Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alan Bartram of the Del McCoury Band and The Travelin' McCoury's

You just never know what direction the day will take you when your eyes open at sunrise. 

Thursday 11/10/11, (full moon) I woke up earlier then normal and could not sleep so I leaped out of bed at 5:00 am and caught up on some laundry and dishes…wonderful way to start the day…NOT!  

Late afternoon I checked my e-mails and had “Hello from Alan Bartram”…unh?...Alan Bartram!  The Alan Bartram that plays bass for Del McCoury and the Travelin' McCoury’s?!?  Yep, it was THEE Alan Bartram.  We met Alan two years ago, back stage at Merlefest where we offered for him to come by and visit the workshop...when he is travelin' through.  

I return his call to have him answer the phone by saying…”yeah, we are in Del’s driveway (Del’s old home place in PA is a few miles from our house) trying to decide what we are doing this evening.  “Can I stop by the workshop and look around?”  Say no more, boy howdy, come on over.  

Lonnie rushed around the shop cleaning up the sawdust and putting away his tools and I whipped up a batch of homemade brownies from my special reserve imported dark chocolate.  Alan and fiddle player Jason Carter showed up at our door and we invited them in for warm brownies and milk.  What a delightful visit with two super nice guys.  We talked about all kinds of stuff from basses, to repair, to stories about Del and Jerry.  It was a great evening. 

Alan walked through the workshop and looked over the collection of basses.  He played all the basses that were set up and playable.  Feeling left out, Jason asked if we had a friend or neighbors with this many fiddles…nope.  The guys were in awe of the bass collection, when two full time musicians from Nashville tell us we have some thing special going on…well it makes you feel pretty darn good.  Upon gazing at the collection of American Standard basses, Jason relayed a story about the one time he played with Roy Huskey, Jr.  He said he did not amplify the bass, Jason was disappointed.  The one time he would get to play with Roy and he would not be able to hear the bass…wrong…unamplified Jason said the bass just filled the room.  It was awesome.  I love hearing stories like that and the story of “play it like Boat”.  Apparently Boat was a bass player for Del in the early days “that did not know much about notes” but could slap the shit out of a bass and keep a good rhythm. 

We had a wonderful evening and only one thing could have made it better…Alan picked out a bass he liked and it will follow him home to Nashville.  It doesn’t get any better then that.  Brownies, milk and a vintage bass.  What a great evening.  We are looking forward to Alan’s return visit to pick up the bass and have it make its journey back to Nashville.  I can say with out a doubt Alan and Jason are true music professionals, you will not find two nicer gentlemen to share an evening of bass talk, music talk and batting the breeze.

You just never know what the day will bring.

Lonnie with Alan Bartram bass player for the Travelin' McCoury's

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