David Collyer celebrated his birthday with many of the bluegrass community at The Mixing Bowl (formerly JW and friends) in Springfield Virginia. He was going to support a fundraiser for the disadvantaged.
What he didn’t know, was that there was an award waiting for him from DC Bluegrass Union president (and ace banjoist and songwriter btw) Randy Barrett. He’s the go to player in DeeDee Wyland‘s festival quality ensemble, and his own band Big Howdy. Randy has a violin shop Greenway Violins and is heavily involved as a board member for the Foundation that purchased Bluegrass Country Radio from WAMU.
This was a big deal, because Dave has never expected any accolades for simply doing what he enjoyed. Whether working for LCAC to help the shut ins and senior community – or driving the health van to underprivileged areas of West Virginia each year, to help them get diagnosed properly with vision tests and checkups.
We knew Dave not for those works, but saw him in the audience at our shows, thumbs up to the player, and walking up again and again to throw tips in our jars at Tiffany Tavern (RIP) or JVs in Falls Church. Or paying a cover to get into a show at Lucketts Bluegrass Series, Jammin Java, Wolf Trap or the Birchmere over quite a few years. Last year attending a fundraiser at the church for Bluegrass Country radio last year. (Stay tuned for the next one Dave!)
He was there, clapping and mouthing the words to all the Bluegrass and old time songs, nailing the lyrics perfectly.
And for his birthday, he puts money in the tip jar for the charity Catjammers for Koinonia Inc., which ministers to the poor in the area.
What happened next was surprising. — Randy asked him to say a few words after the award was presented, and what he said let us all know how deeply he was steeped in the Bluegrass traditions of the area. Among many acts he spoke of seeing, Dave mentioned being a frequent guest at Ray Davis house for his radio broadcasts, which spawned the Bluegrass music broadcasting in the DC area. More about Ray here.
This guy knows something about Bluegrass.
A few among those who signed Dave’s Birthday card:
- Bill Farrar – Representative Reston-Herndon Folk Club
- Donnie Faulkner – Front man lead singer guitar
- Fred Nelson – mandolin vocals
- Elizabeth Nelson – accordion
- Robert Swain – baritone singer
- Arthur Lisi – sound
- Nancy Lisi – promo
- James Boberg – guitarist
- Bob Jenkins – guitarist and admins of Catjammers
- Shelley Burns – Fiddle
- Randy Barrett – banjo Singer
- Ginger Floyd Beecher – bass and vocalist
- Mark Skip Casale – mandolin
Congratulations Dave, and many more birthdays please, thumbs up!