Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Traveler, local family share love of bluegrass

By Bernie Delinski
Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 at 9:41 p.m.

CENTRAL HEIGHTS - Bluegrass music flowed Monday from Raymond Murphy's living room where three men on a guitar, dulcimer and banjo jammed like they had played together for years.

It looked like a classic rural Alabama scene, but with a twist: This is a long way from home for one of the three.

Gwendal Guery is a French citizen bicycling throughout the United States, focusing on parts of the country with a deep appreciation for bluegrass - his favorite genre of music.

"I love bluegrass and old-time music," Guery, 30, said Monday morning. "It's not easy in France to find someone to play with or teach it.

"I decided to do a bicycle journey in the USA. I really like this country for a lot of reasons."

He visited New York City, traveled along the Appalachian region and is checking out the Natchez Trace as part of the trek.

A fascination with the history of the pioneering age helped spur his enjoyment of bluegrass music.

"I always picture someone playing a banjo at his old cabin in the woods," Guery said.

Murphy was enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon on the front porch of his Lauderdale County home when Guery stopped at his front yard and waved.

Guery started talking, but Murphy's Southern ears had trouble understanding the stranger's French accent.

"So I said, 'Come up here so I can hear you,' " Murphy said.

Little did either man know at the time they would wind up staying up well into the night Sunday jamming to bluegrass music in Murphy's living room, Read more...

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