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Date this web site was last edited:  02/09/2017







Great Time at Mose Rager Day in Drakesboro, Kentucky - 4/14/02 


What a nice time we had in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky at Mose Rager Day this weekend. Our thanks to Mary Rainwater of Drakesboro (home of Mose) for organizing the event and the great lunch – and, to Maurice Jones (nephew of Grandpa Jones) for being the master of ceremonies and headliner at the evening show. Those folks just go all out to make sure us visitors have a good time. --- They even let us Ohio boys pick a couple..

Due to his wife having some serious health problems that he needed to tend to in the evening, international super star Eddie Pennington was unable to play at the evening show. Even so, he still found time to join the festivities in the afternoon and plugged in with the fabulous Paul Moseley and son, Alonso Pennington, for a memorable jam session. (Up close and personal is the why I like it, anyway.)

Everybody knows that Eddie is the best known and most accomplished Merle Travis style guitar player on the planet. And, quite the humorist, too. I just love it when every time he plugs in he apologizes, "Well, I haven’t played in awhile…." as he commences to rip the strangs right off that Super 400. Well worth the long drive to Drakesboro every time. And, he and Paul Moseley compliment each other so very well.

Folks, if you’ve never heard Paul play – you have done yourself a big disfavor. He has worked very hard his whole life to develop a touch and sound similar to Chet – and, has it. In my humble opinion he’s got the best thumb in the business. Smooth, soft, silky with a rock solid tempo. Rest assured that the tempo he starts a tune with will be within one beat per second the same he ends with. Very much reminiscent of Chet – he never over plays a tune with speed or volume. He sends chills up my spine every time I hear him play. And, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. But then – everybody down in Muhlenberg County are nice folks.

The highlight of the weekend for me, however, was getting to know Maurice Jones better as a person and as the true talent he really is. Maurice played on stage at earlier Saturday evening, but that was in a very un-sound-friendly gym with a booming bass and accompaniment guitar that didn’t let the casual listener have any idea how good he really was. (So un-sound-friendly was the gym that when Chris Vickers and I played them a couple tunes that evening – they clapped… 8^) However, much to my fortunate surprise later that evening (11 pm) I was witness to him playing an unplugged flat top at the motel we were staying at – just sittin’ on the beds of somebody’s room. And, the man can flat play Travis guitar, folks..

For those of us that can’t seem to get it – we know that the Travis style has this "bouncy" sounding syncopated action with a heavy thumb stroke and (as Thom Bresh states in his training video) you got to use only one right hand finger to make it really sound like Merle – especially on the rolls. Well, that’s exactly how Maurice plays – and, it is pure Travis. However, he didn’t learn it from Merle – he learned a lot of it from Mose Rager – the guy who also taught Merle – the guy we had come to remember that weekend. ---- Duh…

A bunch of us jammed in an empty conference room until about 4 am. In an attempt to get on my feet only 4 hours later to drive (er, snooze – Chris Vickers drove) home – I stumbled down to the motel coffee pot for some quick energy. Fortunately for me, Maurice happened to be doing the same thing. After I gave him a couple quick "thanks for yesterday" and such, I asked him how he did a certain lick (imagine me doing that.) "Well, if I had a guitar," he said looking around, "I’d show you." "VICKERS, – QUICK, GET "TAYLOR" OUT OF THE TRUCK!!"

Well, folks, he did show us that lick – and, several more. And, sat there in the coffee lounge and played another hour for Chris, me and a few others that were lucky enough to have been needing a cup of joe - as we hung on to his every note. Just the sweetest man in the world with a heart and talent the size of Kentucky….



PS BTW – our own great thumb picker, Dave Duncan, (well, we share him with the Kentucky Club) received an accolade when Paul Moseley asked him to back him up on stage in Drakesboro Saturday night… He was "very" pleased to say the least.