PERTH - Wanna play pass the tune?
Local musician Lloyd Parker is feeling out fellow musicians to see if there is interest in starting up a country and western music circle, meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion hall.
“I’m just feeling it out now,” said Parker, who recently moved to Perth. “I know that there are a lot of good musicians around the area.”
Parker got the idea for a music group from a blue grass group he used to sit with when he lived in Waterdown, Ont., near Hamilton.
“It’s a well established format,” he said. “It gives a chance to anyone at any level of music, so long as they are not shy about performing or singing… (by) taking turns in a circle.”
Parker explained that there is a very real, if subtle, difference between bluegrass and country-and-western music.
“There is a lot of cross-over,” he admitted.
Bluegrass is not entirely instrumental – in fact, quite the opposite.
“There is a lot of singing in bluegrass,” he said, often “falsetto, twangy sort of tone for the bluegrass.”
He cites the banjo music from the movie Deliverance as a good example of bluegrass.
Unlike his former bluegrass group, however, he would like to be able to permit amplifiers.
“Sometimes, if there is a lot of people, say, 20 people in a group, it’s hard to pick out a tune, if there is, say, three banjos,” playing, he said. “(We want to) get away from the modern rock and roll (with) distorted guitars and amplifiers.”
Parker picked up his first Gibson guitar 55 years ago, when he began playing at the age of nine.
“I haven’t learned much in the last few years,” he joked. “I can’t sing worth a darn!”
Along with the guitar, “I undertook to learn the fiddle.”
He was born and raised in Armstrong, Ont., near Thunder Bay. After learning how to play, he played polkas and square dances at school. He taught computer studies until last year at Seneca College and other community colleges in Toronto.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 613-267-4305.