Thursday, July 29, 2010


Blue grass music filled the hot and humid air in the Ozark hills last night and myself and the first lady was there to enjoy it. At the Black Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Lampe, Missouri (close to Branson) we were entertained by the one and only Steve Martin, the legendary Earl Scruggs and Missouri native Rhonda Vincent. Boy, we were really grinnin’ listening to their pickin’!

I can say I’m a fairly new bluegrass bandwagon jumper as I’ve only been a fan of the genre for the past decade or so. Bluegrass brings me back to my youth here in the Ozarks where banjo music used to always play in the background of every hillbilly souvenir shop and amusement park.

Last night only solidified my liking for bluegrass with this three act concert. Let’s start with the last act - Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

I’ve been a fan of Steve Martin ever since I walked around the house as a kid singing King Tut at the top of my lungs and acting out Martin’s patented Tut moves. Heck, he was on one my favorite TV shows, the Muppet Show (you thought I was going to say SNL) and starred in some of my favorite comedy’s like Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Jerk.

Well, I can tell you he’s not a “Jerk” ‘cause he entertained us with an amazing concert that was full of comedy and top notch music. Most of the set list was from his Grammy winning album The Crow with a few new songs thrown in. He even plays an Egyptian classic at the end! (The Crow is a must buy, even if you’re not into bluegrass!)

The biggest thrill for us, was an impromptu meeting after the show. Steve (we’re now on a first name bases) was super nice and signed our CD cover and posed for a photo.

Um... unfortunately, the photo turned out way too blurry to post. Steve was one celeb I always wanted to meet and luckily the snapshot in my mind of said meeting is crystal clear!

The second act of the show was Country Music Hall of Fame member Earl Scruggs, who at 86 years is still playing a blazin’ banjo.

He and his sons along with some other amazing musicians played a slew of classic tunes including The Ballad of Jed Clampett. That made two TV junkies in the crowd very happy!

The concert opened with the talented Rhonda Vincent and the Rage who set the tone for the night.

Since she’s sponsored by Martha White Flour, Rhonda and the guys sang the famous Martha White song. Always happy to see anyone from my home state find success and she continues to be a major player in the world of bluegrass and country music.

Ok. That’s my concert report. The end!


Mr. Karswell said...

Man I would've loved to have seen this show. His album is great.

Todd Franklin said...

Yeah, we almost missed it. I haven't checked the tour, but maybe he'll show up in Stl.

Kirk D. said...

You lucky dog! We almost saw him in Fayetteville in April but it sold out almost immediately. My goal was to meet him but I thought there would be no way. Thanks for proving me wrong and verifying my terrible mistake!