On the Road Again by the Possum Ridge String Band
Featuring Russ Meyers on the bones
Includes 8 tracks with bone playing and 4 tracks with bone stories! (Total tracks: 31)
Grab Your Bones and Rattle Along with Russ
"I was born 27 March, 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland. Graduated from Washington & Lee University, class of 1956, BS in Foreign Service. I first saw the bones in 1942 when my father brought a set of wooden bones home from a Washington D.C. Board of Trade lunch. He showed me how to hold them but said he couldn't teach me how to play. I bought my favorite set of ox bones from Kitt's Music Store, Washington, D.C. in 1943. At my fathers suggestion, I tried to copy the combined patterns of drummer and tuba players on Dixieland recordings. I played only for my own enjoyment, discovering my "pitch change" bit by accident in 1959. I made a recording for the Library of Congress in the late 1970s. A church social in the 1980s started my playing for civic organizations, etc. I am now considered the best bones player in south Brightwood, VA beating out stiff and heavy competition a few moments ago."
--Self description from Rhythm Bones Society's "Bones Players of Today"
Russell B. Myers (1934 - 2006)
The first time I met Russ was at Bones Fest VII in Louisville, Kentucky. This was my first bones fest. As fate would have it, I appeared on stage - with my two young'uns in tow - just before he did. As you might expect, the children charmed the warmhearted audience. Of course, Russ' act was a definite show stopper. In fact, it was a classic performance that is still talked about today. During a break in the program I ran into Russ where he was holding court in a hallway. He chided me (in jest) for making his time on stage so difficult - wailing this sage advice: "Never follow animal acts or children!" Everyone laughed. And I now felt like a veteran member of the group. The last time I saw Russ was at Bones Fest X, his last fest. I was fortunate enough to appear near Russ in the official group portrait - and also got to give his legendary whale bones a rattle after the shoot.
Russ Myers Memorial Video
"Russ Myers was a pure joy," declares Mel Mercier who narrates the Russ Myers Memorial Video scheduled for installation at the Madison County, Virginia Historical Society. Mel is an internationally respected musician and educator from Ireland. Mel's research for his doctoral dissertation on rhythm bones led him to
interview Russ years ago. Mel was among the 25 attendees at Bones Fest III hosted by Russ and Wilma Myers in 1999 at their Brightwood, Virginia home. An association of bones players was formed there and a board of directors was elected. They established and named the Rhythm Bones Society. Yes, the Rhythm Bones Society was founded on the back porch of Russ Myer's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. "His memory is cherished by many," says Mel in the video, "and his spirit and his music live on."
On September 10, 2006 our friend Russ Myers departed this life after a long battle with multiple ailments. He was our master bones player, storyteller, and star of our first CD [On the Road Again]. We miss him. We are confident he has joined the Heavenly Choir, as he believed, but we doubt he is playing anything as sedate as the Harp.
--Possum Ridge String Band (Click photo to enlarge)
(left to right: Sam Driver, Rannie Winn, E.J. Burke, Whit Whitfield, Peter Bramley)
Old-time and Celtic Music from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
This 2005 produced cd is bursting with 31 separate tracks. Russ and the band offer you a recording packed with more than one full hour of old-time melodies and mirth! That adds up to an action-packed seventy-two minutes you can play along with the Possum Ridge String Band, rattle with Russ, and enjoy a handful of amusing bone stories and anecdotes as only Russ Myers can tell them. "We are dedicated amateurs and we have an excellent rehearsal-to-performance ratio," boasts the band. This band knows how to play a tune like a bone player loves. A half-dozen bone players including myself appeared with the band at the memorial dedication ceremony for Russ. It was a fitting tribute to Russ and the music could not have been better. You will have a blast rattling along with them too. So grab a copy of this culturally significant and fun cd - and rattle on!
Nautical Style Bones demo video. Musical segment features Child Grove from On the Road Again.
Look what's on the CD:
1. Flowers of Edinburgh* 2:38
2. Red Haired Boy (Little Beggarman) 2:21
3. Cluck Old Hen* 2:18
4. Russ Myers: Bones at the Funeral Home 1:18
5. Midnight on the Water 3:48
6. Swallow Tail Jig 2:40
7. Kitchen Girl / Cold Frosty Morning 3:45
8. Angeline the Baker* 3:23
9. Planxty George Brabizon 2:15
10. Road to Lisdoonvarna 2:02
11. Russ Myers: Egyptian Fertility Bones 1:13
12. Soldiers Joy* 2:21
13. Child Grove 1:48
14. Blackberry Blossom 2:15
15. Haste to the Wedding 1:58
16. Barlow Knife* 1:48
17. Kerfunken Jig 2:38
18. Russ Myers: How to Play the Bones 1:28
19. St. Anne's Reel* 2:37
20. Sandy River Belle 2:51
21. Home Sweet Home* 2:27
22. Too Young to Marry 1:39
23. Star Above the Garter 2:57
24. Whiskey Before Breakfast* 2:22
25. Rights of Man 2:57
26. Russ Myers: Mr. Bones 1:39
27. Mississippi Sawyer* 1:39
28. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine 2:18
29. June Apple* 1:31
30. Off to California 1:51
31. Banish Misfortune / Kesh Jig 4:08
*Russ on bones
Peter Bramley, Banjo, tenor banjo, Anglo concertina
E.J. Burke, Fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals
Sam Driver, Guitar
Russ Myers, Bones
Whit Whitfield, Hammered dulcimer, autoharp, bodhran, tambourine
Rannie Winn, Whistles