Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sunday, Oct. 3, 1:25 p.m.
Rooster Stage
Reviewed by Mark Hedin

With Hazel Dickens' rousing "Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains From Your Soul" still resonating in my ears, I made my way over to the Rooster stage for Jimmie Dale Gilmore's set.

The Texas troubador, dressed in black with a brown, vertically striped, velour-looking jacket, brandished his big acoustic Gibson, while Buddy Miller, grinning from beneath his baseball cap, sat in for the entire set "on the baritone guitar."

Rob Gjerso took most of the leads, backed by Gary Herman on his red Fender electric bass and Chris Searles on drums, as the band opened with a loping "Rambling Man" a song written by Butch Hancock, Gilmore's cohort in the legendary Flatlanders.

"What a wonderful place to be," Gilmore said, looking west over the crowd, "I can't believe it."

Following "Another Colorado," which he dedicated to his wife, Janet, the band tore through the Hank Snow chestnut "I'm Moving On." Gilmore dedicated the next song, "A Jimmie Dale Gilmore song, written by Butch Hancock," to concert sponsor Warren Hellman, "who I cannot believe is doing this for us."

The song, "Just a Wave, Not the Water" featured shimmering Telecaster solos by Gjerso, who then traded biting leads with Miller's lower-register twang on Harlan Howard's "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down."

The group followed that with the Whispering Bill Anderson/Don Wayne-penned, Lefty Frizzell hit "Saginaw, Michigan."

"I always, even as a kid, thought there was something criminal about that song, but it's still funny," Gilmore said. Following a brief apology for certain Texans with whom he does not agree politically, came "My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own" with staccato leads by Miller and two solos by Gjerso, and "Wheels of Fortune."

Gilmore followed those with a nod to the late Jesse "Lone Cat" Fuller, who "should be an icon and most people never heard of him. Why is that? Someday he'll be an icon." Following the East Bay bluesman's "San Francisco Bay Blues," he said, "I always wanted to do that song in San Francisco."

Then, taking a page from Townes Van Zandt's stage patter, he introduced "a medley of my greatest hit." Not Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty" but his own "Dallas."

They closed the set with "Done Laid Around" and took an awkwardly arranged group bow. "What a treasure," Gilmore enthused one more time.

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