Wow, Fred Carter! Just… WOW!

Feb 26, 2024 | 0 comments

Fred Tunes His 37 Strings!

As promised, Fred arrived a bit early on Sunday.  He and Vicki unloaded and unloaded and unloaded their vehicle — three guitars, one banjo, one dobro, one mandolin  — plus his spiffy ipad that has all the words. a stool of just the right height and a mystery box (that I, for one, didn’t really notice until well into the second set.) He got right to work — tuning all 37 strings!

And the audience began arriving.  And arriving.  And arriving.  We had to get more chairs and even snagged a couple of tall stools from the kitchen.   A FULL house!  Forty counting me (but not Fred.)  I probably didn’t keep a well-updated list — I thought we had 30 coming.  I couldn’t have been more pleased!

Fred played each of his instruments and told a little about it — including the cigar box guitar — an unusual six-string one — made for him by a luthier who lives here on the Peninsula.  Except the box.  He said nothing about it until into the second set when he just picked up and began the wild beat that accompanies “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!”  It brought down the house!

And someone brought the most gorgeous roses — forgive me but I’ve forgotten who!

Apparently, Fred had had a number of requests ahead of time — mostly music from the ’60s era. And mostly love songs.  I don’t think there was a dry eye when he dedicated “Look At Us” by Vince Gill to Vicki in honor of Valentine’s Day just past — their 35th together.  He had dedicated the entire concert to those with February Birthdays (my request, as mine is the 28th and neighbor Sandra’s is the 29th.)

Only one other in the crowd — Ray Hansen from Utah — admitted to a birthday this month and I’m not sure if he requested anything special.  Sandra did, however, even though she was unable to be at the concert.  “I was born in the year of the dragon and this is the year of the dragon,” she told me.  So, as his next to last number, Fred played “Puff the Magic Dragon” and we all joined in!

The last number was for Nyel — “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” Toby Keith’s theme song for Clint Eastwood’s 2018 movie “The Mule.”  Fred came with his guitar all the way to St. Vincent’s Hospital that year after Nyel’s final surgery to play it for him and has played it at every musical gathering here since then.  Thank you, dear Fred.  My heart runneth over.

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