From the recording A Year Ago Today

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A Year Ago Today

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On February 8 of this year I played my first ever solo gig, at The Rockhill Bakehouse here in Glens Falls, NY. I played two sets featuring mandolin tunes and singing bluegrass songs, it was a blast. One of the songs I sang that night was A Year Ago Today, an obscure Hutchison Brothers song, written by JD Hutchison, that I first started singing when it came out back in the late 1970’s.

My solo show was live streamed, which I found out the next day, so I sent the replay link to various music friends to get some feedback, it was all good and one even said “What took you so long?” The whole experience got me motivated to work on my solo act and it’s been very exciting.

It also made me think about doing a new recording project and I definitely wanted to record A Year Ago Today as I think it’s about as good a lonesome bluegrass song as there is and it should be heard and played by a wider audience. I decided to contact Tim O’Brien (back in 1979 when I lived in Colorado I took mandolin lessons from Tim and knew that he and JD we’re friends) to find out who was administering JD’s songs since JD passed away a few years ago. Tim connected me with JD’s nephew Zeke, who is administering his song catalogue, and after talking to Zeke I got the ok to record the song whenever I got the chance.

Fast forward to April, I was in North Carolina to teach at a bluegrass camp and I stopped to see my friend Mike Ramsey on the way. His son Aaron (great picker and engineer) was home so I had an opportunity to record A Year Ago Today at their house. I sang and played my 1922 Gibson F4 mandolin with Aaron playing guitar and also recording us.

I was pleased with the recording, but I also thought it would be cool and truer to the original lonesomeness if it was a vocal duet. Anyway, one thing led to another and I asked Tim to sing harmony, and he agreed and here it is. I hope you enjoy!