Friday, November 26, 2010

Pheaturing 'Slow' Layne Hendrickson From The Dirt Daubers

Hello, welcome back to the Phile. Happy Black Friday! Or as I like to call it here on the Phile... Black Phriday. And yes, I went out last night at 12:00 to go shopping. It's funny, Black Friday always falls on the same day of the week. So, did you guys have a good Thanksgiving? I am still full from all the turkey I ate. I was wondering, if people are so thankful on Thanksgiving, why do they go out and buy new things on Black Friday? Why do they call it Black Friday? Because everything is a steal. LOL. I apology, my friends, for that awful joke. Let's move on. Did you hear at Soarin' at Disney World (the most wonderful company to work for ever) they are adding TSA scanners? Over the past weekend, someone sent an envelope with some mysterious white powder. They were trying to test it, but Charlie Sheen snorted it before they could. Did you guys watch the 84th Macy's Day parade yesterday? You can tell the balloons are getting old. SpongeBob SquarePants is wearing his pants above his belly button. LOL. What a stupid thing to say. I couldn't think of an older balloon then Spongebob? The parade is 84 years old! Let me try is... you can tell the balloons are getting old. Betty Boops breasts are sagging. Popeye is wearing his pants above his belly button. Let's talk about something fun, like the bombing of South Korea. Experts say that North Korea’s Kim Jon Il may not be responsible for bombing South Korea, and it may have been his son. Kids grow up so fast. It’s a harsh indictment of our media as we lurch toward possible nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, we’re all talking about “Dancing With the Stars.” Isn’t it time journalists start asking the hard questions like “What does Kim Jong Il think of ‘Dancing With the Stars’?” Sarah Palin has managed to use her failed vice presidential run to put herself in a position of power and influence. Joe Biden won the race and he hasn’t been able to put himself in a position of power and influence. Speaking of Sarah Palin and "Dancing With the Stars", Sarah Palin must be glad that “Dancing With the Stars” is over. It was a major distraction. She was only able to release three books this month. Palin’s book “America by Heart” came out today, just in time for awkward holiday gift exchanges. Ratings for the second episode of Palin’s TV show have gone way down, falling 40 percent. So I guess she and President Obama do have something in common after all. Okay, let's talk about me for a minute. Most of you know from reading this blog or knowing me in person that for the past 22 years... actually, 22 years and nine months to be exact I have worked at Epcot in Walt Disney World. Well, this coming week is my last week there, I am going to transfer to the Magic Kingdom. I'll be doing basically the same job except for I would have more steady hours, they'll be less crowds, no strollers to push and it'll be more stress free. In other words, it'll be the complete opposite of what I have been used to. What am I getting myself in to? So, this afternoon we are all going to go out and see the new Disney movie, Tangled. It's about what my brain is going to do once I go to the Kingdom. Hey, shouldn't today be called Jew Friday because everything is so cheap? Okay. Okay. I am sorry. Sorry, Seth and Lucy. So, did you see the new Thanksgiving inspirational poster? I don't get it, so if you can figure it out, e-mail me at Check it out.

While I was shopping I found this funny inspirational poster. I am still laughing.

This is the 11th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. and the author, Jonathan Bender will be a guest on the Phile in two weeks.

And now for...

Today's guest on Black Friday is not only a musician and a member of the band The Dirt Daubers, he is also a blacksmith. A blacksmith on Black Friday. Get it? Please welcome to the Phile... 'Slow' Layne Hendrickson.

Me: Hello, Layne, or can I call you Slow? How are you? Welcome to the Phile.

Slow: Hey, Jason! I’ll answer to most anything. “Slow” is great though.

Me: Where did that nickname Slow come from?

Slow: I used to be “Fast” Layne. Then I got old… now I’m “Slow” Layne… eventually I’ll be “Passing” Layne.

Me: Congrats, you are the first blacksmith and wash tub plucker I interviewed on the Phile. And probably the first....

Slow: You mean last? LOL!

Me: There's not a whole lot of wash tub pluckers out there, are they?

Slow: Thanks! I’m honored. There are more wash tubists then one would suspect actually… I prefer the term “Gut Bucketeer” though. LOL! These days the tubs get used more fore catching the bloody entrails of God’s little creatures than for the washing of bib-overalls.

Me: How long have you been a blacksmith, sir, and how does one get into that kinda business? Not like I want to or anything.

Slow: I’ve been smiting the black metal for about nine years now. A hobby that got out of control really.

Me: And when did you start to play the wash tub?

Slow: I built my tub about a year ago. JD and Jessica would come over to visit when they were off tour with Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and we would pick Old Time Tunes out on the porch after supper. I just decided to build a tub so we could have some bass going and of course I had to build my own version that could be played like an upright in addition to just tilting the stick back and forth like a traditional wash tub bass.

Me: I am sure some Phile readers have no idea what a wash tub plucker is, unless they saw the Country Bears Jamboree at Disney World. So, can you explain what it is, and how do you play?

Slow: If you don’t happen to have a $6000 carved German upright bass lying around, just take the old 17 gallon washtub off the well-house wall, turn it upside down… poke a hole in it and thread some weed eater line through and tie it to a broom handle or a tobaccer stick… set the stick end on the lip of the tub and get to thumpin’! You vary the pitch by tightening or loosening the string tension by moving the stick back and forth.

Me: Is it an easy instrument to learn?

Slow: Seconds to learn, a lifetime to master. I play fiddle, upright bass, fretless banjo, slide guitar… All these helped me to get accurate intonation when I started playing gut bucket. I sorta know where notes live on a string. It ain’t an easy thing to play well. It’s all by ear because there is no frame of reference whatsoever. No frets… not even a stable open note on the string due to the wobble of the neck. If I can’t hear myself well in a bar, I’m boned. In that situation, I just play by vibration by pressing the headstock up against my skull.

Me: Is it even an instrument?

Slow: Most definitely. I patterned my neck after an upright so I liken my tub to playing an upright bass with one string and a broken neck.

Me: You're based in Benton, Kentucky, right? Where is that in location to Louisville?

Slow: Out in the sticks west of Benton…nearest the little community of Oak Level... hence the Oak Level Forge. (shameless self promotion). We’re about three hours west of Louisville.

Me: I have to ask you about your band The Dirt Daubers. Who came up with that name and what does it mean? It's a nasty bug.

Slow: I came up with name by watching a little dirt dauber busing himself building his little mud nest in my blacksmith shop. He worked his little stinger off all day, while I worked off mine. All three of us are hard working artists in addition to our music, so the name just seemed to fit. JD and Jess both liked the name so that was it.

Me: Who is in the band with you?
Col. J.D. Wilkes is our front man... he’s also the front man for Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. He plays harmonica and claw hammer banjer like a man wit de Debil in ‘im!.. and his lovely child bride/cousin Jessica Wilkes, a.k.a. “Baby Biscuits” plays hypersonic mandolin, tenor banjer and tenor guitar. We all caterwaul and howl periodically.

Me: I actually tried to find The Dirt Daubers on iTunes but had no luck. Are you guys planning on releasing music soon?

Slow: Hmmm.? We are indeed on iTunes. Might try again. Our self titled CD is also available on Amazon and at several other major outlets. You can also hear us on MySpace and YouTube.

Me: I stand or sit corrected, Slow. I found it and just downloaded the album. Okay, Slow, is there anything you want to tell the readers of the Phile. Tell your bandmates I said hello, and if any of them wants to be on it, let me know. Pluck on.

Slow: Keep an eye on our schedule at and and come out and see us! We’ll have a hoot… Thanks Jason!

Well, that does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Slow for a great interview and also to you the readers. The Phile will be back next week with legendary drummer who has played with Quiet Riot, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and many more... Mr. Bobby Rondinelli. Then the Phile moves to a Tuesday because of my training schedule and I will have author Jonathan Bender. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. And I am sorry if I offended anyone.

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