The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152242 Message #3559875
Posted By: Mark Ross
19-Sep-13 - 02:19 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
I met Kenny back in the '70's when I lived in Berserkeley. Larry Hanks was going down to Fresno to do a concert for the Folk Club and gave me a ride down there. I stayed with Kenny at his shack in the middle of an orange grove (we could go out and steal oranges for breakfast).
He was an amazing musician, playing in an idiosyncratic style that no one has duplicated. By the way, he played with his right Index finger, not his thumb nail, and when that nail broke, he said he would use his middle (or social) finger, and when that nail broke he would use his ring finger until his index finger nail had grown back.
If you asked him where he had learned a particular tune, he would point at at a couple of stacks of 78's in the corner and say something like, "About 3 feet up the right hand stack."
Utah Phillips was always insisting that Kenny was deserving of a National Heritage Award, but it seems that the ethno-proctologists felt that he was too eclectic, representing no one particular tradition. Shame on them.
He will be sorely missed.