In these few days before our trip to Macon, the realization that I wouldn’t be able to play my Eat a Peach Tribute Guitar anytime I felt like it anymore started sinking in. Last minute invites went out for a farewell jam. Fred Aberle of Auburn and Tom Levesque of Freedom, two of my favorite musicmaking friends, joined me in Burnham for a living room jam session with Fred on guitar and and Tom on a dulcimer he crafted. Fred and I are wholly and completely different in style. He’s a theorist and amazing technician- fully owning the fretboard, and delivering very unique voicing through his intriguing hybrid use of guitar and synthesizer hardware. Me? I’m more of a melodic bendy note boy… but over the years we’ve always quickly found our groove together. And Tom is someone who gets the notion of song as journey. My favorite musical memory of him is when, armed with a big 12 string, he got an audience to beautifully harmonize with him on Bill Staines’ ‘River’ at the old Montville Grange during one of the coolest impromptu music gatherings I’ve ever experienced.
Through the night, we passed around instruments like drinking buddies pass around bottles. This affected the music we played tremendously. After, we had a nice talk about individual instruments, and sound settings in the case of Fred’s setup, pushing you to play in the style that they (the instruments) prefer. We are versatile players, and were in a mood to go with the flow. We traveled in a bunch of different directions from slow and spacy to ragtime honkytonk to blistering funk. We also gave a respectful nod to the Allman Brothers and came through with Midnight Rider and Sweet Melissa. Singing an ABB tune always makes me fully aware of how incredibly gifted Gregg was.
Now our thoughts turn to being organized packers for this epic road trip. What will we forget???