My friend Benj Clarke has been living in California for more than a few years now. We both worked at CityBeat and, of course, once a CityBeater, always a CityBeater. We’ve stayed in touch.
Benj revisits his hometown now and then. I wrote about this once in CityBeat in September of 2009.
Benj has been a part of Larisa Stow & Shaki Tribe for a number of years now. They have an interesting new video out and, as you know, it’s always my nature to share. Here ya go.
There’s a pretty good violin story behind that violin Bethany Grace Folsom is playing. Benj shared it with me and there goes my good nature again. I’m sharing his words with you.
Our violinist, Bethany Grace Folsom, heard us at a concert in Encinitas a couple of years ago. She loved the band and decided right then and there—and announced to us!—that she was joining our band.
There’s an interesting story about the violin she’s playing in the “Amma” video song. The violin belongs to me. It was played by my mother’s father Virgil Dunn from Greenup KY, who passed long before I was born.
It sat in the closet of my dad’s study all the years I was growing up. On a trip home to Cincinnati from California a few years ago, my mom gave me the violin. I took it to a violin shop in L.A. and they told me this actually is a really good violin, a Wurlitzer (Cincinnati, Ohio!) from the early 1900’s, probably made by a German instrument maker and sent to the states for retail sale.
It was worth between $3000-5000, but would need about $600 in repairs, and they wanted a 40% consignment fee to sell it. I found the fee and the repair bills both too high so I quickly ditched that plan. The fact that it was part of my family heritage also tugged at my heart even though I knew I’d never have time or interest to learn to play the violin.
After Bethany joined the band, I showed her the instrument. She took it to her violin shop where it was repaired and she just loved the way it played and sounded!
I’m disinclined to sell the violin now. I love the idea that my granddaddy, whom I never met, gets to be in the band—in spirit—with his violin.
I love music stories like this. Now, you see why I had to share it.
I’ll be back here on Wednesday.
(Image from sedonacreativelife.com)