Skippin’ Along on Top – CD Baby Album/Single Description
Byron Berline & I have been pickin’ friends since 1963. Back in our early Oklahoma days of yore, we met playing at a Hootenanny Folk Festival at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. We’ve stayed in touch over the years & I was therefore aware of his many recordings & performance adventures & his evolution into being one of the greatest Country & Bluegrass fiddlers of all time. Coincidentally, I, therefore, knew a lot about his career.
We played a lot of music together, (135) shows & (40) of ‘em with symphony orchestras!
We called the music we played “Crabgrass” because it kept coming back.
I decided to put the spotlight on Byron & write this song about him to play in our concerts as a way to introduce him & with a medley of highlights of his musical career to the audience.
“Skippin’ Along On Top”, follows closely the style of the material I used to write for the Smothers Brothers Show” (you know, where they build you up just before they take your pants down!)
The piece evolved in a few details over the years, but the band always seemed to enjoy the challenge of playing an ever-changing complex arrangement & the crowd loved it to.
Here’s a quote I wrote for forthcoming bio book about him:
“Across the fiddle, the bow couldn’t ask for a better friend, & across the board, I couldn’t either.”
Mason Williams – vocal
Byron Berline – fiddle / vocal harmony
Rick Cunha – rhythm acoustic / lead electric guitar / vocal harmony
Jerry Mills – mandolin
John Hickman – 5-string Banjo
Doug Haywood – Bass / vocal harmony
Hal Blaine – Drums
Recorded live in the studio in 1995 at Don Ross Studio in Eugene, Oregon.