I hate bluegrass.

My wife made me go to Merlefest a few years ago. I had to sit through a day of banjos and MFA in Creative Writing-having hipsters flatpicking a Martin D-25 and singing about broken screen doors because they liked Uncle Tupelo in college instead of the Steve Miller Band. All of this because I was promised a headlining set of Steve Martin followed by Elvis Costello.

Doc Watson took the stage, and I don’t remember many details of his performance. It was a lot of playing. The sort of subtle, good guitar playing that lets you know that the dude playing has chops but doesn’t really show them off like he’s Eddie Van Halen or something. He played some pretty good white gospel music and then all of the sudden segued into “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” and I was a fan.

I haven’t seen him live or heard his music since then, but I felt like I finally “got” what the guy did and what he was about. He played American music. It was good. I got a sunburn that day, and I didn’t care.

I’m going to check and see if there’s a course on how to turn my rage into violence at the local Community College.

I’m going to check and see if there’s a course on how to turn my rage into violence at the local Community College.

Some times things live up to the hype.

McCormick Field, Asheville.

McCormick Field, Asheville.