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This is a difficult article for me to write. Some of you might already know, but for those of you that don’t, I am flying to Massachusetts on August 19th to begin my first semester at Clark University. I have already picked my classes, and I am certain that I will thrive in that environment and enjoy my time there. (If you would like to contribute to my cause follow this link

Even though I am looking forward to my time on the East coast, it is difficult to leave all of my bluegrass friends over here that I have known since I was a tyke. I am certain that without all of your help I would never be able to have the opportunity that I am only weeks away from experiencing. Since this is my last article I will not be writing from a lap top in Massachusetts, I thought I would write about an array of different concepts.

First of all, In the middle of July Trampled by Turtles released a new album called Wild Animals. This album has great variety as well as improved instrumentation. What this album inspired me to do was finally research and listen to the lead singer, Dave Simonett, as a solo artist. What I discovered is that while some of his songs are used for his band, the other songs he writes are brilliant and deserve to be listened to.

Another album that I have to recommend came out a few months ago, but I hadn’t heard about it until recently, and I fell there are others like me. Bryan Sutton released a solo album called Into My Own. While non-guitar pickers might scoff and predict that the album is going to be 12 fiddle tunes with too many notes and bent strings, I was really excited to check it out. What I was surprised to see was that not all of these titles looked like instrument titles, and it turns out they weren’t. At this point I was skeptical, but I was pleasantly surprised that Sutton’s voice held its own on its own. I had heard him sing as a novelty with Tim O’Brien, but this is different. And while Tim O’Brien is not on the album, Bryan has a great supporting cast of players such as: Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, The McCoury brothers, and Luke Bulla. Oh yeah, and Bryan’s guitar playing sounds pretty good too.

Last Thursday was the trade deadline in major league baseball, and the big winners were the Oakland Athletics of all time. They received the Boston Red Sox’s best pitcher, John Lester which makes them has the best rotation in baseball besides possibly the Detroit Tigers. I think it’s nice that all the Athletics fans get some fun after the Giants have recently won two World Series Championships.

I am also excited that I am going to be helping Regina Bartlett with the kids program at the Good Old Fashioned Festival this year. I have never done this before, but thought it would be beneficial to the kids if I helped them out with their performance. I think I am going to a good job since I have had so much experience going through all of the stages of a Kids on Bluegrass performance.

On a sadder note, two days ago was my grandmother’s funeral. I saw her in hospice care and I was proud to see how many people went in to see her. All the employees there were also amazed and said that one could tell how one lived their life by the people that visit them there. My grandmother was an incredible inspiration to me and one of those people that is loved by all and disliked by none.

Well if you do not go to Good Old Fashioned Festival you will probably not see me for a while and I just want you to know, thanks for all the advice whether it was wanted or not because now it has definitely been appreciated and I look forward to my next four years of growth.

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