A BAND WAS BORN
I remember napping, then getting into my 2004 MINI Cooper and driving less than a mile to Sunny's, joining Joe Choina, Rick Shields (the one and only time we've played together besides jams), Charles Puckette and Fred Skellenger for the first gig of a band that was then called Graveyard Shift. We got that name from a great Steve Earle song I used to cover. The bar was surprisingly well attended and the two-set show went by quickly.
As has the last decade. A month later, we played our first brunch at a newish restaurant called Nolita House. A name change to Fresh Baked Bluegrass soon followed. And the rest, as they say, is history. Since April 9, 2005, FBB has played close to 600 shows, public and private, that's around 2000 hours--more than 80 days--of music.
In 2012, Nolita House closed its doors and Fresh Baked Bluegrass moved uptown to Southern Hospitality. Through those changes, the band has included some of the New York area's finest musicians, some for a few weeks or months, some, like fiddler, vocalist and duet partner extraordinaire Diane Stockwell, have stayed with the band for years. A quick, off-the-top-of-my-head list of greats we've gotten to play with includes Jen Larson, Greg Garing, Boo Reiners, Jason Sypher, Juliana Trivers, Jon Mark Fletcher, Ellery Marshall, Jake Tilove, Dave Mignano, Adam Moss, Bennett James Sullivan, Jonah Bruno, Zack Bruce, Jeff Picker, Elio Schiavo, Max Johnson, Dave Speranza, Abe Pollack, David Kaye, Billy Failing, Doug Goldstein and many, many others.
Hopefully, this past decade will be only the first of many. After all, when you get to play with such great pickers, why even think about stopping.