Buck White: “Sui Generis”

8 March 2012

We shot a ton of great stuff at this year’s The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. As is always the case, a lot of the most magical experiences were products of pure serendipity. Here’s a moment we caught backstage…

The gentleman on mandolin is Buck White, Grand Ole Opry member and pater familias of the country/bluegrass/swing outfit The Whites. He’s playing with fiddler Matt Glaser, Artistic Director of Berklee College of Music’s American Roots Music Program. White and Glaser are later joined by Charlie Rose, a versatile Boston-based musician who plays with everybody who is anybody.

Although he has shared the stage with some of the very top bluegrass musicians (dobro star Jerry Douglas was a member of his band for several years, and Ricky Skaggs is his son-in-law), White is really an example of a performer who comes to bluegrass by way of other genres. As he mentions in talking with Glaser, growing up in Texas, he wasn’t surrounded by bluegrass. A lot of the influences that shaped his music were more homegrown, which of course means he was exposed to a healthy dose of Texas swing. Here’s an example of that infectious musical style from The Whites main stage set at Joe Val. Buck is joined here by daughters Cheryl (bass) and Sharon (guitar). The tune is “My Window Faces the South,” a song popularized by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Whether watching Buck White on stage or behind the scenes, it’s hard to believe this is an octogenarian at work. This is a legend who is still very much living it up!

Yer Pal— Curly

P.S.— Thanks to Megan Lovallo for the fine editing.

One comment

  1. i went to his workshop on singing harmony and overheard him say “i’m not old yet-i’m only 88!” great to see him in action.

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