George Scherer www.georgescherer.com, www.facebook.com/gscherer, www.myspace.com/georgeschererwww.reverbnation.com/georgescherer Questions and comments to Gscherer@bellsouth.net A Belated Introduction I was working on a column about live music and how people ought to go out and enjoy it in small clubs and restaurants, but I never got it to a presentable place and Shirley had told me she needed my article by Christmas eve, and suddenly it struck me that it was Christmas Eve and that there was no way I was going to finish that article and get it to her before deadline, so I decided to do this. I ve been intending to introduce myself to those of you who don t already know me, but there just never was the time. I had to get that first article done about The Avett Brothers new album, because it was so new and I was so crazy about it, so I put it off and the next week it was something else and the next week something else and you know what I mean, there just never was the time to extend my hand and say My name s George Scherer and it s nice to meet ya. Who I am is a working musician who for the last 20 years has played mostly solo acoustic gigs around Alabama and the southeast.I m a husband and father and grandfather and I try to be a good friend and neighbor and give something back to the world I ve been lucky enough to be born in. That however, is not the reason I ask you listen to my opinions about music. The reason is, that for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by music and lyrics. Although I don t remember it, I m told I sang my first solo at the age of three, standing on a piano bench in front of the Sunday morning congregation, and when I was put in the hospital later that year, the nurses said I serenaded them with Hank Williams and Tennessee Ernie Ford songs. My mother had some old 78rpm records of everything from Vaughn Monroe and Frankie Laine to Hank Williams, Red Foley and The Ink Spots and I absorbed it all. I use to love to listen to Ghost Riders in the Sky by Frankie Laine late at night, because it was so spooky, and then lie in my bed unable to go to sleep because of the images the song had created in my head.Music was that real to me even then. Of course, like anyone my age, The Beatles changed everything in 1964. Meet the Beatles was the first record I ever bought with my own money. I liked the Rolling Stones because they supposedly didn t cut their hair or take baths and to a thirteen year old boy, that seemed like a great lifestyle. I loved the Kinks and the Animals, and all that stuff that seemingly came out of nowhere in 64 and 65. Shortly, after that, I heard my first Dylan record. A friend had an older brother who was already in college and one day put on The Times They Are A Changin , his third album (I d heard Peter, Paul and Mary do Blowin in the Wind before that and knew who he was), and although like everyone else, it took some listening to, to get use to his voice, what I heard was what I was looking for. It was a

marriage of the folk and country music I d grown up with and the rock and roll I d come to love later. I m sure it must have been similar to what the generation before me felt when they first heard Elvis. Since then, I ve listened to more records than I can even begin to tell you. I ve spent a lot more money on music than I should have and I ve even succumbed to illegal ways of procuring it, like an elaborate record return scheme that a friend and I worked out at some of the stores in the 1960s, to Napster and Limewire. Besides that, I ve seen the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead twice in their prime, and Dylan, once with the Band in 1972 and six times since then. I ve seen Joni Mitchell, both in concert and in a Bourbon St Bar. I ve seen Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Prine, Waylon Jennings, Mickey Newbury, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Richard Thompson, Emmy Lou Harris, Nancy Griffith, and Linda Rondstadt when her backup band was what would eventually become the Eagles. I ve seen Don Williams, Billy Joe Shaver, Johnny Shines, Leo Kottke, Earl Scruggs, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Lester Flatt, Tom Petty and George Jones. The Lovin Spoonful, Doc Watson, Vassar Clements, The Beach Boys, Neil Young, James Taylor, Spirit, Jackson Browne, TajMahal, The Neville Brothers, John Stewart, Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett, Carl Smith, Hootie and the Blowfish, Gillian Welch and the legendary Townes Van Zandt. And I m sure there are a few that I ve forgotten. Just sayin, we may not always agree about what s good or bad about a group or piece of music, but you can count on the fact that I haven t made my mind up about it lightly. Music means a lot to me.

(George Scherer hosts an Open Mic Night every Wednesday night (7p-10p) at Capt Morgan s Fish and Chop Shop on Morgan Rd. He will also be performing solo at Wine d Down in Patton Creek, Hoover on Jan 7 (8-11p) and at Capt Morgan s on Jan 14 (7-10p).)

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