Categories
Musical Instruments

Quick Thoughts: 1. Rosa String Works; 2. Complaint About Gov. Whitmer

It’s Saturday morning, and I just remembered that I had a blog to post. My week has been busy caregiving my mom, maintaining her house, writing a few articles and looking for a job, so I forgot about this. So here’s a quick recommendation.

I mentioned the Rosa String Works YouTube channel in a previous post, but I highly recommend subscribing to the channel, or at the very least, checking in every few days. As a person that likes to do musical instrument repairs, Jerry gives some great home-style tips and advice. He videos some of his repairs, and talks to the audience in a very relaxing manner. It’s like sitting in the shop with your uncle or next-door neighbor and talking about mandolin repairs along with the weather and mowing the lawn.

Every one of his videos is magic. Whether he’s repairing a fiddle or the occasional non-musical instrument like his lawn tractor, Jerry has the answer for everything. I learn something new with every video. I also love that he has an assistant now, Caleb, who has the same Missouri drawl in his speech and is making some of the same helpful videos. There are also times when someone comes into the shop to test out a repared instrument and plays a tune for Jerry while he sits and listens. This is the down-home atmosphere that we all need these days while we are surrounded by fears of Coronavirus and riotous protests.

Check out some of his videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC29Dkc6-RMU8TCrloPN0Cbw

A few days ago, I was notified of the cancellation of the one remaining bluegrass festival here in southeast Michigan. It irritates me that the Coronavirus has made just about everyone nervous and on-edge to the point that every activity outside of watching TV is being cancelled. Yes, there are a number of virtual concerts online, and one bright side is that people stuck at home have been using downtime to learn a musical instrument.

However, I feel that we are being way too cautious in a lot of areas. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (as well as a few other state governors) have banned singing in church. Really? It was bad enough (and some could argue rightfully that it was unconstitutional) to close the churches in the first place. After opening and limiting attendance, something that has such meaning as singing hymnals can be banned? What is worse, the Archdiocese of Detroit (as well as other state dioceses) are cowering to the governor. When will the people of faith stand up for themselves and not allow an overzealous governor like Whitmer bully them out of their constitutional rights by using the Coronavirus as an excuse?

Chew on it and comment.

By Matt Merta/Mitch Matthews

Musician and writer (both song and print) for over 30 years. Primarily interested in roots music (Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk). Current contributing writer for Fiddler Magazine, previous work with Metro Times (Detroit), Ann Arbor Paper and Real Detroit Weekly, as well as other various music and military publications. As songwriter, won the 2015 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (Bluegrass Category, "Something About A Train," co-written with Dawn Kenney and David Morris) as well as having work performed on NPR and nominated for numerous Detroit Music Awards.

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