Alan Dalton wrote in recently to let us know about a DVD release of the last recorded performance of fiddle legend, Vassar Clements.
The recording took place in Athens, Georgia on December 18, 2004. The performance featured Clement’s Holiday Band; Mark Van Allen, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Ted Pecchio, Tyler Greenwell, Count M’Butu, David Blackmon, Carroll Clements, Alan Dalton and Joe Craven. Violinist and vocalist from Nashville, Ms. Andrea Zonn, made a special appearance and performed with the Holiday Band for a couple of tunes and an amazing ‘three-fiddle jam’ with Clements and Blackmon.
Before Clements passed in August 2005, he had expressed his wish to preserve this live performance on DVD.
Says Farley Daniel, producer and longtime friend of Clements’:
The December show recording was to add songs for a compilation CD we had been putting together to benefit Nuci’s Space. Everything fell into place after Vassar agreed to do it. At the last minute, I asked a friend to film it. Little did we realize then, the significance this show would have in the long run. Vassar was really pleased to help Nuci’s Space. After his tour of the facility with Linda Phillips, the founder, he told me, “This is wonderful what they’re doing here. They should have these all over the place!”
The film isn’t one of those high rolling, top notch tapes…we hadn’t planned on it. And it doesn’t matter. It was V-MAN’s last recording, last filmed performance, and this is what he wanted to do. Several times he said, “I love that little town [Athens]. Let’s get me back there.”
When asked about the nickname ‘V-MAN’, Daniel says,
That started off as an ‘inside joke’ with Vassar years ago. Something to do with super heroes. He became one to many. He certainly was one to me. His absence is sometimes very profound and his impact in music is may still be immeasurable.
A DVD release/tribute concert is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2006 at The Melting Point in Athens, Ga. The band performing at the concert is comprised of Joe Craven , The Codetalkers; Bobby Lee Rodgers, Ted Pecchio, Tyler Greenwell, pedal steel player Mark Van Allen, Ralph Roddenbery Acoustic Funk Trio & jazz pianist Buzz Clifford.
Commenting on the tribute concert Daniel adds,
It’s been a little trickier, getting these folks together again for the DVD release, but they have gone out of their way to arrange their schedules. We may have a few more guests to come sit in. We just have to wait and see how it unfolds.