Aren’t you getting a bit personal?

Chris JonesThere’s been an exciting new development at Bluegrass Today. I think it’s even bigger than the recent breaking of the personnel change story that rocked the industry: “Brian Hampton to Kryspy Rydge.” It may even be bigger than the installation of the new water cooler at BT Towers in Roanoke: Bluegrass Today will soon be debuting a new section devoted to personal ads.

This is something that has long been needed in our industry. Being single is hard enough in today’s social climate that, while it is active and vibrant in the virtual world, is just plain lonely in the actual world. Many have found the match-making sites disappointing, to say nothing of the bar, laundromat, or festival parking lot singles scene. And, as devotees of bluegrass music, we have to face the fact that we’re pretty specialized and may not be right for just anybody.

You may know the story personally: a single bluegrasser has found what seems to be the ideal mate, someone who’s attractive, smart, wealthy, funny, and a terrific dancer. He or she, unfortunately, is completely ignorant of—and maybe slightly hostile to—bluegrass music. The optimistic bluegrasser attempts to look past this, hoping to win this almost-perfect partner over using a gradual program of bluegrass music immersion, combined with some light brain-washing and hypnosis. The music of Nickel Creek is introduced first in small doses, followed by something from the Alison Krauss Forget About It album, eventually progressing to some Starling-era Seldom Scene. The hope is that 2 to 18 years down the line, your potential spouse will be asking to borrow your Flatt & Scruggs 1948-1959 boxed set.

It rarely works out as planned. But, if you started with someone who already shared this common interest, all you’d have to worry about then are things like sense of humor and kissing ability.

Bluegrass Today has permitted me to give you a preview of the first few ads that will be run, which also serves to give the first customers of this service a little extra exposure:

Female fiddle player seeks single male for romance and companionship. Must be willing to endure daily fiddle practice, even in the key of E flat. Non-smoker with a sense of humor a plus, but not required. Must think that Charlie Cline’s kickoff to Footprints in the Snow is just awesome! Those who are oversensitive to variation in pitch need not apply.

Bass player seeks partner for companionship, love, and possible long-term relationship. Was Paul your favorite Beatle? Was Cedric Rainwater your favorite Blue Grass Boy? Do you like like long walks on the beach with some kind of bass-rolling device? Maybe I’m the one for you. Owning a hatchback vehicle and knowing the numbers system a plus.

Guitar player/lead singer seeks single attractive female for serious relationship. Must insure that I stay the center of attention at all times. Ability to stare at me with rapt look while I sing songs about lost love essential. Ability to cut and style hair and feed me the forgotten lyrics to third verses of songs a plus.

Event producer seeks loving, possible long-term relationship. Must be comfortable with children as well as large groups of volunteers, not to mention difficult agents and immature artists. Ability to screen calls and host showcases helpful. Please call phone number listed below to leave message. It’s unlikely that I’ll return the call.

Banjo player seeks pretty much anyone who will listen to and enjoy the repetition of the thumb-index-middle pattern at any and all hours of the day. Understanding the terms “flathead,” “pflange,” “tone ring,” and “truss rod,” and even finding them slightly sexy is a big plus. Knowledge of the Foggy Mountain Banjo album is essential. Must be willing to consider naming children and/or pets, whether male or female, “Earl,” “J.D.” “Sonny,” or “Ralph.”

Mandolin player/band leader seeks female companion willing to either be away from home for weeks on end or stay home alone for weeks on end. If away-from-home option is chosen, knowledge of diesel mechanics and tour bus interior decorating a plus, but not necessary. Must be able to tune a mandolin.

Female dobro player seeks male for possible serious relationship and spot in band. Must play guitar or mandolin and sing baritone or low tenor. Knowledge of the entire Osborne Brothers catalog a plus. Having a current driver’s license and flexible day job essential. Serious relationship part is optional.

Bluegrass singer/songwriter seeks potential life partner with steady employment and decent place to live. A reliable vehicle wouldn’t hurt. Person should be loving, caring, romantic, and tolerant of a songwriter’s artistic temperament. In case of writer’s block, periodic break-ups may be required to create song ideas.

When the first wedding happens thanks to a successful Bluegrass Today personals match, I’ll be sure to report back about it. The entire editorial staff will be angling for an invite to that one.