A couple of visitors to this past weekend’s Pass Creek Bluegrass Jamboree stood out among the turnout of bluegrass fans and musicians gathered for the party that ran from Friday to Sunday.
Paul and Lani, from Louisville, Kentucky had scheduled a Castlegar stopover while close to the start of a cross-Canada trip.
Starting a short time ago they had begun their massive trek by having a look at Victoria and Nanaimo before heading east. As is so convenient these days, this pair of bluegrass buffs all the way from the Bluegrass State simply googled ‘British Columbia’ bluegrass and the local Pass Creek jamboree popped up. They soon learned that a Castlegar stop would suit them just fine.
Paul and Lani, whose card reads ‘PauLani and Betty Beep’, can change plans at the drop of a G-chord. They’ve sold their home and live in a Mercedes Sprinter motorhome. They’re enjoying life and say they’re thrilled with what they’ve seen of Canada, so far.
Avid players themselves, Lani and Paul jump at every chance they get to create some acoustic music… most often of the bluegrass variety.
Lani says she’s learned from Paul, whose playing began early.
“I’ve done it since I was a kid in Louisville,” said Paul who listed the ground-breaking Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour as a strong early influence.
“My brother played the banjo and I played the guitar and we just kept playin’ stuff. We didn’t know any better,” he laughed. “My mom wouldn’t let us have electric guitars or drums.”
With Paul’s encouragement Lani has learned to get past self consciousness and belt out vocals, and rhythmic percussion, a-la the Cajun-style washboard she’s pictured with. The pair said they were having a great time with the Pass Creek bunch… getting involved with the band scramble and forming groups with new-found friends.
Summertime seeing a neighbouring country from west to east, the Beeps are surely in for something interesting.
They’ve got a family-related early August appointment in Maine, the rest… they’ll ad-lib. One thing’s for sure, though… they won’t be likely to bypass any bluegrass or old-timey music festivals on the way. Thanks to the web, they can find out where and when they’re happening and see how many they can drop in for.