Eric 2010/01/31 7:23am

I couldn't believe it. I had been watching the weather all week to see what Saturday would bring, knowing that it would be below zero for our show in Chazy, NY. I'd been in a foul way, thinking we were going to play for a room of empty chairs. When we stepped on the stage, we saw a room full of smiling faces. There's nothing like playing to a full-house. The energy permeates the room. It's as if folks are looking around thinking, "Hey, everybody else came, too. I must be at the right place." The band feeds off that energy and the loop of good feeling keeps going back and forth throughout the evening. The best is pulled from each member of the band. Those are the good nights, and last night was one of them.

We kicked off with "Ring The Bell," now the Number One song for two consecutive months on the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 Survey. Our album has held the top postition on the magazine's albums chart for two months as well. We had been off for a few weeks, so it felt good to get back in the saddle. I love playing that song. When we arranged it for the recording, I wasn't sure who should kick the song off. Mike Barber said, "It's in C. Why don't you drop that fourth string to a C note and kick it off?" I took his advice and I love the way the banjo growls in C tuning. I played my 90s RB-3 last night because I popped the head on my old standby. The neck is bulkier on my newer model, but the banjo barks pretty well. I was in a playing mood all day leading up to the show, blasting away on the banjo, probably driving everyone crazy in the house, and pacing back and forth when I wasn't playing. All these years into it, I still have the fire. I don't ever want to lose it.