Once upon a time there was a young boy who wanted to play guitar.
He pestered his mom so much even only at the age of six that she decided to take the lessons herself & give the lessons to him, figuring he wouldn't stick with it. Unfortunately, she came home with a Hawaiian guitar lesson plan. Kinda funny, since now he loves to dink around with Dobros, lap steels & pedal steels, but at the time all he could say was, "no Mom - Roy Rogers, not Don Ho....Gene Autrey, not Don Ho...." He just wanted to strum while he sang; and he'd been singing since he could talk.
David Alan Trabue, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, spent his formative years with the wealth of influences the musical center of the state has to offer. With clubs open till 4:00 A.M. every night and the diversity a large metropolitan area draws to those venues, Dave had a huge pool of talent to learn from, such as Bluegrass Alliance with Dan Crary , who Dave regularly opened for with a folk trio at the famous Red Dog Saloon; New Grass Revival evolved from the Alliance as one of the premier progressive bluegrass groups and a major influence on that genre; Dave shared the stage with New Grass often at The Great Midwestern Bluegrass Hall.
As a crowd warmer for The Osbourne Brothers , of "Rocky Top" fame, Dave was goaded (by the Great Midwestern's owner) into throwing his rendition of "Rocky Top" into the second show. Dave lived to tell about it.
In front of Iron Butterfly, one of Dave's rock collaborations drew great response from a throng of over 11,000 fans at Louisville's Memorial Coliseum.
Mark O'Connor, a fiddle virtuoso even when he was too young to be in the bar (technically, but what the hell) also had a show with Trabue as an opener.
When he first came to California Dave was back into his solo format and early on performed on the same billings with such greats as Spanky & Our Gang, Queen Ida's Bontemps Zydeco Band, Jesse Colin Young, and Donovan. With fiddle and mandolin backing Dave has opened for David Grisman, Dave Van Ronk , Los Lobos, and a San Francisco favorite, Norton Buffalo .
In the country world, bands of Trabue's have opened for Hank Snow, The Desert Rose Band, and Holly Dunn. Recently, while playing guitar and lap-steel at San Francisco's Blue Lamp Dave had the good fortune to be joined on stage by the lap-steel great, Freddie Roulette. Trabue's face still hurts from smiling.
And smiling is what he wants from his stage life. "If I leave the music world having made a few people's lives more enjoyable and their evenings a little more satisfying through my pickin' and grinnin', I know I will have had an opportunity that many never get, and I'll leave feeling pretty damn good about that." Hopefully, though, that won't be for a long, long time.