David Morris sent along this report on yesterday’s memorial service for the recently deceased resonator guitar master, Dave Giegerich.
Tom Gray, Mike Auldridge, Mark Schatz and Mike Mumford were among the more than 400 in the standing-room only crowd at the Maryland State Boychoir Center for the Arts.
But many others were just starting out in music, perhaps sharing a lesson or two with the talented Dobro player, or were fans who had simply enjoyed his music. One man standing in a long line to enter the service said he hadn’t known Dave all that well but felt obliged to attend because Dave “always made you feel like you were his best friend.”
There were many knowing nods in the crowd as band leader Bob Perilla started the service with a simple but telling statement: “All musicians wanted Dave on the gig.” There were many amazing musical moments. But the most poignant came when Dave’s son, Carter, played Isa Lei, a song of love and farewell from Fiji, on the Dobro. Carter, an accomplished mandolinist who studies bluegrass at East Tennessee State University, has only played the resonator for a few months, but you’d never know that from the sound he produced.
The service was followed by a meal and, of course, more music. There was a fine band on stage, but the best tributes to Dave Giegerich were found in the jams in hallways and on the landings. One group played clarinet-infused jazz, another played Hawaiian music and others offered up bluegrass and old time, mirroring the varied musical interests of the man they were remembering.
In a physical sense, Dave Giegerich is gone. But it was clear in those hallways that his song will always be in the wind.