Kimble Blair remembered

Kimble Blair, well-known Baltimore area fiddler passed away on May 29, 2017, following a series of heart attacks. He was 90 years old and he worked as a house painter by day.
Born in Harlan County, Kentucky, on October 14, 1926, Kimble Blair was a main stay of the Baltimore bluegrass music scene, distinguishing himself on the fiddle playing with Walter Hensley and the Dukes of Bluegrass; Bob Baker and the Pike County Boys; Jack Cooke and the Virginia Mountain Boys; Marvin Howell and the Franklin County Boys; and Del McCoury, to mention just a small sample of the musicians with whom Blair played throughout the 50-year career playing bluegrass music.

In addition to the bluegrass artistes, Blair played with country music acts David Nicely and the Roan Brothers.

Life-long friend and veteran Baltimore-based resonator guitar player Russ Hooper, now playing with southern Pennsylvania group Bluestone shared these thoughts…

“I knew Kimble for over 60 some years, we played in so many different bands and venues together that it’s hard to remember any particular anecdote. I met him when I was just a teenager, he was 10 years older than me but we hit it off right away.

Kimble was one of the kindest gentleman I had ever met and at the time (the 1950s) was one of best fiddle players around the Baltimore area. I saw him last at a jam session four days before he passed and he and I had a great time going back over the years and reminiscing about the old days.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you any particular events that happened down through the years (there were so many), but to us old timers he will be remembered. The only thing left to say is that Kimble was real and will be surely missed……..He was my friend!!! “

In this clip features Frankie Short, Walter Hensley and Kimble Blair, broadcast “Live” from Carl’s on Harford Road, Baltimore, circa 1968.

Kimble Blair’s son Warren is a notable fiddle and mandolin player in the Baltimore area now, working with Remington Ryde.

He has sent an open invitation to anybody who would like to attend a celebratory party to take place later this month ……

A celebration of life party for my father Kimble Blair to be held October 14, 2017, (the anniversary of his birth) at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road, Middle River, Maryland 21220, from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. All are invited; food and drinks will be available although anyone who would like to bring a dish or any beverages will be most welcome.

Please contact Warren Blair for further information, 443-943-6685.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.