2008 CAAS Review - From the view of the Belmont/Picker's/Tuck Raisor Memorial Room
Belmont/Picker’s Club/Tuck Raisor Memorial Room Was a Blast in 2008
It is designated at the
Picker’s Club Room, or Kentucky Room, or Tuck Raisor Memorial Room.
And, it’s a little stage area “loosely” organized by the
various finger style guitar clubs from around the world that are
associated with CAAS. It’s
impossible to publish a schedule of performers ahead of time because as
“loosely” implies – we haven’t a clue who we can find to play
until after we all get there. The
best advertisement of what schedule we can come up with is word-of-mouth
or our little bulletin board we scratch on just outside our door.
However, those that are lucky enough to find us have suggested
that it’s a fun place to hangout and hear some of the best musical
performances of their lives. The
performers aren’t just the “stars” – in fact, some of our most
enjoyable experiences are hearing the guys and gals that weren’t even
on the official roster.
like to thank the organizers of the participating clubs this year:
Special Thanks to
James Brown (MI) for letting us use his new Bose Tower sound
system that was wonderful not only to the ear, but it made hooking up
and unhooking each performer – especially when their were several of
Over the years, I have
tried to keep the Room’s venue slanted towards Chet’s old time thumb
pickin’ to ensure that folks can always get a good dose of that style,
and that it remains alive. However,
with all the newer styles and the younger talent that CAAS has been
fortunate enough to attract lately, I felt that we have just got to take
advantage of their presence and give them a place to be heard.
So, in lieu of a full week of thumb pickin’ – we start the
week off with it – intersperse it in during the week – and, make
sure we end up with it.
Like Roger Pratt said
we get things rolling in there on Wed morning even before the convention
officially opens - just to set the tone for the week in our “little
slice of heaven” with a thumb pickin’ set from me and my good buddy,
JD Norman. I always ask
who’s attending for the first time and explain that I’m “the
worst” they are going to hear in there all week – so, get ready for
some great guitar music. “It’s
only going to get better folks – a lot better.
So, if I were you(z) – I’d check in here just about every
hour!” Then, I pick out
the new folks that I can tell are being as blown away as I was my first
year and I advise them, “And,
YOU – I would just stay here!” (lol)
folks that shared their talents with us: (sorry if I didn’t get them
Bob Saxton, Bobby
Gibson, Scott Taylor, Robert Anderson, Jesse Rhodes, Rick Allred,
Richard Smith, Muriel Anderson, Richard Kiser, Richard Hudson, Sheridan
Bowman, Jim Miller (half of Jim and Diane from the Front Desk), Leonid
Nassyrov (19 year old Tommy fan from Montreal), Roger Schmidt (Canadian
Rep for Stonebridge Guitars), Randy Finney (organizer for
fingerstyleguitar.ca), Pat Kirtley, Bob Evans, Bruce Mathiske, Loren
Barrigar, Mark Mazengarb, Dick Ward, Bill Clamp, Muriel Anderson –
and Lynn Clapp for his many trips to the Room to help provide rhythm
strummin’ to MANY performers.
Moments – (these were from just my
Paul Yandell Tribute
All we had to do is
mention that it might be a nice idea to Play Tribute to Chet’s right
hand man of 25 years, Paul Yandell, and I got emails and phone calls
from a BUNCH of people that wanted to play.
So many, in fact, that I had to cut the play list back to fit in
the allotted time. I would
like to thank Craig Dobbins & Darrell Toney (In the Garden), Richard
Smith (I’ve Been Lucky), Mark Hill (Goin’ Home), Rick Allred (Munich
Memories), Bill Monk (student of Craig Dobbins playing Within My Heart),
John McClellan (Steeple Chase Lane), Richard Kiser (I’ll Say
She Does) and Robert Anderson (Forever Chet) for coming in and
“playing tribute” to Paul. And,
a special thanks to Micah Yandell for helping me pull it off.
It was a tribute far over due.
After the Tribute, Paul
talked to the packed Room for a while about his life with Chet and spent
quite awhile showing, discussing and taking questions about the new
Gretsch guitar he helped design to Chet’s specs.
Beautiful instrument. Thanks
so much for coming in Paul.
New Comer of the
Year – Adam Rafferty
This year there was this young (well, 39 is young to me) man from near NYC that played stand up acoustic that simply knocked me (and several others) off my feet. “Thumb pickin’, Parmer?” Shoot, this dude didn’t even use a thumb pick – or, any pick at all. (Sorry - I thought Adam didn't use a thumb pick - in fact, he changes back and forth between thumb pick and straight pick depending on what he needs from his guitar. Sorry, Adam...) Played stand up thumb style out of standard tuning and amazed us all (including Ed Benson of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine) with his incredible use of walking bass lines and, physical/vocal rhythm accompaniments in just about all his arrangements of popular standards and originals. Adam Rafferty was a tall thin drink of water that had the energy of ah….ah…. well, it was like I waz lookin’ in a mirror, folks.. (LOL) I know I drive most of you folks nuts with my energy – but, Adam’s energy all goes into his performance and guitar playing. Check him out on his YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYDDxDzERIE&feature=email
Year Old – Bryan Browne
Tommy E brought this
kid to CAAS last year and played with him on the Main Stage and he
amazed everybody. This year
Gary Lambert brought him into our Room to play for us.
His dad, Adrian, brought a backing tracks CD along that we played
in Richard Hudson’s PA system that he let us use (thanks, Richard) to
help Bryan play all his Joe Maphis tunes.
Shortly after he started a lady (I forget her name, relationship
with Joe, or how she got all this stuff) stood up and announced (can’t
do that in the Main Stage area (lol) that she not only was wearing
Joe’s stage jacket – she had his double necked guitar (sorry, forgot
the mfg.) I encouraged her
to “go get it” – and, Byran played a ton of Joe’s tunes –
including Fire on the Mountain (Strings) on that guitar – all at about
110% of the speed Joe played at. The
kid is absolutely amazing!!! And,
has the nicest personality, too. Here’s
Ray Espin oza Returns
Due to an illness, the somber yet scary good Ray Espinoza has been unable to attend CAAS the last few years – and, as soon as he started to play we all realized just how much we missed his immense talents and beautiful personality. Ray has all his fingers, but he plays guitar with his mind and soul. Start ANY tune and Ray will fill it with the smoooooothest unrehearsed jazz slanted lead lines. A pleasure to play with – and, always around to listen and/or lend a hand. Ask him to play solo – and, he rips off an incredible jazz oriented arrangement of Cannonball Rag – that impressed even Ed Benson and Adam Rafferty.
Billy and Gary
Billy and Gary Denham
drove up from
Wesley Crider and
Craig Pratt Tore It Up
I’ve seen Wesley
Crider (2004 winner International Thumbpicking Championship @ Paradise
However, what blew me
right back into the lobby was how much Craig Pratt has progressed in the
past year! Chet pickin’,
Reed claws, rapid arpeggios, and lighting fast SUPER LICKS – one right
after the other. It is just
wonderful to see how this kid has progressed so far in just the last
Nokie Edwards &
It’s always a
pleasure to have Nokie Edwards come in our Room and play his own brand,
Hitchhiker, guitar. However,
this year somehow he ended up with a nylon stringed electric – and,
I’ve got to tell you folks – he’s got another gear.
Bobby Gibson provided backup flawlessly as Nokie seemed to follow
the different sound he was getting from the nylon - laying down some
super mellow lines and chords that drew the audience breathless.
Congratulations on your induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of
Fame this past year, Nokie – and, thanks for coming in our “little
slice of heaven.”
Mark Hill with Brian
Mark came directly to
our Room upon his arrival – where we immediately put him and his very
fine playing protégé, Brian Baker, up to play for us.
Mark is one of the finest all around genre guitarists that has
found our CAAS organization the last few years:
old time Chet, new Chet, Jerry claws, Lenny out takes, classical,
whatever – he nails it all. He
was tired from all the airline delays they experienced getting to the
convention and I could tell that he was ready to stop playing – when I
“forced” him to play one more with ME.
My favorite off his new CD “a mark in time” – Three Little
Words. WHAT A TREAT!!!
Paul Moseley Closes
the Belmont Room with some Thumbpickin’
We started the week off
with some old time thumb pickin’ and we ended it with the best at CAAS
– Mr. Paul Moseley from
(Super special treat
for me was having Billy Denham, who taught me how to play Three Little
Words 10 years ago, watch me take the C verse from Paul – and, somehow
I managed to get just about all of it.
Thanks for the inspiration, Billy – and, yea – I have been
Julian Smith Brought
Us to Tears
I don’t come out of
ma’ hole very often, but when I do it’s for some good reason.
And, watching Julian Smith play with the Endless Roads Strings on
Stage II and Main Stage Sat night playing two selections from one of my
fav Chet albums, From Nashville with Love, was pretty much worth the
whole trip to
OFGC Meets The Guitar League
The new fingerstyle guitar club from Upstate New York (around Syracuse) has a killer player as a member by the name of Loren Barrigar - he's incredible! As soon as I heard him play his up tempo Reed ramblings last year I've been dreaming of getting him and our killer claw style player, Audie Wykle, from our Ohio Club to play together. At the end of their segment I believe on Thursday that dream came true - and, BOY - WAS I EVER RIGHT. THEY WERE AWESOME TOGETHER! Thanks, guys...
Every year I look for
newcomers to make sure they are enjoying themselves.
Like the guy several years ago that came in the Room early on Wed
morning. I advised him to
pretty much stay put and he’d probably have a great time.
Well, he never left. Every
time he start to get up and leave – somebody else would come up on
stage that knocked his socks off and he would sit back down.
in the evening he bravely shouted out during listening to Julian Smith
play his amazing stuff, “Hey,
Palmer – I still don’t want to leave – but, I’ve GOT TO GO TO
Well, this year when I
kicked things off and asked “who’s new” – there was this 80
something man (looked to be in his early 70s to me) sitting up front
that raised his hand. Said
his name was “Joe” and that he was from
Joe’s family came and
left several times during that first day – but, he primarily just
spent the day in our Room with a look of pure enjoyment on his face.
Most of you know that we run “performances” right up till
– and, then have jams until we drop over.
At midnight Joe was still there and I kept wondering under my
breath when the nurse maids were gonna come and take him “back to the
home” – but, it was obvious that Joe wasn’t leavin’ until we
were through. We only lasted
that Weds night. Joe looked
as fresh at that hour as he did when they brought him in that morning.
His daughter and son-in-law were weathering the late hour, as
Well, the same thing
happened on Thurs evening – except we stayed up until
. Joe was there the whole
time – however, his family looked like they might be draggin’ a
little bit. The next night
(Fri) while Joe Jackson and Audie Wykle were playing the last set
between 11 – midnight – Joe and I sat outside the Room at Tommy
Flints empty table while he played a bit on Scott Taylor’s guitar.
Just about the time Jackson and Audie got through playing
“Around Midnight” (not really – but, it fit) Joe’s daughter
leaned over to me and whispered, “That’s
all he’s been talking about – is playing some with you.”
Well, THAT was some compliment, so I asked her if he brought his
guitar and if so – ‘GO GIT IT!”
We, then, took Joe into our “little slice of heaven”, plugged
him into the sound system, and surrounded him with Robert Anderson, Russ
Jenkins, Ray Espinoza and myself. Joe
would start a tune and we would surround him with various takes on it.
He looked very happy.
Again, I kept looking
for the nurses to come carry this old dude away – but, at
his daughter came in the Room looking rather ragged around the edges to
claim her VERY ALERT dad. We
decided to run See You in My Dreams around to say goodnight….
(It ain’t over, folks
– please keep reading.)
As we all know Saturday
at CAAS is a very busy day – with a super closing concert to pay
tribute to our hero Chet – and, usually some jams til the wee hours
after that. I, personally,
was hammered from the lack of sleep the previous 3 nights and running
around like crazy for the Room all day, but ya know – “the show’s
gotta go on.” I saw Joe
and family a few times during that hectic day, but lost track of him
during and shortly after the evening concert.
In fact, I had a little “pickin’ party” up in my room for a
few friends until about
– and, we decided that we’d take “one more lap” around the lobby
area to see what jams were going on.
The lounge had some –
the lobby had some – and, way in the back there was a great jam going
on between our own Ohio picker, Audie Wykle, Bruce Mathiske, and, the
third guy was that dark haired young man from Finland (I think) that
combed it like Buddy Holly – didn’t get his name at all – sorry.
Standing around were the likes of Guy VanDuser, Randy Finney and a host of other folks that were enjoying the music and didn’t really want CAAS to be over – EITHER – and, low and behold who was sitting there watching these guys play? Yep – old JOE!!! UNTIL IN THE MORNING!!!!!! JOE PAYNE you are my new! hero - PLEASE COME BACK!!!
Like most of you that attended CAAS, I had a blast! think we'll just do all this again next year. Whadda youz folks think?
Palmer Moore - Belmont Room & Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club Organizer