's worth anything. Indeed, AJ's got many more airplanes than me, im sure he's got it figured out.

  8. #32

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I am glad that AJ could employ some great bluegrass muscians for his project. Now all he needs is a guitar player.
    He has a guitar player, Scott Coney, on the right in the Letterman Show video. Good player on banjo, fiddle, and guitar. He's in the camo hat here:

    Also, just to ponder, what if the guitar tech handed AJ his guitar just as they are getting in place to perform, the schedule is tight, he's waiting for Letterman's introduction, everybody is on edge, then the song starts, his guitar sounds out of tune (capo at wrong fret), he's singing, trying to remember the words to a tune he hasn't been doing but for a few months, so he uses the guitar as a prop (which it usually is anyway, since he has a GOOD guitar player to his left), the tune comes off successfully, applause, all is well. Until the next morning on Mandolin Cafe!

    Like the OP said, maybe some kid is hearing that and wonders what instrument Rob Ickes or Adam Steffey is playing...buys the CD, figures out Adam isn't playing a uke, and later on discovers Blue Highway, or even Flatt & Scruggs. That would be neat, I think.

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  10. #33
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I thought it was a good choice of songs to represent bluegrass. But, I am a bluegrasser who can't stand nasal singing. For the general public, people who have never heard "bluegrass" music, it was a good first exposure. My dads first exposure to bluegrass was Monroe in his later years. Now, my dad grew up listening to some of the best singers there were...Perry Como, Dean Martin, Sinatra, etx. When he saw (heard) Monroe do his first song, he said to me "He sounds like a girl singer, and a bad one at that!" He never did like Monroes singing and wondered why I did. Which I didn't really, I took him to that show because I wanted to hear the banjo player, Butch Robbins. It turned out it was the last show that Butch did with Monroe. He signed his album that I bought, "Hope you enjoyed my last show as a Bluegrass Boy". I prefer a good baritone lead singer in bluegrass, so I think AJ did good.

  11. #34
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Good singing (or anything else) is in the ear of the beholder. What comes to mind is the John Duffey MWN interview, from 1984. JD said his father made him listen to Caruso..."Now this, this is good singing..."

    It all depends on what you like, n'est-ce pas?

  12. #35
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I enjoyed that performance a lot and it is so good to see our beloved bluegrass musicians on National television. Yes, it is a country singer with a bluegrass backup band, but at least those two genres are related. I write and perform a lot of countrygrass songs myself, so it seemed like a nice blend to me.

    Rob Ickes rocked it on the dobro, Sammy Shelor on banjo, and Adam really got down on that Northfield mandolin. I don't think that I've ever seen him be pointed at so dramatically before he took off on a solo!

    Alan Jackson was not miked or plugged in, his guitar was nearly just a prop, but he was actually playing, so he must have been tuned up a whole step or maybe he was in some kind of secret Nashville high tuning--I dunno. It looked like a custom Taylor dreadnought. Who was the actual guitar player with the other sunburst guitar? Anyone know?

  13. #36
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    To quote Jack Black from School of Rock..........."Those who can....do, those who cant...teach"
    And those who can't teach, teach Phys Ed

  14. #37

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Hey Cheryl, I think Herbm55 found the guitar guy. Look about about four posts up.

  15. #38
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    from bluegrasstoday:

    Jon Weisberger says:
    October 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm
    ” I have it on good authority that Alan’s guitar was tuned up a whole step, so he was in the correct key….It doesn’t matter why. Maybe he don’t like Capo 4. Who knows?” – Jason Burleson, on Facebook
    Russ Jordan

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  17. #39

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    oh hell, I guess im out and cant possibly play bluegrass, as I wear a vest sometimes and no overalls or straw hat, and sometimes play pop or rock grassed up.

    I have to say here,
    I understand tradition.


    I love music-and I like to listen with an open heart and mind.

    If we stick strictly to tradition, I guess we should all play classical ......have buggy whips, you get the idea.....

    Why is it that none of our police seem to acknowledge the important fact that, to most in the USA , watching AJ on letterman, it could very well be a first exposure to BG-or, "BG -like" music. Most folks don't like their whisky straight, .....at first, either.

    AJ may be a very familiar sound/face and an inviting bridge to BG. And FWIW, I think the 'mando player' did jes fine.

    I didn't see nervous,.....I saw a bunch of pros, on national tv, likely dealing with a weird stage, little no warm up(?), a big cold audience, and, likely concerns if and when they would make their allotted time slot.

    Sounds like a bunch of forum cork sniffers, our 'rasion d' etre' ....
    Last edited by stevedenver; Oct-31-2013 at 11:19am.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    [QUOTE=AlanN;1218189]Good singing (or anything else) is in the ear of the beholder. What comes to mind is the John Duffey MWN interview, from 1984. JD said his father made him listen to Caruso..."Now this, this is good singing..."

    I think Duffeys dad was right. Listen at 0.57 into the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wer9lqOImI

    Of course, it ain't bluegrass! From what I know about Duffey, I'm surprised he didn't work out a bluegrass version of O Sole Mio!

  19. #41
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Oh, sorry, missed that! Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandosummers View Post
    Hey Cheryl, I think Herbm55 found the guitar guy. Look about about four posts up.

  20. #42
    Registered User Gary Hedrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Oh for Heaven's sake......give the "it ain't bluegrass" BS a rest.......it is what it is......and as an over 60, full on bluegrass pedigree I don't see the point in all the bluegrass police stuff.

    There will be groups that play the more "founding fathers" form ......there are lots of others that will migrate and bring in other influences.....so what....if you like the "pure" stuff then listen to it and support it with your $'s but don't spoil everyone else's joy of the variations to the core music.

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  22. #43

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I originally started this thread hoping to get a discussion going about how the pros can overcome being nervous and still nail a performance. Or how seeing them nervous makes them human and maybe makes hacks like me feel a bit better about choking. Or how great it is that someone who has been in it as long as some of these guys still loves music enough to even be nervous. Or something.... but no, its turned into yet another cat fight over Alan Jackson. Good grief!! Only a few posts have been on the original topic. I was in a similar thread a while back that was hijacked and turned into a fight over challenging the deity of Bill Monroe. Sometimes the narrow mindedness of some in this forum is a real limiting factor on what might otherwise be an illuminating discussion. The "that ain't real bluegrass" thing has been done to death. I wish the moderators would block posts that are clearly off topic.
    Last edited by Mandosummers; Oct-31-2013 at 11:29am.

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  24. #44
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I love the CD! Great playing, great singing, great songwriting. I think it is good that a Nashville super-star decided to buck the Nash-pop trend and put out a recording of country music featuring some of the worlds best bluegrass musicians. I wish more would do the same. It will most likely draw some new fans to bluegrass, or at least draw a few people toward acoustic music. Sure beats some dude in a cowboy hat singing about monster trucks and guns, while the "band" consists of programmed, edited, drum loops and multi-layered rock guitar riffs. IMHO

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  26. #45
    Registered User Gary Hedrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandosummers View Post
    I originally started this thread hoping to get a discussion going about how the pros can overcome being nervous and still nail a performance. Or how seeing them nervous makes them human and maybe makes hacks like me feel a bit better about choking. Or how great it is that someone who has been in it as long as some of these guys still love music enough to even be nervous. Or something.... but no, its turned into yet another cat fight over Alan Jackson. Good grief!! Only a few posts have been on the original topic. I was in a similar thread a while back that was hijacked and turned into a fight over challenging the deity of Bill Monroe. Sometimes the narrow mindedness of some in this forum is a real limiting factor on what might otherwise be an illuminating discussion. The "that ain't real bluegrass" thing has been done to death. I wish the moderators would block posts that are clearly off topic.
    Yes you are right of course....the original intent was just that......I don't know if it is "nervousness" as much as just being amped up with the situation and just wanting to put all into it. I don't think fear of failure enters into the mind of someone like Adam....he has been there and done that....

  27. #46
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    One whole step, two half steps. Both the banjer and the second geetar are capoed on the fourth fret. Note that Alan's guitar wasn't mic'd and he strummed only when he felt like it. Adam didn't look nervous to me.
    I heard direct from an AJ band member that Alan does indeed tune his guitar up a whole step, making the capo right at second fret to do the B key. Now my question to you guys is have you ever done this? I'm afraid to see my G and E string being brought up a whole step for fear it will pop me in the face upon high tension breaking. So has anyone else done this before and why would you do it? And who does Tim Crouch fiddle for now I bluegrass?

  28. #47

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Rob Ickes seemed to be the coolest performer on stage. But watching closely you can see a look on his face when he finished nailing his break that says "Whew! I got it!" I'm still geeking out watching Steffey. When he slid up the neck to hit that high note on the E string and he seemed to tense up a bit and his hand started shaking a bit I thought uh oh, train wreck ahead, but not so. Listening you don't hear anything but pure Steffey. How does he bloody to that??

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    I heard direct from an AJ band member that Alan does indeed tune his guitar up a whole step, making the capo right at second fret to do the B key. Now my question to you guys is have you ever done this? I'm afraid to see my G and E string being brought up a whole step for fear it will pop me in the face upon high tension breaking. So has anyone else done this before and why would you do it? And who does Tim Crouch fiddle for now I bluegrass?
    I've never done this, for the same fear of getting wacked if one pops. Maybe AJ does it just to mess with people like all of us? He looks like he might have that kind of sense of humor...

  30. #49
    Registered User Gary Hedrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I would worry more about the stress on the top......over time I would imagine that there could be a problem brewing.

  31. #50
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I didn't notice Steffey looking nervous. Sounded pretty good to me.

    On the capo thing. I like to hear a guitar play out of an A chord (capo 2) and out of a G chord (capo 4) when playing in B (if you're gonna have two rhythm guitars).
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