One of my first and most vivid memories in life, took place in Baltimore in 1968. It's where my life long love and admiration for Bluegrass music was born. My dad, Roger Roberson and uncle, Sam "Porky" Hutchins had relocated our families to Maryland, in hopes of cashing in on the booming Bluegrass circuit that had taken 1960s Baltimore by storm. I vividly recall the late night practice sessions and being mesmerized at how effortless my dad picked his guitar, and how fast my uncle played his banjo. I remember looking up to these two very larger than life men, both literally and figuratively, as their voices rang out in perfect harmony.
One particular late night jam/practice session my uncle Sam handed what I thought was a guitar my size so I could pretend to play along. That seemingly insignificant gesture made me feel like I was part of this, and four decades later it's still a part of me.
In 1978 my dad and uncle, now known as The Hutchins Brothers and the Wild Grass, cut their 1st and only album, Thank You America, and they took the whole family on the road. For the next several years we lived on a 1960s something model Silver Eagle criss crossing the country hitting festival after festival, further cementing my devotion to Bluegrass music.
The hardest aspect of life to me are the sudden changes. Years passed and so did my heroes. My Dad died 7/6/97, and my uncle on 12/8/02. Just two weeks before Sam passed on, we had our last time together. I wanted him to hear the demo of my latest project. After we finished listening to it, Sam said, "Son, I'm on my way out, you're the only one left that ever really loved and cared about our bluegrass music, I want you to keep it going."
That's what led me to this project. While it would be a blessing for it have great commercial success, that's not the reason behind it. I dedicate this project to the memory of the two most influential men in my life, Roger Roberson and Sam "Porky" Hutchins.
Through what can only be defined as divine intervention, I was recently reunited with that little guitar my uncle gave me to play along with them. It was actually a vintage 1927 LeDomino ukele.