Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus Returns!!!

Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus
Friday, October 26th 7:30pm
Unitarian Fellowship, 67 S Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY
$15 at the Door

Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus returns to HVBA Friday Oct. 26 at the Universalist Fellowship Hall. Again under the command of the unflappable Colonel Buff-Orpington who will be playing guitar, a squadron of veterans will be playing and singing for your entertainment and admiration.

The redoubtable Ms. Two-Lumps from Regimental HQ will play bass fiddle. The highly doubtable Ophelia Feelgood, Pharmacists Mate – R.N. (and that means Royal Navy, not Registered Nurse) brings her terrific fiddling skills. The famed palindromic photographer Norman O. Namron will play mandolin and sing. The rookie member of the troop will be the outstanding banjoist Mr. Eric Praline, male model. Sergeant-Major is currently completing Mr. Praline’s basic training, focusing on rapid key changes and advanced posing.

The bluegrass music will be highly traditional. Everything else? Well, prepare for something completely different. You might even get a few laughs.

(This is not a BBC production.)

Norman O. Namron, palindromic photographer:  Norman has been a stout bluegrasser since the days of the very first bluegrass festival in 1965, which he attended representing the Nutmeg State of Connecticut.  He'll be playing mandolin with the Flying Circus, but is also an accomplished banjo and guitar player.  He is always busy in one bluegrass band or another, with a number of recordings under his camera vest, and will undoubtedly be recognizable to many in the HVBA.  He reveres Bill Monroe's mandolin style, and also has command of a number of not-too-common bluegrass vocals.  He lives in Connecticut where he indulges his passion for palindromic photography, and has retired from teaching school.  It is to be hoped he will bring one of his renowned palindromic photos for display and admiration.

Ms Two-Lumps, Regimental HQ Staff:   Ms. Two-Lumps has played bass fiddle in several bluegrass bands for over 10 years and her work has been recorded on CD.  In her world-wide assignments she is always on the lookout for bluegrass, and she found it in Japan where she appeared on stage with a loaner bass with her new bluegrass friends.   She is also President of Music Camps North which hosts Banjo Camp North and Mandolin Camp North in Massachusetts each spring.  Ms. Two-Lumps is the "ambassador" member of the Flying Circus, balancing The Colonel's stiffness, since he is basically clueless about interpersonal relations.  She is not afraid to rattle The Colonel at times.  The audience always enjoys her solos and mercantile efforts.  Mr Two-Lumps resides in The People's Republic of Vermont.

Mr. Eric Praline – male model:  The Colonel, who is not a slave to fashion, was initially skeptical about Mr. Eric Praline's "fit" in the squadron but has come 'round to a warm endorsement.  Mr. Praline is a life-long master banjoist.  Prior to engaging in modeling, he was educated in the arts at Yale, and has made his entire career in music — performing, recording and teaching.  He recorded a fine LP with Dobroist Mike Auldridge in the 1970s, and has been a bluegrass fixture in Vermont bands.  As a mere stripling, callow teenager playing in a band opening for the Earl Scruggs Revue, his banjo work was personally praised by Earl himself.  In addition to his banjo skills, Mr. Praline is an expert harmony singer.  To The Colonel's surprise, it turns out that Ms. Two-Lumps and Mr. Praline have appeared together in bluegrass bands.  There are sure to be fans in the Hudson Valley who will recognize Mr. Praline.  He picks, he sings, he poses.  While The Colonel might prefer that Praline wear a uniform, it is thought Mr. Praline may add a dash of sartorial splendor to the concert.  However, as Uncle Dave Macon once said of Earl Scruggs, "he ain't a bit funny".

Pharmacist's Mate Ophelia Feelgood:  When not on duty with the Royal Navy in the English Channel and North Sea, P.M. Feelgood serves the citizens of eastern Connecticut and Rhode island with her pharmacological skills.   Since youth she has been well-known in the New England bluegrass world as a fourth generation bluegrass fiddler and singer.  She started out in her Connecticut family band and moved on to regional bands including the award winning "all girl" band Sassy Grass.  She fiddles with a vengeance in bands playing bluegrass, Irish and contra dance styles.  Feelgood has been doing studio recording with her fiddle for 20 years — she has also competed in contests on every bluegrass instrument, with many wins as a fiddler.  She is very proud that her oldest son has learned to play bass fiddle so well that he performed with a band at IBMA this year in Raleigh.  Feelgood hosts a weekly bluegrass radio show at University of Connecticut's WHUS FM.  She's also a fiddle teacher and a powerful singer.

Colonel Buff-Orpington, RAF (ret.) (Mrs):  What can be said about The Colonel that hasn't already been muttered under someone's breath?  Clueless and stiff has already been mentioned (see above).  Additionally, he has a decades-long history in bluegrass music all over the Northeast US and the Maritimes of Canada.   While originally doubtful about his posting to The Colonies, as a faithful servant of Her Majesty's armed services, he has made the most of his time here.  He is equally well known as a guitarist and a banjoist, appearing on five well-reviewed recordings.   He has been an emcee at Maine's Thomas Point Beach festival for uncounted years.  He lives and breathes traditional bluegrass and knows hundreds of songs.  He can lead a disparate group of musicians from jamming to a polished band performance.  His family motto is taken from that of the State of Maine — "Dirigo" or "I lead".   The Colonel is a leader, even when a leader is not needed.  In his last HVBA appearance The Colonel played banjo.  This time he graciously yields the banjo to the superior skills of Mr Praline, and will play guitar.  The Colonel is enjoying his retirement in the Catskills, and serves as a volunteer Air Raid Warden for his Ulster County town.


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