Gut Rumbles

August 16, 2005

can't find it in the news

Willy called me today and said that my recording equipment should arrive tomorrow. He wasn't able to fix the tailpiece on my banjo, so he took it to Randy Wood to get the job done right.

While he was at Randy's shop, the phone rang. Somebody called to let Randy know that Vasser Clemmens is dead.

You may not know who Vassar Clemmens is, but I do. He is one of the best bluegrass fiddle-players who ever lived. I may be announcing his demise too soon, because I can't find a mention of it in the news yet, but I'm just reporting what Willy told me.

If it's true--- there goes another great one.


Blogcritics ran a story about him being very ill last week.

Link here ->

So I guess it's probably true what you heard. Sad though....he was a great fiddle player. I was lucky enough to see him several times.

Posted by: marcl on August 16, 2005 12:34 PM

I did a few sessions with vasser over the years. If true, shit!....he was a goodun.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 16, 2005 12:35 PM

He was self taught and never learned that you shouldn't play all four strings at the same time, which is what helped give his style that unique sound. Some of his best work that I've heard was on the "Circle" album with The Band and a load of great country stars of the sixties and earlier. Never had the chance to hear him live, I'll bet it was something.

Posted by: Gregor on August 16, 2005 12:41 PM

Mr. Acidman....
I would love to hear you play. I have wanted to learn to play a guitar or piano for years. Actually, I have a guitar, but have never learned to play. Maybe you can put something here on your post where we can click on it and hear you play. I envy people like you who are talented like that. I am not so sure you can learn it; I think you have to be born with the talent, but I keep trying. :)

Posted by: Chrissy on August 16, 2005 01:22 PM

Damn! I didn't know until I read it here--& I live in Nashville. He was one hell of a musician, & a fine man.

Posted by: Tennessee Budd on August 16, 2005 01:24 PM

Vassar Clements is indeed gone, sad to say. It's up on the main Internet portals now.

Posted by: Elisson on August 16, 2005 03:40 PM

Here's a link to an article on Beautifully written.

Posted by: KathyP on August 16, 2005 04:55 PM

Sadly it is true.

Posted by: ibm on August 16, 2005 07:29 PM

He lived a good life. I'll miss you Vassar.


Posted by: Buck on August 16, 2005 08:17 PM

The last time I saw Vassar was a couple of years ago at Mearlefest in North Carolina. They had a Vassar birthday jam with Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and a few other mentionable musicians. What a great show.

Posted by: Willy on August 17, 2005 09:30 AM

He will be missed and remembered with fondness. Florida Folk Festival goer's and preformers will never forget!

Posted by: Dawn on August 20, 2005 01:22 AM
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