Tell us your Willie P Bennett stories. (click here) ยป Whiteline Fever

  • Terry Graves

    Terry Graves Waterford, Ontario ( TEgraves99@outlook.com)

    Back in one June, in the early 2000's my wife, Eva, and I were attending the Fred Eaglesmith Roots On The River Festival in Bellows Falls, Vermont. We were also running Fred's Great Northern Picnic in Cobalt which was coming up later that summer. We were staying at the Walpole Inn in Walpole, New Hampshire, just across the Connecticutt River from Bellows Falls. The festival had shut down for the night and people were jamming on the deck outside the bar at the Walpole. Amongst the jammers were Fred, playing fiddle, Bill Chambers playing rhythm guitar, Audrey Auld on guitar and three or four others. Willie was sitting there quietly. I realized as they worked around the song circle that the great Australian country singer/songwriter was not aware of who Willie was. Bill thought of him as just another sideman of Fred's. When the circle moved to Willie's turn to play a song he quietly started into Whiteline. All of the other musicians, knowing the song well, slid easily in behind Willie. It was really an excellent take on the song and when it finished there was a moment of peaceful reflection by all present. Bill Chambers was the first to speak. He said "That's such a powerful song. I've always loved it!........who wrote it? Willie, packing up his mandilin, said quietly, "I did". Bill's jaw dropped as he suddenly realized that Willie wasn't just anybody's sideman, he was the guy who wrote, amongst other things frigging Whiteline! You could hear Bill kicking himself for the next hour. Just one of those Willie moments you had to love. Terry Graves

    Back in one June, in the early 2000's my wife, Eva, and I were attending the Fred Eaglesmith Roots On The River Festival in Bellows Falls, Vermont. We were also running Fred's Great Northern Picnic in Cobalt which was coming up later that summer. We were staying at the Walpole Inn in Walpole, New Hampshire, just across the Connecticutt River from Bellows Falls. The festival had shut down for the night and people were jamming on the deck outside the bar at the Walpole. Amongst the jammers were Fred, playing fiddle, Bill Chambers playing rhythm guitar, Audrey Auld on guitar and three or four others. Willie was sitting there quietly. I realized as they worked around the song circle that the great Australian country singer/songwriter was not aware of who Willie was. Bill thought of him as just another sideman of Fred's. When the circle moved to Willie's turn to play a song he quietly started into Whiteline. All of the other musicians, knowing the song well, slid easily in behind Willie. It was really an excellent take on the song and when it finished there was a moment of peaceful reflection by all present. Bill Chambers was the first to speak. He said "That's such a powerful song. I've always loved it!........who wrote it? Willie, packing up his mandilin, said quietly,
    "I did".
    Bill's jaw dropped as he suddenly realized that Willie wasn't just anybody's sideman, he was the guy who wrote, amongst other things frigging Whiteline! You could hear Bill kicking himself for the next hour. Just one of those Willie moments you had to love.
    Terry Graves

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