My first duty today is to tip you off about Peter Rowan's latest album "Calling You From My Mountain" which came out last week. The Great Man is in fine form and you certainly would not think listening to it that he's going to turn 80 next Monday. You can pick it up from his Bandcamp site and all outlets with taste.
Mr Rowan has had a remarkable career dating back to the 1960s when he was one of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, through his psychedelic and West Coast pothead phases (his "Free Mexican Airforce" was considered a standard in my student days), turning up on an Art of Noise album in the 1980s and then wending his way back to bluegrass.
I have been lucky enough to see him live a few times over the years, the first and most memorable occasion being at the Cambridge Folk Festival way back in 1983. There was quite a stellar line-up that year (which was also the year that me and Johnny "Conical" Field made the misguided decision to do a turn in the Singers' Tent, about which the less said the better).
Here are just a few of the many artists who were at Cambridge in 1983, plus a video of Mr Rowan performing the title song from the new album. I hope you enjoy the trip down Memory Lane as much as I did.
"Midnite Moonlite" - Peter Rowan
"Midnight Rail" - Steve Young
"Jaya Shiva Shankarah" - John Fahey
"Viva Seguin" - Flaco Jimenez
"Le Bas 2 Step" - Queen Ida & Her Zydeco Band