Mark Weems, your music is magical. I always believed, since I was about 10 years old, if there's ANY real magic, it's in music. Your banjo playing, your singing, and your songs with your wife are a rare kind of thing. You're inside the music. How do you do it?
Thank you Terry for your overly gracious words. I'm really not aware of any special formula for getting inside the music. I do hope that I'm on the road to doing so, as most of us on this site seem to be. I have a graduate degree in Early American Intellectual History and have been studying traditional American music for over twenty years. Being from the deep South, I have been fortunate to have experienced that region's wonderful musical heritage, from mountain and piedmont pickers all the way down to bayou Cajun culture. I have also lived in Japan and Brazil and absorbed and reflected on their forms of traditional music, and my mother is from Guyana which probably brings a little Caribbean flavor into the melting pot of my musical experience.
I too am from the deep South. I miss it back there big time. My grandmothers people were spread all over Eastern Tennessee, and and Western North Carolina. They are of Scots Irish and then later Cherokee decent, they came into that area during the late 17th century. I grew up in Chattanooga Tennessee. The old style of music was everywhere, unfortunately as a teenager I had my mind fixed on Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith. Grew up around Greek music as well, probably why I have had an ear for the Mandolin. I would give a small part of my body to have what I have going on out here, but back there meaning job lifestyle etc... You all that live back there are so lucky, It's not hard to find this music back there on any given weekend. Got to look a little harder for it out here, and it doesn't have that same feel as hearing it back home. Just different, not bad, just not the same vibe as the setting is back there.
Mark you do great job and your playing is great. Look forward to seeing you electrify your Minstrel banjo and play it through a stack of Marshall's, Heavy Metal Minstrel, you will need pyro too. That should bring this music right into the present...LOL Good stuff buddy. Look forward to meeting one day, possibly next summer.