At a time like this, there are no words to adequately describe Byron Berline. In addition to his sublime musicianship, he was also an individual who was gentle, graceful, humble and so very kind.
While the world mourns the loss of Byron, the HVBA will always hold onto a very magical weekend in 2010 when Byron made an trip to Poughkeepsie to play for us and give a fiddle workshop. As Fred Robbins remembers it, in April he read that Byron was going to be on the East coast and, knowing Byron personally, he wrote to him and asked if he might consider a stopover in our area. Within an hour, Byron responded to the email and the HVBA was ready to begin planning.
As there was no accompanying band, we reached out to the talented musicians we knew and….voilá…..a band was formed with Byron Berline (fiddle), Michael Sassano (mandolin), Jerry Oland (banjo), Jen Larson (vocals & guitar), and Keith Edwards (bass). And what a band that was!!! Think “dream team” and you have it. They called themselves Byron Berline & Gold Rush.
Rehearsal? Well, everyone got together on a hot July day, the day of the concert, to go over a couple of tunes. We have the photos of the workshop and the concert for you to relive. We had two unforgettable days with Byron, memories that will always be with us.
Beyond the memories of the HVBA concert, what I will forever remember about Byron and his short stay in Poughkeepsie, was his warmth and generosity. Oh, and his wonderful sense of humor.