The Capital Land Crate Digger: “Bluegrass” (1964)

November 10th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians: Bluegrass
Review and photograph by Ross Marvin

The Capital Land Crate Digger brings you reviews of vinyl obscurities found for $10 or under at Capital District record stores, thrift shops, garage sales, and junk emporiums. The vinyl archeologist behind this column is Ross Marvin, an English teacher and music enthusiast who lives in Saratoga County. Ross has over 1,000 pieces of vinyl, is running out of shelf room, and can be found getting his fingers dirty in a box of records near you.

ALBUM: Bluegrass
ARTIST: Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians
LABEL: Folkways
YEAR: 1964
PURCHASED: Rock n Roll Expo, Albany Marriott
PAID: $10
DATE: October 19, 2014

Well, it’s that flannel shirt time of year. The smell of burning leaves, the drop in temperature, and the death of garage sales makes me question my vinyl sickness: Do I stay in my warm bed, or try to make one last score before the good hunting season comes to a close? Though the thought of a thick newspaper and a home-scrambled breakfast was tempting, I dragged my ass out of bed a couple of Sunday’s ago and made the trek to the sterile conference room of the Albany Marriott for another fine rendition Felix Iavarone’s biannual Rock N Roll Expo.

Record fairs are the ugly step-children of record commerce. Less hip than an independent record store (because they aren’t located in an urbane downtown), and a lot better than a garage sale gamble, the Marriott conference room setting of the Rock Expo looked a lot like the floor of some throwback casino where almost everyone has a wild look in their eye, a shared addiction, and the uneasy feeling that a heavy wallet will quickly be made light if you find a lucky table. Gotta love what I overheard, while digging around my fellow crazies. Said one octogenarian with a horrendous come-over to a dealer: “But, what have ya got as far as polka 45s? Here, I got a list. I mean I gotta find this record, man. Even if you find it someday and want to keep it, you could at least make me a CD.” I don’t even think the dealer had ANY polka, but the guy kept yelling at him about some world-forgotten 19th Century dance music. At least I don’t collect polka 45s, I thought. That makes me less of a nerd. Affirmation! Right…

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Be Here Now: Frank Wakefield @ the Parting Glass

June 8th, 2009, 1:06 pm by Greg

“He split the bluegrass atom,” David Grisman said of his teacher and mandolin master Frank Wakefield. “And some of us, obviously, will never be the same.”

One of the most talented (and certainly one of the most colorful) characters to play bluegrass, Wakefield has picked and grinned alongside such greats as Red Allen, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Ralph Stanley, Jerry Garcia and Leonard Bernstein.

Frank Wakefield

Frank Wakefield

As likely to break into a bit of Bach or Beethoven as he is to blitz through a bluegrass breakdown, longtime Saratoga resident Wakefield brings his new band to the Parting Glass at 8pm Saturday, June 13 in a special musical celebration of his 75th birthday and his new CD, “Ownself Blues.”

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