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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through September 11, 2005 » R.I.P. Vassar Clements « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 594
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 2:48 pm:   Edit Post

I just got word that a true musical giant, Vassar Clements, has passed away. Vassar was a wonderfully unique player whose thorough joy came out in his music. He melded country and jazz to create a sound that was unmistakably his own. For those who are bluegrass-challenged, you might know Vassar as the fiddle player in "Old & in the Way". Others in that band included Peter Rowan on guitar, the late John Kahn on bass, the great David Grisman on mandolin, and, of course, the late and great Jerry Garcia on banjo. I'll be playing a tune for Vassar tonight, and I will inhale. Geez, most of Old & in the Way has passed on - at least deadheads don't get old, we just become "Jerryatric".

Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 74
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 3:10 pm:   Edit Post

Amen on Vassar and his legacy.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2226
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 4:14 pm:   Edit Post

Here is the story on CNN.
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 987
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 7:04 pm:   Edit Post

That's a real shame. Well at least Jerry will have another buddy to hang with and shoot the sh*t tonight. Godspeed, VC.
Intermediate Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 167
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 9:54 pm:   Edit Post

Vassar was an amazing fiddler. He will be missed.
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 96
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post

NPR, at least my affiliate, WKMS 91.3 Murray State University, Murray, Ky., is airing a special on Vassar today.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 466
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 4:02 pm:   Edit Post

Playing with a lot of fiddlers over the years, Vassar always stood out for his almost feline tone, and he stood a great middle ground in that you could hear the bluegrass, the mad gypsy Grapelli jazz, even some Johnny Gimbel and Frenchie Burke at times.

My favorite sides were from Dicky Betts' country album "Highway Call", from the late 70s. Recorded with the Rambos, Hal Rugg on pedal steel, and produced by Johnny Sandlin, it was my favorite setting for him.

He was like a lot of the great players: His style just worked in ANY setting.

J o e y

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