A chat with Lynn Thompson about Saturday’s show
For the first time in way too long the Dogwood will be tossing open their doors for a real live concert on Saturday at 7:30pm.
Yes, folks we’re talking a good old regular sit in your seat and enjoy the music concert in the gem of a venue known as the Dogwood Center Main Stage.
We did an article on the event earlier...
and this week caught up with Lynn Thompson and the Moonshine Runners...well actually it was Lynn Thompson… to pose a few questions about the band, the music and the upcoming show.
We understand there will be two of you on stage. Of course we want to know what the story is behind the group name. Are the Moonshine Runners busy with the job they’re named after or is the band in transition or are the MR there in spirit alone?
With your first question I would say we are in transition. Originally a 3 piece band, we are performing as a duet, until we are 3 again. We have a Cd available titled Moonshine Runner and on the front cover is a photo taken by Life magazine in 1954 in Scott county Virginia. In the photo is the last confederate that ever lived he is 106 in the photo, he lived to be 112. General John Sally is his name. My grandfather is sitting next to him and sitting between them are moonshine jugs. My father used to live with the General, as it turned out the General used to brew the Shine and my father ran it. So yes, we are there in spirit.
By the way the Lynn and Moonshine Runners name was thought up by the bass player Ian Grant so at the moment Ian is the Moonshine Runners.
What drew you to the guitar? What was going on in your life when you picked it up and maybe a bit about your progression in learning it.
What drew me to the guitar was listening and watching my father play. He could play many instruments, he was mainly a fiddle player.
I started picking at the guitar when I was 9, started playing a 12 string at 18 and wrote my first song at 10, it was called Green Mountain Holler, it had a verse, chorus and a bridge. I remember my father telling me, I had a gift.
I play a 12 string guitar. A 12 string guitar gives me a much broader sound. I can make it sound like a mandolin, banjo and a guitar, the secret to playing a 12 string guitar is to learn to isolate the strings.
In reality, I always felt that the guitar was a part of my day and life. It makes me feel comfortable.
First gig. Tell us about it.
I grew up in Chicago, at 15, I was sneaking out of the house to play open mic nights at Earl of Old Town on Lincoln Ave. The bartender would smile, tell me where to sit and give me a coke until it was my turn. My first paying gig was at a small bar on Lincoln Ave at 19. When I turned 19 so did the drinking laws so I was able to go out to bars. My first gig was great. I was in a rock band at the time so I brought along my roadies who drank all the free beer. I received my first standing ovation at that show and thus I became addicted to performing.
Who have been your musical influences? Any mentors?
My influences are many! from Merle Haggard, John Denver, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe to Peter Gabriel, Tony Williams and the Beatles. Too many to mention, I have learned something from everyone I listen to
How has the pandemic affected your musical career? What kind of adjustments have been necessary?
The pandemic has affected me like everyone in the entertainment business. Many gigs were canceled but many came about. Venues were looking for solo players or duets and we fit the bill. When it was warm outside we played outside but when the cold came the gigs went away. It's starting to come back thankfully.
Why should folks come to your concert? What should they expect?
Folks should come to our show because you will be entertained and have fun!
There is a story behind every song and I do like telling them.
Mountain music is what we call our original sound. Similar to bluegrass but more with a beat. I came upon this style when learning the song by Ralph Stanley called Man Of Sorrow.
We are high energy but have our soft moments.
Come on out and have some fun on Saturday evening with Lynn and the Moonshine Runners!
Tickets are only $15 and are available at www.dogwoodcenter.com, through the Dogwood Box Office, downtown Fremont at NCCA-Artsplace or just click here. Seating style is reserved seating with social distancing. Seating is limited to 75 total. Masks worn over mouth and nose will be required at all times in the Dogwood Center. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
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