If you’ve ever spent time listening to road stories from touring musicians, you know that they see a side of life not often visible to us work-a-day souls. From the late night eateries to the 24-hour truck stops, they encounter people and situations that make for memorable retelling.
But there’s a sort of code of the road that prevents many of these anecdotes from being widely recounted. What happens on the bus stays on the bus, and all that.
Now Hank Smith, prominent North Carolina banjo picker, has put together a fictionalized story of life on the road, based on his own experiences touring with a bluegrass group. It’s not exactly a squeaky-clean volume, and isn’t recommended for those who might object to cheeky humor and a bit of obscenity, but for those who would like a rollicking tale in a bluegrass setting, Leaving Auburndale is one to consider.
Hank says it’s really a composite tale, starting with a trip he took with Kickin’ Grass some years ago to play a festival in central Florida. As the Amazon blurb says…
It’s there they encounter a herd of bison, a one-armed elderly woman, a dance troupe leader and a living legend in the country music world among others.
Imagine 13 years on the road condensed and exaggerated for the sake of a good story. Sounds like fun.