May 28, 2021

Issue #11

Welcome to Issue #11 of Sonic Postcards!

My wife and I got to see the closest thing to a live show we've seen in well over a year. A bluegrass duo happened to be performing at the coffee shop we dropped into on Tuesday evening. One of the tracks they covered, "Love of the Mountains", was from the 2015 Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee, Larry Sparks. I had never heard of Sparks before this week, but am enjoying going through his catalog and backstory.

Sparks got thrust into the spotlight early, joining the Stanley Brothers at the age of 17 in 1964. When Carter Stanley passed away, Sparks literally filled Stanley's shoes by taking his place in the Clinch Mountain Boys and performing in Stanley's shoes and getup until he could get his own.

It can seem crazy when you see a new artist emerging today who is being thrown into the spotlight at a young age like 17, but stories like Sparks' and similar stories from The Band's Robbie Robertson are a wild reminder that it isn't anything new. I'm curious if it would be easier to navigate the experience of touring and growing stardom as a 17 year old back then or today?

Enjoy the tracks.