A friend of mine 'went missing' one year at Harrietville and I was wondering if he was all right. Turns out he was fine, he just had a difficult choice to make: ResoSummit or Harrietville. Since Harrietville isn't on my map ResoSummit seemed like a good place to go.
By explanation, ResoSummit is an event created by Rob Ickes to support Dobro players. It a university style event that has structured sessions taken by a professional Dobro player. You need to register and then choose from the available courses as there are multiple concurrent courses. The courses are set to a standard and everyone is taught at that level, so hang on in some instances.
The event is held on the Scarrit-Bennet university campus in Nashville
Registration is a difficult process because there are a limited number of seats and the event is very popular. This year there were one hundred and thirteen attendees, fifteen faculty (teachers) and three off campus performances.
I looked into it last year but they were fully booked. They did however allow you to register your interest in attending the next year by entering your email address. So that's what I did. About six months later I was contacted and asked if I still wanted to attend. I quickly replied "Yes!" From there on you were given choices at regular intervals, like:
Accomodation on site is in dormatories. Two rooms share a bathroom. The beauty of that is that there is a dedicated floor for after-hours jamming.
When you arrived you were given your name tags, etc. Rob Ickes personally greets each attendee in the line as we waited our turn to be processed.
The faculty members were:
The event is held over three days, Friday to Saturday, with an unstructured Thursday night.
Days were structured as follows:
Each session went for one and a quarter hours,
There was some variation within this structure:
My choice of sessions was to look outside the Bluegrass box.
The Station Inn performances were as follows:
Paul Beard had a room dedicated to repairing/upgrading Dobro's.
There was a merchandising table selling ResoSummit stuff. I bought a capo and a water bottle.
I'm not a big meat eater and that was a problem, lots of meat on the menu. I could navigate breakfast pretty well, but opted out on lunch and dinner.
Lunch was the Subway two blocks away from the campus.
Dinner was usually at Cantina Laredo, an upmarket mexican restaurant close by the Station Inn, or pizza at the Station Inn.
Renting a Dobro
I decided against bringing an instrument with me. I'd heard of too many horror stories of damaged instruments to be comfortable with the airlines. Instead, I opted to rent a Dobro in Nashville. For the four days of ResoSummit I was charged $100, quite reasonable.
I fitted my choice of string to the instrument: Martin Resophonic Nickel strings.
No problems playing it, worked very well.
ResoSummit provided the second (first) floor of the Fondren building as a jamming space. We were encouraged to keep the groups small.
The first night was interesting as the campus security lock down the buildings at 10:30 p.m.. Anything after that required the security guy to be called to let us in. After attending shows at the Station Inn, it was always after 10:30 p.m. when we arrived back on campus. Security later didn't enforce the lock down.
I found it difficult to 'join in' as I don't play the instrumentals that are standard. I played a few of my singing songs earlier on and then decided to just join in with what was happening as the other jammers didn't know what to do while I was performing and became uncomfortable.
Usually finished up around 3:00 a.m.
Good to catch up with JDBB member Daver. He brought along a bass and an amplifier. I ended up playing bass while Daver played Dobro.
It's quite amazing how out of all the attendees, I was the only one that played with a plectrum and used the Dobro as a supporting device for my singing. One of a kind.
Forgot to take my slide bar with me! The supplied Stevens bar that came with the rental Dobro was not good enough, so, I had to buy one. I wasn't able to buy exactly what I wanted (GS Steel) but I got close enough. Another souvenir.