Nancy and I placed membership with Slash Christian Church in 1988. The choir director picked up on my interests in music and soon I was introduced to Dalton Pierce, a wonderful gentleman and picker who was with the Bluegrass Clippers, playing guitar and singing tenor. He had a long history harmonizing with David Bremner. Dan Ficklin joined us, and he could play old school barrel-house/gospel/juke joint piano with equal amounts of abandon and grace.
Dalton Pierce – guitar, vocals
David Bremner – vocals
Dan Ficklin – guitar, piano, vocals
Tim Elliott – mandolin, vocals
Together we learned several bluegrass tunes and some classic Stanley Brothers songs. I taught them the song “Hopin’ for Heaven” that Windell taught me back in Missouri (you'll find a version below on the video segment).
We played fish frys (Deltaville!), BBQs, and special music for Sunday morning services (see the pics below) and church get-togethers in Hanover County and elsewhere. The local Ruritan chapter had us play their “Chicken-Pickin’” fundraisers. We played a Valentine’s Banquet in ’90 for the church. I cannot describe the exhilaration and the joy we experienced when we played, looking out and seeing people sing along at BBQs, or looking up at the people clapping along in the balcony there at the church. That place could rock. We were very, very good.
I have no doubt we’d still be playing today if my day job had been more supportive. The guys recorded a CD several years after we moved away. It included a song I co-wrote with Dan. We traveled several times over the years back to visit with our friends at Slash. I sat in with the guys a couple of times. Warm memories forever, I tell ya. Be sure to check out the video links and please remember, a mullet was fairly common in those days (!). Interesting note: These are among my most viewed videos on YouTube.
Windell Tyee taught me this one back in Missouri.
Dan rocks this one
Another upbeat number that Dan drives along
A sentimental favorite I learned from Windell. The church there embodied this number, and it always brings back memories of our time there. Loved those people.
Time to gather 'round and sing an old hymn from a long time back....
An old bluegrass number, and I channel my best Jim & Jesse
Nancy joins me for one I first heard by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris
Again with my best Jim & Jesse, although the more astute may pick up on a latent Jimmy Ibbotson influence (Dan did)