Bluegrass Today extends our congratulations to Al Aberg, who was the winner of a new iPad Mini during the recently-concluded Grey Fox festival in New York. We asked Al to share how he became a bluegrass fan, and found himself at the festival this year.
“My love of music – LIVE music – led me to bluegrass. I have listened and played music most of my life. My mother always had AM radio on, and I started out on tuba. I played tuba through college for the enjoyment. Old and In the Way was my introduction to bluegrass. There was something in the searing instrumentals and tight harmonies that caught my attention.
Fast forward a few years, and I was given a mandolin to learn to play. I immediately took a liking and upgraded to a better instrument last year. That mandolin was originally purchased by local mandolin legend Buddy Merriam. The person who sold me the mandolin also had tickets for Grey Fox, so I purchased both and went. When I arrived I had immediately sensed that this festival was something special. I called Buddy to tell him how I acquired the mandolin, and his advice was ‘to play the hell out of it,’ which is what I am still trying to do!
This year I volunteered for Grey Fox at Gingers Bluegrass Cafe, and it was a blast. The volunteer experience at Grey Fox is first class. Your efforts are so appreciated by all. The vibe, energy, music and friendship that happen at Grey Fox are all just so positive.
So in the midday heat at Grey Fox (backstage… volunteer perk!), I texted 22828 to Bluegrass Today. Tuesday morning I am contacted as a winner! This is great since I have been shopping for one to help with my mandolin learning.
I belong to several community jam groups (Long Island Bluegrass Club, Bellport Acoustic Jam, Long Island Ukulele Society, Barrel Inn Tuesday jam). I have learned to play live in the circle, so the iPad will now be the center of my Mandolin Journey. All in the name of Bluegrass.”
Just the sort of home – and use – we had hoped to find!