My MerleFest set with Pete Seeger

When I was about 19 or 20 years old, I was  at MerleFest in Wilksboro, North Carolina, helping my parents man the Homespun Tapes booth. At the time it was a relatively small festival with mostly folk, bluegrass and old-time music in honor of the great Merle Watson.

Pete Seeger was playing and asked me to join him for a set on one of the stages. He also invited me to lead a song. I was so nervous and couldn't think of what to play. I was a rocker and electric blues player at the time and didn't have a traditional or folk repertoire. My dad said that I should just play what I feel comfortable with and so I worked up the nerve to play "Little Wing" by Hendrix on my little Takamine 3/4 sized acoustic guitar.

Pete was so gracious and after my song said it was "unfair that someone so young could be so good." I was honored and humbled to play a set with Pete and will remember that day clearly.

When I heard of Pete Seeger's passing I was saddened that our world lost one of the best people to ever walk the earth. RIP Pete Seeger! We'll miss you.

3 comments

  • Dale

    Dale Kenwood

    Beautiful. You were lucky indeed.

    Beautiful. You were lucky indeed.

  • Randy Cook

    Randy Cook Sonoma

    Loved the old Pete & Arlo Guthrie shows. He always seemed to elicit joy and happiness in his music, not to mention his beautiful voice. Surely an American icon and hero in many respects. Thanks for sharing!!

    Loved the old Pete & Arlo Guthrie shows. He always seemed to elicit joy and happiness in his music, not to mention his beautiful voice. Surely an American icon and hero in many respects. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Everette Bigbee

    Everette Bigbee Charleston, SC

    Would have loved to have seen that! Hope all is well!

    Would have loved to have seen that! Hope all is well!

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