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Alison Brown, I finally get to see the queen of the banjo

06/19/10

  01:10:55 am by wdawe, Categories: Uncategorized

I first heard Alison Brown play the banjo about 20 years ago when I ran across a program featuring her while flipping through channels on the TV one night. I was immediately taken by both her virtuosity and the style of her music. She played the banjo in a way that I had ever heard before. Over the ensuing years I would occasionally check her website to see if she was playing in Toronto. A couple of times she got close, I remember one show she did in Detroit when I toyed with the idea of driving the five hours each way that it would have taken. Finally in 2003 she was scheduled to appear at Hugh's Room in Toronto.I had tickers, I was ready to go when but a few weeks before she was supposed to play the concert was canceled because of SARS. As clumsily paraphrased by me she said at her show in Toronto, "Everybody in Toronto was saying no problem it's fine here while everyone outside of Toronto was freaking out".

It took seven years for her to make it back and luckily I was at Hugh's Room for another show and saw her on the list of upcoming artists. Tickets and a table were booked, I talked my two brothers into joining my wife and I. Both of them trusted my musical tastes enough to say yes without listening to Alison's music before arriving. I have purchased every CD that Alison has released but most of them have been digital versions. Just before I left I rummaged through my CD jewel case pile and found my copy of Twilight Motel, a CD she released in 1992. On the off chance that I got a chance to talk to her I took it along.

The concert was fantastic. I shall repeat that again, the concert was fantastic.My brother the pianist raved about the piano player John Burr who has been a member of the Alison Brown Quartet for 18 years and played on the CD that I had brought with me.After the concert Alison was standing at the CD table chatting with people and autographing CD's. Evidently the concert was a bit if a Mecca for banjo players, I joined the orderly line with my CD in hand, right behind a gentleman holding a banjo. After he and Alison chatted about the art and science of playing the banjo it was my turn. She was very nice and after signing my CD I had the guy behind me in line take a picture of the two of us with my Blackberry. I really should have brought along a real camera because the tiny white LED flash of the Blackberry was no match for the dark club. She looks much better than this picture represents but it's all I've got so I'm posting it anyways. Next time I see her I'm bringing a real camera.

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Many months ago I heard someone on Twit talk about registering IMet"insert name here" to make it easier to find their site. It sounded like a cool idea so I immediately registered IMetWayne.com. This blog is where I post pictures and comments on my occasional brushes with famous people or pictures of other things I find interesting.

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