Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Zipster Calling! and YouTube Stuff

So lately I've been checking into YouTube most days ( and you can find all sorts of things on there. I guess it first started when I visited there to see some music videos that friends on the bluegrass newsgroup, BGRASS-L, sent links to. Then I began checking the "people" section and things went from there. Now I'm thinking about putting some videos up on YouTube myself, though I'm not sure I can figure out the technical part of transferring video to the computer and uploading it. Or if I want to talk, do I just get a webcam?

There's someone putting on a bunch of good bluegrass music videos, too. His handle is "bluegrasbanjolover2" but if you'll just search the YouTube site for, say, Hot Rize or Tim O'Brien or Jerry Douglas you'll turn up a bunch of cool stuff. I don't know if I know "bluegrasbanjolover2" personally, but I was there at Grey Fox last summer when he filmed a bunch of songs by Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, John Cowan and others. The man(?) is sharing some really good stuff with folks who weren't able to be there. So check it out. Here's a link to Hot Rize doing "Nellie Kane" -- long ago - maybe Austin City Limits?? That's from bluegrasbanjolover2 as well.

Anyway, I was going to tell you about Zipster08, a sort of quirky character whose videos I think are super. He's the kind of guy you might live next door to if you lived in New Jersey and were just a little bit lucky. He's the kind of guy who would probably dress his little dog in a sweater so he wouldn't shiver. But never mind, the Zipster is a very real and unusual kind of guy and I really, really like him.

I'm not the only one. Someone called PostitiveSue who lives here in the UK likes him so much that she set up a fundraising site to bring the Zipster over to the UK for a visit and has managed to raise something like $1200 thus far! This time of year and flying from NY the Zipster could easily get here for much less than that. Apparently other fans of Zipster's have now made arrangements for him to visit Germany as well - and who knows? this might turn into a Zipster World Tour.

So check out Zipster08 and see what you think. Very real. Right now he's going through his album collection and telling us little details about this and that band (Zipster was in the music bidness). Yesterday's feature was about "Mrs. Miller." (click to go there: and don't get put off by the first part of the message - Zipster is having trouble with imposter zipsters - stay tuned for a minute or two and hear Mrs. Miller!) Do you remember her? She was "popular" back around the late 1960s, same time as Tiny Tim (remember him? Tiptoe Through the Tulips) and I suppose her biggest hit was "Downtown," though she does a bang-up job on "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" as well on her "Greatest Hits" album. Do you remember seeing her on the Ed Sullivan Show back then? Are you old enough to remember the Ed Sullivan Show? I remember seeing Tiny Tim on there back in that era and Topo Geegio, the little mouse ("Eddie, kiss me good night!") and even the Beatles...

Back in the late 1980s I was living in Nashville among some really great country and bluegrass professionals. One of them had a Halloween party and we all dressed up. Part of the gig was to bring along the Worst Album and they played a cut from each album and folks decided which album was the worst. It happens that not long before that I'd been rummaging through stacks of albums in some nasty old flea markety kind of place down in Triune, Tennessee and I dug up this "Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits" album with some old lady looking like someone's nice Italian grandmother on the cover and I bought it, remembering seeing her on Ed Sullivan and how badly, however goodnaturedly, she sang on it. In a moment of inspiration as I left the house for the party, I brought along Mrs. Miller to enter her in the contest. Now there were some terrible albums in the contest and some funny ones, too. Either Jerry Douglas brought along Bela Fleck's last album or vice versa, but we all had a good laugh over that. But when it came down to the wire, it was Mrs. Miller who won, or should I say lost? And we all got to hear her do "Downtown" and maybe even "These Boots Are Made for Walking." It's hard to forget, I'll put it that way. I can't remember ever hearing anyone who had LESS of a sense of time than Mrs. Miller and I reckon it would be bloody difficult to "fake" something like that. It was so horribly off. But I bet Jerry or Bela might have fun doing that .

Anyway, back to the Zipster (Zipster08)...go to and check him out. I think he's really special.

And remember to think about some happy things today. Signing off from wet, wet, wet Wales!