Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just Another Monday Night At The Tack Shed

(Shelly, one of my adult riders and a very important part of our program wrote this post)

Steve has a new instrument, a Bouzouki. He explained that its heritage is Greek,
but Irish folk musicians started playing it in 1967. If you have heard any Irish music lately, you might recognize the sound. It is lovely. Steve's ability to play so many instruments is remarkable: the dulcimer, guitar, the banjo (regular and 3 strings), dobro, mandolin, auto harp and harmonica.

After supper this evening, Samantha and I headed out to Moonlight Road for Steve's music program practice. On the way, we saw many tree leaves flipped over showing their grey-green-white bellies. The sky was starting to purple up. A sure sign rain was coming.

Nelson, Steve's daddy, figures that he knows over 400 old time songs. He plays guitar. He can yodel, too. Gerald, Steve's 2nd or 3rd cousin, joins in on fiddle. Another cousin, JL, plays guitar. When I first met JL, I thought he had introduced himself as "gel". His rural Virginia accent is solid.

Everyone was comfortably assembled on the porch of the tack shed. Steve led the men and his little riders through the regular routine: I'll Fly Away, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Keep on the Sunny Side and few others. The rain began and pattered around us.

As the music continued, we kept an eye on the bigger weather coming across the pastures. A few bolts of lightening, some thunder claps and a brief spell of good rain gave way to a cool breeze. The little storm also left a brilliant double rainbow in its wake. The sun streaked clouds painted the evening sky. The little riders, now distracted by the storm, had scattered out to explore and play.

The men played a few more songs, and then the sound of Gerald's violin rang up like a sweet voice over the harmony of strings as they began Amazing Grace. I had never heard them play it before, and it sounded so pretty. It was a good night at Mill Swamp Indian Horses. It was perfect.

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