To end the summer in a special way,the last Full Moon Pickin' Party of the year will be this Friday night, October 2nd, and will be in Butch's honor.
Since it coincides with IBMA, when Bluegrass stars from the world over descend upon Nashville, I know there will be great turnout with some very special players, all benefiting the Warner Parks.
You can find out more at Mandolin Cafe and at or at Friends of Warner Parks.
And the music lives on...
20 years ago this December, I attended The Birchmere, a well-known venue for bluegrass and acoustic music in Alexandria, Virginia, my hometown.
Little did I know that night that hearing the Weary Hearts play would change my life dramatically. That was when I first laid eyes and ears on the incomparable Butch Baldassari, mandolinist extraordinaire.
That meeting eventually led to a move to Music City USA, marriage, a child and my very special entree into the music world.
Fast forward to now. Butch passed away almost 10 months ago and his musical legacy is still growing strong. I am learning and loving this business. Butch felt blessed to have had a long, successful run and I feel it's my responsibility to keep it going. A recent tribute CD, "The Road Home", compiled by Dr. Brian Hull of Wichita Falls, Texas, a longtime supporter of musicians and a dear friend of ours, illustrates Butch's influence on some of the greatest names in acoustic music.
We will hopefully be re-releasing two of Nashville Mandolin Ensemble's well-acclaimed CDs, "Plectrasonics" and the Christmas smash, "Gifts", formerly on Columbia. All will be available at our website, http://e2ma.net/go/2436837116/2217014/83259280/3570/goto:http://www.soundartrecordings.com.
The NME, which Butch formed in 1991, and which is the backbone of SoundArt Recordings along with Butch's solo releases, has begun playing again. All of the players were hand-picked by Butch and still carry on his passion for the beautiful sounds of mandolin family instruments. As a special treat, our son Blake Baldassari will play some of the more informal gigs, fulfilling a family dream.
The NME will be performing on October 8th at The Frist Museum in Nashville in the Grand Lobby (http://e2ma.net/go/2436837116/2217014/83259279/3570/goto:http://www.fristcenter.org) as well as on December 16 at Loveless as part of the new Music City Roots from Loveless Cafe (http://e2ma.net/go/2436837116/2217014/83259278/3570/goto:http://www.musiccityroots.com).
Keep in touch and wherever you are, keep music and memories alive. They are a vital threads in the fabric of life that binds us all together.
This is going out to all e-mail addresses on SoundArt and Papertricks databases. If you receive it twice or don't want to receive it at all, please let us know.
Check the Website for comments by these great performers on why they chose the tunes they did to honor Butch.
Some of the best names in acoustic music combined to give us this great musical tribute to mandolin master Butch Baldassari.
Butch created new interest in this age-old instrument in a wide variety of musical genres. He was an inspiration to people who loved his music and who knew him as a friend. He performed and recorded with many of the top names in bluegrass, Celtic, and other genres. He moved between bluegrass festivals and symphony halls with ease and grace, earning respect and admiration in these seemingly disparate worlds.
This CD gives some of the great acoustic players an opportunity to honor Butch with the music he loved.
He was the driving force behind the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and was an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.