Bradley Laird’s Grass Talk Radio - Bluegrass

GTR-199 Uncle Rico‘s Time Machine

November 24, 2021 - Episode 199


Uncle Rico's Time Machine


Put the handle between your legs. Set the date on the dial. Don't forget to put the crystal in the clamp. Tell Kip to throw the switch. You will be instantly transported to another time and place. In this case, Motorhead's Bar and Grill on a Thursday night in McDonough, Georgia.

Take notes. This has everything: How to cope with 15 free shots for the band, the buzzing of countless neon lights, screaming adoring fans, smashing beer bottle sounds, the snapping of a "smoke eater" machine, a late fiddle player, a fill in bass player thereby causing us to "wing" all of the harmonies since we are missing our tenor singer. 

Pay attention to Buddy's guitar playing. Those little mid-range licks put right into the gaps! It is a perfect representation of good bluegrass guitar. David's banjo playing is top notch and different from what you are used to. Mike's fiddle, despite no time to warm up, is truly amazing. Tony's bass playing, even though he is winging it on every tune, proves what a great musician (with "great ears") he truly was. And the tone from my 1985 Carlson Flatiron is better than I have ever heard it. Golden times before everyone lost their minds. Back then, only WE had lost out minds.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of my good friend and mentor Tony Terrell who taught me so much about piano tuning, rebuilding and introduced me to so much great music. 

It has a drunk bar owner (the guy with the $300 at the end of the night) hassling us to play Free Bird, our answer, including an "alright, wise guy, I'll show you", cynically wicked slide mandolin solo using a Craftsman deep well socket, multiple "guest slots" from folks in the audience, a tear-jerking version of Dixie, Sally Goodin the old time way... It has it all. And despite all of the very obvious flaws, it is a great gig! And they kept us on for 3 more years! 

By the way, when I told Harry that we'd play Free Bird in the fourth set, that was a joke. We were only booked for three sets.


Happy Thanksgiving, folks!


And don't forget: Christmas Times a Coming! All you mandolin players need Jackson's eBook Christmas Songs For Mandolin. You still have plenty of time to learn them before the mistletoe is hanging. Granny don't wanna hear no Salt Creek! She wants Jingle Bells!

Enjoy the show.


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My full website is located at There you will find free lessons, free videos, jam tracks, full descriptions of all of my books, video lessons and courses... plenty to keep you busy.

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