Jun 102009

Last night I played fiddle for Don Rembert for a set at the Reston-Herndon Folk Club. Dan Grove filled out the trio on bass guitar.

Don sings classic country and honky tonk numbers and accompanies himself on guitar. His voice has a rich tone and a gentle, sweet touch. He plays a 1951 Martin D-28 in a simple but pleasant style. Before we went on, we were listening to another guy play funky rock-influenced instrumentals on the guitar. Don just started picking some twangy rock lines right there in the back room jamming along with the performer in the main room. I couldn’t resist and started pizzing on my fiddle with Don.

The audience seemed to enjoy Don’s choices. He did ten songs, including writers such as Merle Haggard, Ed Bruce, and Randy Travis. There’s just something that could make you cry on any one of these songs. There are bad honky tonk songs that just make you want to change the station, but Don chose some real gems.

I didn’t really have the melodies down, so I didn’t do any ambitious Dale Potter or Buddy Spicher double-stop craziness. I really can’t pull that stuff off too much anyway. I just did little fills on the fiddle, maybe more like Vassar light. Dan was walking the bass lines around and making it all sound smooth. A very pleasant way to spend a Tuesday evening.

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