By Pete Wernick – March 18, 2009
As probably one of the few who knew both of these amazing individuals, may I say that there is an interesting comparability between the two. One in Brooklyn, one in Nashville, each was an offbeat, unpredictable, often hilarious, sometimes difficult, deeply knowledgeable ringleader type who didn’t trade in virtuosity or tight-ship organizational skills, or mass entertainment, but who gave shape, encouragement, camaraderie, and creative inspiration to many musicians and their respective musical communities. Both with one foot in bluegrass, one in old-time, and the biggest one in “other”. Both undoubtedly outside-the-box, generous, beloved, and valuable beyond words to the people who knew them.
I would be surprised if either was even aware of the other, so different were their habitats and styles. But by remarkable coincidence, this week two somehow-related, bereaved communities are saying “wherever he is now is more of a fun place, and you can bet he’s right in the middle of it.”
I’m sure glad I knew them. We will just have to carry on. But carrying on will not be the same without Ed Dye and Richie Shulberg.