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Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

Al Batten: Traditional to the Core

Here is my most favorite Al Batten memory.
One humid night while sitting around in a jam (with greats such as Jeff Huffman, Mike Aldridge, Brian Aldridge, Daniel Aldridge, Greg Luck, Mike Wood and Johnny Ridge) after the show had ended at Preddyfest in Franklinton, NC, Al Batten was right there in the mix. In the chair to my left, he asked me if his banjo was too loud with a sheepish grin on his face. That grin that you have all seen... I gave him a grin right back and said, "Only if you don't like bluegrass." He was pleased by my answer and then proceeded to tell me something I will never forget because it's so "Al Batten". He took a banjo break with that grin still on his face, then leaned over and said in my ear, with his hand covering the side of his mouth so others wouldn't hear..."Well I tell ya...I never play the same thing twice, I guarantee it." I couldn't help myself from laughing so hard at that. From that day, I remembered it just how he said it, and it still rings loud in and clear in my head.

Thanks a lot, Laura. Few people knew him better than you did. - Ted