The first CD from Music Mountain began almost 6 years ago. I didn’t grow up around bluegrass music. However, when I first started playing it–at a place called Art’s Rib House in Austin, Texas–it was the most natural sound I’d ever been a part of. The Central Texas Bluegrass Association held a jam every Sunday afternoon at Art’s…my first time there was like attending a bluegrass school. Probably every picker I met had been playing, studying and developing their bluegrass skills for several years. Fortunately, they allowed a complete novice to sit in with them. They were very patient with me and my lack of expertise.
Anyway, if you want to learn something–anything–I would venture to say experiencing that something first hand is gonna be your best teacher…least it was for me. Those folks let me pick with them and even allowed me to take a break when the circle progression made it round to me. Gosh I was horrible there at the beginning…they knew that, but they never shut me off. Most every person I played with gave me sound, constructive criticism, along with basic instruction, as to the ends and outs of the bluegrass music style. Over time, I think I got a pretty fair handle on it…though I know I’ll always be learnin’. I sure am grateful for my friends from those Sunday jams.
Naturally, being a songwriter at heart, I began writing songs with a bluegrass foundation. Simplicity is the key to any song really…but certainly the three-chord progression is prevalent in this genre. I spent weeks practicing and writing songs and those folks let me try them out in the jams. There were some purists who didn’t particularly care for new songs from a novice…but by and large the majority of the folks welcomed me and my music with open arms. From those simple, encouraging jams came the eleven songs that make up this first CD.