Doc Stevens on Open Mic, Stage Fright and What Songs to Pick - Part Two

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:45 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: This is a continuation of the discussion that Doc, Big Dave and I had about  open mics, and how to do them better, even WHY to do them in the first place, and any and every other tip that came up.

Doc: When you get a new song that you think people would like - and it ain't just you that's gotta like it, you got to be thinkin' about your audience. Are they gonna be able to like that song from the first couple of bars they hear? 

You don't never want to play a song that it takes people a while to figure out if they like it or not. It's got to be one that from the moment they hear it, they like it.

I got a lot of songs what I like and might sing by myself, or with a couple of friends, but I would never play
them in front of an audience. Like we play "downhome" music - that mix of blues and gospel and country and rockabilly. That's what I like and play in public. But sometimes Marilyn might want to sing some song what isn't that kind of music, She'll nag me and nag me 'til I play it along with her. It could be anything, of any kind of music. But we ain't playin' it in public.

Tondeleo: What would be an example of a song like that, Doc?

Doc: Well, she might like to sing that song "Blue Bayou" by that Linda Rondstadt girl. It ain't our kind of music what we play, but it's a good song. Marilyn been singin' that since she was maybe 12 or 13. She got it inside her, so she could sing that anywhere anytime.  But we ain't playin it as part of a show. But we could, 'cause we got it inside.

Tondeleo: So why don't you sing it in public? 

Doc: Well, whatever music you play, people think of you a certain way. You kinda got to stick with that. We pretty much don't play anything newer than about 1954. We do that "downhome" music.  We ain't a cover band. Anything from the sixties is too new, 'specially if it was a hit. Now there is some songs what was wrote in the 60's but sounded like they was old and if they sound right, we'll do 'em. Some of what we do is "B" sides of songs what was hits. But they had to be songs what I liked from the first couple of notes. Then if I start to play one of 'em in front of my friends, they had to like it from the first couple of notes. And it has to SOUND like something we'd do. 

Tondeleo: Are you saying that it has something to do with your image? 

Doc: I guess. Basically, you got to look like what you sound like and sound like what you look like. If you look like just regular workin' folk like we do, then you need to sound like that. It would be crazy to sound like Elvis Presley or someone smooth and sophisticated. We're down to earth. The way we sound is just the way we sound. People ask where did we get our sound. That is just what it sounds like when we play guitars and sing.

I think everybody sings and plays things that's from another kind of music than what they might play in public. Country guys might sing heavy metal, or hip hop or jazz or whatever. Hippety hop guys might sing smooth jazz or gospel or whatever in private. But not in public.

Tondeleo: Now, you mentioned that Marilyn sings newer stuff at home.Specifically you mentioned Blue Bayou. Say, if she got dressed up in city clothes, and you did, too, would that song measure up in terms of being a song that people would like from the first few notes?

Doc: Well, yeah. An' if we didn't use our real names! I ain't goin' out there with my real name and play some kind of pop music or somethin'! But as for that Blue Bayou song, as soon as you hear the first couple of bars of it, you like that song. It's got a good beat, got a good sound to it and is easy to sing along with. It's a simple song, good tune. It passes every test of a song what  person could do in public an' people would like it and sing along, tap their feet and clap their hands to it. It's a great song, if you got it inside you.

We sang that song in Hawaii an' people liked it.

Tondeleo: HAWAII??? Are you SURE? You went to Hawaii? Do you even know where it is? 

Doc: Yeah, we went to Hawaii. Last year when you was  out there in that England. Someone paid for us to go out there, not the whole band, just me an' Marilyn. We got on an aeroplane and flew there. It took like all day to get there. But there wasn't no girls in grass skirts and coconuts though. It was real nice over there, an' the people out there was real nice to us. We was out there a couple of weeks an' then came home. We met a lot of people an' played a lot of songs. Marilyn gots some pictures from there she can give you. We can talk about it later. Not now.

Tondeleo: Why didn't you SAY something about going to Hawaii? That's fantastic. 

Doc: I was sort of 'barrassed about it. I hadn't never been there before an' wasn't used to it. I was afraid you'd ask me questions what I don't know the answer to. Them people wear flip flops an' Hawaiian shirts all the time, but they just call 'em shirts. We can talk about it later, Tondy. Not now. Get back to open mic. I know a little about that.

Tondeleo: Ok, so how about stage fright, Doc? How does a person avoid that?

Doc: By bein' too dumb to be scared! That's one way. Another way is if you are nearsighted, don't wear your glasses. Then you can't see nobody. Third is to know what you're plain' well enough that you aren't using your mind, but just playin' out of your heart. Like, you have played it and sang it so many times you can do it all automatically without thinkin'. That's what we done in Hawaii. We ain't know nobody out there, an' they all looked at us like we was from outer space or somethin'.

But, like, if you know the song is a good one and people are gonna love it, and you've done it so many times you can do it with your eyes closed, then they ain't nothin' to be scared of.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Don't try to sound like the person who made the song famous. You'll never sound like them, all you will sound like is you tryin' to sound like someone else. Then who are you gonna sound like for the next song? You wanna listen to the original just enough to kind of learn it. Then start playin' it and never listen to the original. By and by, you'll have changed a bit here and a bit there, and soon it will sound like you and not like the other person. Now, nobody has anything to compare you with, like "hey, on the second verse, you forgot to sing out your nose like Bob Dylan did when he sang that song."

Well, if I learnt that song 20 years ago and ain't  listened to it since then, I aint gonna sound like him on ANY verse! I'm gonna sound like Doc Stevens and Marilyn is gonna sound like Marilyn. And nobody is better at that than us! 'Specially over to that Hawaii.

Doc Stevens on Open Mic, Stage Fright and What Songs to Pick - Part One

Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:25 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas
Tondeleo: Sorry for the lack of blogs for more than a month. I have been on travel and then on holiday (Bognor Regis of all places! I travel everywhere for work and then stay close to home for holiday) and then had to deal with a backlog of work when I returned.

I asked Doc to take me to a local open mic so we could talk a bit about what it takes to do an open mic, and why would a person do them, as well as why would a person not do them. It so happened that Big Dave was performing at an open mic in Northern Virginia so we hopped in Doc's pick up and drove over.

Some of the performers were quite good, and others, well, one could tell that they really did not have any where else that they could get an audience to listen to them.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation we had about it: 

Tondeleo: Doc, that girl up there right now really seems nervous and doesn't seem to know her songs very well... and the audience is getting fidgety, which makes her more nervous, you can tell.

Doc: Well, she's probably in the worst three conditions you can have when doin' open mic... other than bein' crazy high or stupid drunk, which she isn't. 

First, she ain't used to bein' in front of a audience. She can't help that. She's facin' that fear right now, and the only way to get over it is to just do it. She's doin' it.

Second, she don't know that song real well yet. You can tell she's tryin' to get the chords just right, and the words just right, and hit all the notes just right. She ain't playin, she's workin.' And that takes all the energy out of it.

If she'll play that song till she's sick of it, then she can concentrate on the performing of it. 

Third, she's not used to that guitar yet. She just said she got it for her birthday on Tuesday. It don't have her vibes in it yet. She ain't got her sweat into the fingerboard yet. She is still tryin' to get familiar with it, and find where everything is. You can't be doing that in public!

When you get a new guitar, you want to play it all you can in private. Then with a few friends. In public, play your old one til your new one is soaked with your vibes and your fingers are familiar with it and where everything is.

You won't do good if you're scared, doin' a new song and tryin' to break in a new guitar at the same time.

Pretty much, you got to play that song over and over, and sing it over and over till it's in your heart. Play it in the dark, or with your eyes closed so you don't have to keep bending your head over to look at your neck and figure out where you are. Ain't nobody want to look at the top of your head or your right ear while you're up there s'posed to be singin' and playin'.

Like with Big Dave, when he gets up. He does a real good show. He's been doin' those songs for years and years, and can sing 'em in his sleep. In fact he DOES sing them in his sleep. I done heard him do it. He ain't thinkin', he ain't rememberin', he's just letting it flow. That is the most important thing, right there, Tondy.

I was talkin' to a guy backstage an' he was tellin' me that he was gonna do three songs what he's been learnin' THIS WEEK! He said he was nervous. One of them he only so-called "learned" it last night! He WILL mess it up, Tondy! It ain't inside him! He'll be tryin' to remember the words and tryin' to sing, and tryin' to play, and he ain't got NONE of it down! And he DESERVES to be nervous about bringin' that to an audience! But he ain't played long enough to even know that.

Tondeleo: How do you know when you have it down well enough to play it in public?

Doc: When you've played it so many times that you're sick of it. When you think, "if I have to play this one one more time, I'm gonna throw up." That's when you probably got it down well enough that you can perform it. Otherwise, it's disrespectin' your audience. Don't go out there and try to "learn" on them. Get up there and pour out for them what you have stored up in your heart. Then you will feel comfortable and they will feel comfortable. If YOU ain't comfortable, they sure as heck ain't gonna be comfortable. And if they ain't comfortable, you haven't entertained them."

Boils down to this: NO new songs. New to the audience, YES, but new to you, NO!

No new guitars what you ain't broke in good yet. Don't play with brand new strings. Give 'em a couple of days or a week if you can. That first day, they'll still be stretchin' and goin' out of tune.

Play your new guitar at home by yourself and then with friends, til it plays like an old friend. Then it's ready to be played in public. You don't see ANY professionals playin' instruments what they just got the day before! Most of them play old guitars what you can tell are years and years old. There's a reason for that. They can afford any guitar they want, but they are experienced enough to play the one that's got their vibe in it.

That guitar what Big Dave is playin' tonight has been with him for years! It was old when he got it! I think it is like a 1967 or maybe even older. It is filled with vibes, and he knows that thing inside and out. I remember when he first got it though. He didn't play it in public. He played the mess out of it at home, and over to my house, and other friends' houses.

I guarantee you he had maybe 500 hours with that thing before he played it in public. That's the way you do it right.

Poverty and having to "make do." It CAN be done. Part Two

Thursday, April 16, 2015 5:49 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas
Tondeleo: We've been talking with Doc and his lifelong friend, Big Dave about growing up in poverty, and having to make do with very little in the way of food, clothes, money and other material goods. There was not only financial and material poverty, but also the poverty of family live and support, the poverty of emotional support and poverty of opportunity.

I've been interviewing Doc and Big Dave for three evenings, and will be publishing excerpts from our several hours of talking. 

Big Dave, you talked about your father being in and out of jail, and having bad health, and alcohol problems. How did that affect you growing up?

Big Dave: Well, you learn not to depend on nobody for nothing. The old man might promise to get you something say for your birthday or Christmas, and you learn not to get your hopes up. He mighta been lying, just BS'ing you, to get you to be quiet. Or, he mighta meant it at the time. You never can know. He mighta said he'd get you a present for Christmas because he had just got paid. 

But that didn't mean he'd get you anything. He mighta needed that money to pay back a loan. Or to pay the light bill. He mighta just drank that money away or smoked it up. Then when Christmas would roll around, you would half hope he'd a gotten you something, but you knew not to get your hopes up. 

If he'd remember to get you a Slim Jim or a candy bar, you'd done all right. Or, he mighta got drunk on Christmas eve and be somewhere else. or in jail. You never could tell. 

Mama would call the churches right before Christmas and try to get something for each of us. Sometimes that worked out pretty good. Sometimes not. Some years she waited too late and there wasn't nothin' left for us.  Sometimes the toys they gave needed batteries and we'd never have money for batteries, so we'd just use them the best we could.

We ain't never had a Christmas tree. We decorated a tree stump out back... 

Tondeleo: How about you, Doc? How did growing up poor affect you and your family?

Doc: I don't really know, Tondy, 'cause that is all we knew. We didn't know what it was like to have nice clothes, or new clothes. But it never crossed out minds to get brand new clothes. People at the church gave clothes to us, in big black plastic garbage bags. We got some stuff from the thrift shop. That's just where we figured clothes came from. We didn't even know about so many things that the rich kids had. They lived in a different world. Kind of a sissy world, if you ask me. But we learnt things they didn't learn.

Tondeleo: Things like what, Doc?

Doc: Well, we learnt not to cry every time we got hurt. We learnt that you could fall down and cut yourself and be bleeding, but that didn't mean you had to cry. That was a good thing.

Tondeleo: You didn't CRY? Why on earth not, Doc?

Doc: Well, the old man didn't like to hear cryin,' and said to save cryin' for somethin' bigger than a cut or bruise or a knot on your head. He said you could get hurt and not say or do nothin', and he did that all the time. You never knew if he was hurt. And he was right. You can get cut or hurt or whatever and not cry.

We learnt not to be picky about eatin'. Food don't have to taste good or be your favorite. Food ain't s'posed to be entertainin', food is fuel. If you're hungry, you'll eat it. Don't matter if it's so called good or not. We learnt to eat anything and everything, Tondy!

Big Dave: We learned how to fight. Rich kids didn't know how to fight, and as soon as they'd get hit, they'd bust into tears and start crying like babies! We learned to fight because we had older brothers who picked on us, neighbors, teenagers, everybody. So we had to defend ourselves. Fightin' aint somethin' you'd choose to learn when you're little, but it pays off when you get to school and people are makin' fun of you because you're poor. You can only take so much, and then you gotta do something about it. 

I remember the rich kids takin' karate lessons. They'd PAY  and go every week to a class where they wore pajama's and then played like they was fightin' in slow motion. We never put on pajamas to fight and I aint never been in a fight in slow motion.

The teachers and principals didn't agree with us given a whoopin' to some snooty rich kid, but ain't no one ever made fun of the teachers and principals. They was probably the ones makin' fun of poor kids when they was in school...

Doc: Yeah, and they was the ones gettin' beat up by us poor kids when they was makin' fun of us and laughin' at us. So when they grew up and got good jobs, they'd always take sides with the rich kids who was laughin' at us.

It ain't fair, but we learned how to not care about fair, 'cause fair ain't nothin' that's ever gonna happen to a poor person.

Tondeleo: Whatever did they laugh at you and mock you for?

Doc: How we looked, how we talked, how we dressed, where we lived. You name it. Our house was a shack compared to where they lived. But it was home, for us.

And, we couldn't go to a barber shop so mama cut our hair with scissors. She wasn't too bad at it, but the rich kids laughed at us for that. Same with our clothes. They was all hand me downs, and didn't fit too good. Either too big or too small. Sometimes they was a little smelly from the last person what owned 'em and sweated a lot. Or, maybe someone gave us jeans and they was woman or girl jeans but we didn't know the brand names, so we wore them anyway.

In gym class, it would be the underwear. I ain't wearin' no thrift shop underwear, so mama made our underwear outta old t shirts or pillow cases. She'd make 'em like shorts and put a draw string around the waist. That's the way they did it in the old days which is why underwear is called "drawers," but ain't no one at school was interested in that.

The girls don't wanna go out with someone what is poor or has homemade underwear. So we had to pick from other poor girls when we got interested in girls and all that goes with it, if you know what I mean.

Big Dave: I ain't never wanted to date some prissy girl anyway. I liked a girl who could hunt and fish and fight better than some cream puff rich girl who thought she'd get dirty if she let you touch her...and sometimes they would get dirty if I touched 'em!

Bein' poor, you learnt how to fix things instead of throwin' them away. If you couldn't fix something, you could learn how to use it broken or you could make something else out of it. That's how Doc got all his early guitars. Puttin' broken ones together...

Tondeleo:  It must have been hard to grow up poor...

Doc: Times was hard, and still are, but you're gonna grow up whether you are rich or poor. You got to learn how to laugh, too. We learned how to laugh at everything.

We were so poor, when we went to KFC we licked other peoples' fingers... you got to laugh at what problems you can't solve.

And  guess what, Tondy? We all made it! We ate, we fought, we cried a little bit, we made things, we fell in love with poor girls, got our hearts broke by them and probally broke a few hearts, and here we are!

Poverty and having to "make do." It CAN be done. Part One

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:00 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas
Tondeleo: One thing that impresses me about the poorer rural Americans I have met is their creativity. From the places the live, and the improvements they make to them, to their vehicles, their clothes, musical instruments, what they eat... everything.

Poor people want the same things as the rest of us, only they don't have the money available to just go out and buy the things they want. They want to have their own unique personal style, they want convenience items, they want to have fun... and they have to use their creativity in order to be able to do that. Also, they have to be able to not only use their imaginations to be able to pretend that what they have is what they really want. What got me started on this line of thought was when Doc and Big Dave were talking about their childhoods and some of the things they did and their parents did in order to make do...

Big Dave: Yeah, we didn't have much of anything when we was growin' up. Pop had bad health and couldn't work much. Mama did whatever she could to bring in a few dollars and most of that went to the light bill and rent... four of us kids to feed, We lived in Old Man Adams' yard, in the trailer back by the tool barn. He was good to us as far as understanding when rent was late. the 'lectric company wanted their money pretty much every month and sometimes let us pay late. 

If they cut us off, Pop would run a cord from Old Man Adams' workshop out to the trailer. We had a hose runnin' out to the trailer for our water.

We didn't have much time to play and not much of a mind to play. When your old man is drunk and hittin' mama and cussin' at you you don't want to play. You don't want to play when your belly's empty. We didn't have much fun and ain't nobody talked much about havin' fun, so we didn't miss it.

Doc: We was pretty much the same way. But we did have music in the house. Daddy and mama did like music. We didn't have nothin' to sing about, but we liked listenin' to country music and gospel and blues. 

Pop had a record player he got down to the dump and we got old scratched up records from the dump. We had to make up words alot 'cause the records was scratched and no good - that's why people threw 'em out. 

Same with instruments. Sometimes we found rusty harmonicas or bent up trumpets and stuff. A lot of broke up guitars - well I mean two or three a year. That's how I got started makin' guitars. I could take a neck off a broken guitar and put it on a wooden box or a tool box and cut a hole for the sound to come out. My fingers was never long so I had to learn how to sand the necks down so my hands could fit around them, and make the strings real low. I still do that. 

Big Dave: We did that. We made  drum sets outta dry wall mud buckets and empty paint cans. It sounded pretty good, if you did it right.

Tondeleo: How about food? What did you all do for food? 

Big Dave: Well, we hunted. Deer, rabbit, squirrels, possum, coon. Shot ducks, went fishin'. We did all right. We grew tomatoes, kale, corn, beans and all that. We ate ok.

Doc: We did the same thing. Plus, there's road kill like for deers mostly. If you come home an' there's a dead deer on the side of the road what wasn't there earlier, you know it's fresh enough to eat. Even if it's been there long enough to get stiff, that don't mean it's bad.

Tondeleo: Road kill... OK. Some people would find that disgusting, you know.

Big Dave: So that just makes it one less person tryin' to field dress a deer on the side of the road. More power to 'em.

Doc: I find bein' hungry disgustin'. If it's fresh, it ain't nothin' wrong with eatin; roadkill. At least you know it was healthy when it got hit.
Tondeleo: So how DO you know if it's been there long enough that it's bad? 

Doc: Fleas. If the fleas are still on it, then it's fresh enough to eat. If the fleas have left, you don't want to eat it. That's the way you tell.

Tondeleo: How about sweets, dessert, fun food?

Big Dave: We didn't really have fun food. We didn't really have fun, like I said. But in the summer, Mama would get a jar of dill pickles, and we'd get out a dill pickle and dip it in Kool Aid powder. That was pretty  good on a hot day.

Doc: We did that one, too. Also, this is funny. We never could afford ice cream. So mama would give us a couple of spoonfuls of Coffee Mate on a jar lid, and then a ice cube wrapped in a piece of newspaper. We'd dip that ice cube in the Coffee Mate and pretend it was ice cream! It was good enough for us and sometimes I still like it better than ice cream... it's cheaper, too.

You Can Have a Band Even if You Don't Have One

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 12:38 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas
Tondeleo: One thing I admire in people is confidence and boldness. I tend to be rather timid so I guess that is why I find myself captivated with people who are confident and don't worry about much of anything. That is part of my fascination with the rural Americans that I have gotten to know over the years. 

Most of them have grown up from the beginning with no advantages, poverty, having to make do with whatever they could. In school, they talk about being picked on because of being poor, but how they learnt to fight or to have skills that kept people from picking on them - or both - being able to fight and also developing skills. 

A lot of them have done jail or prison time not so much because they are criminals but because when they have an infraction of the law, they can't afford a solicitor, or attorney. They don't expect to be treated fairly and even going to jail seems to be something they take in stride. They have this attitude that nothing is easy anyway, but that also means that nothing is hard. 

I have gone with Doc and Marilyn, Doc and Rick or just Doc when there is a chance to play music, and the rest of the band can't come. Sometimes it is at the last minute that the rest of the band or part of the band can't come. I have never known them to cancel. They just grab their instruments, get into the truck and head for the gig. 

I ask, "Aren't you a bit worried? People are expecting a band and it is just you?" It NEVER seems to worry them! Not at all! Doc says that it won't be any problem because there will be other bands there, and musicians like to play, and he'll just ask some of them that play well to back him or them up. 

I ask if it doesn't worry him, and he says it doesn't. Marilyn tells me that I have to have more faith. 

Doc: Well, Tondy, it's like this. People want to hear you play. If you wait until all the situations are right, you'll never play. We grewed up playin garbage instruments and makin' do with whatever we could and playin' with whoever was around. You learn to play with anybody and they learn to play with you. It's no big deal.

Matter of fact, Chuck Berry ain't never had a band! He just would take his guitar and get on a bus or a plane and fly to where he was goin' and the people what booked him would have to get together some local folk to play and back him up. He'd run through the songs with 'em once or twice and then would have his show, shake their hands, collect his money and go back home to sleep in his own bed. 

I aint as good as Chuck, so it really aint no problem. People always step forward. If you do the right thing the right people will always show up and play with you.  
Marilyn: We got it so we can play just me and Doc, or Just Rick and Doc, just me, Rick and Doc, just Rick and Doc, just me, Doc, Rick and Jerry or any part of the band and we can give them a good show, can't we, Doc?

Doc: Yeah, it ain't an issue. Sometimes a whole band will back us up, if it is just one or two of us. Like we played over to a place in Waldorf an' everyone but Handsome Brian the Bishop Garner, our drummer could make it. We weren't gonna cancel 'cause of that. And we weren't playin' without a drummer.

So when we got there, we started askin' around, and Jerry found a drummer named Bradley who was playin' with another group. I think he turned out to be from Bowie, MD, up the road about an hour.

We talked to him a bit about how we sound and what kind of music we do, and when we got up, Bradley got up with us and played just like he'd been with us for years.

Marilyn: He was truly anointed and that is what makes the difference so it can sound like he had been with us forever. The Holy Ghost was in him and the Holy Ghost HAS been with us forever, and He knows all our songs and just played them through Bradley. 

Doc: That, and Bradley is a good drummer in the first place. We never seen him before and ain't seen him since. But if we're out somewhere and need a drummer and he is there, we'll ask him up to play again.

Tondeleo: But doesn't that make you at least a tad nervous? That would give me an ulcer!

Marilyn: NO, you got to have faith, Tondy, you got to have faith.

Doc: Marilyn's right. You gotta have faith, and then open your mouth and ask around. You'll find the people you need! 

Doc and Marilyn in Wyoming... well, Camden-Wyoming, Delaware

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:31 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I rang up Doc to check on how he and Marilyn are doing. He was pretty excited because he said that he and Marilyn had gone to Wyoming over the weekend, and that they played there, and then played somewhere else, and he drove back to his bungalow in Maryland Saturday night.

I'm not an expert on the geography of the United States, but I do know that Wyoming is not a place that one can drive to from the east coast on Friday, then play at two venues, and drive back by Saturday night. I DO know that much.

When I questioned Doc, he insisted that they were in Wyoming, that it was a four hour drive from Southern Maryland, and that he did not need to be instructed by a Brit about "geometry." He said he had seen the signs saying Camden Wyoming and that signs don't lie.

He let me know that Wyoming is right over there by Eastern Shore and he had not ever been there before but would definitely be going back, and that he and Marilyn had some bookings lined up there.

Whilst we were talking, I Googled Camden, Wyoming discovered that it is NOT Camden, Wyoming, but is a town in Delaware, near to Eastern Shore, MD, called in fact, Camden - Wyoming. I looked on MapQuest and further discovered that it truly is about two and a half hours. 

Doc: Hey Tondy, last Saturday me and Marilyn played a bit over in Eastern Shore and also in Wyoming for a full day. I had never been to Wyoming before, and was hopin' to see some cowboys, but we didn't see any.  It just looked regular, like a place.

We went to a place called Band B Music and Sound. They was real nice and had a lot  of store bought guitars and such, and drums and new amps. I brought my dobro and my tacklebox guitar. Marilyn brought her voice and some harps.

The guys at B and B Music and Sound videoed a bit of us playing there as a music store demo. No mics. Just us belting out our typical “singing louder than a bus” vocals and an old 5 watt amp.

Tondeleo: Ummm, Doc, I just looked up B and B Music and Sound and they are not in Wyoming, they are in Delaware. Camden-Wyoming, Delaware. Near Eastern Shore, MD. I looked at a map and saw exactly where you were.

I can see that they are a big music store in Camden-Wyoming... Delaware.

Doc: That's what I said! America is a big country, and I can't keep up with all of it. I ain't said nothing about Delaware. But I did say something about B and B Music. They do promoting of lots of events and festivals over the Spring and in the Summer and in the Fall.

Tondeleo: Doc, I just went to their Face Book page and they have an 8 and a half minute video of you guys! 

Doc: Yeah, they videoed us makin' noise pollution for their store.I ain't knowed nothin' about no Face Book, though. That's a good thing, what they did for us.

I mean, we was calm, Tondy. Being in a store, we didn’t get to do our usual shenanigans. I actually sat down for the whole thing. Marilyn of course, bein' polite, stood. I played my famous Tackle Box Guitar which always gets attention – and makes people want to play it. A couple of their sales people and a manager played it and could not believe that it actually plays well, is well balanced and sounds like a “real” guitar. Hey, if it wasn’t easy to play, I sure wouldn’t be playing it.

Tondeleo: I'll post the link for their video, so people can watch it.

Doc: Thanks, Tondy! You the man!