Wednesday, March 23, 2016


It has been nearly two weeks since my left eye surgery and I still cannot see clearly.  That was not supposed to be the outcome.  No surgery is planned for my right eye unless left clears up.  It was for cataract removal and also drain tube insertion to reduce pressure which will cause glaucoma. That may have caused the complication. Difficult to read and see monitor.  So no more posts to this blog for the foreseeable future.  Thanks to alll who hae been reading this. Keep the bluegrass flowing.
                                                                                   Roger Koch

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Still unsure about YBA March 12  jam.  Recovering from left eye surgery.  Normal recovery so far, but vision will be fuzzy for several more days due to much antibiotic gel covering eyeball.  Acuity test good - meaning reading small print on chart. Started wearing glasses at 13 for myopia (nearsightedness).  Right eye cataract removal on Wednesday, March 16, 2015.Depth of field is all messed up until then.  I have to be really careful about that in household activities.  Too easy to knock items over or spill them.

BLUEGRASS CONNECTIONS:  My eye surgeon was Dr. Jerald Bell at the Billings Clinic.  Waiting for my first appt. in his exam room I saw a diploma from West Virginia with a photo of Senator Richard Byrd.  I told Dr. Bell that I recalled Sen. Byrd as playing good fiddle and I fiddled away, too. Then he said he was born in Knoxville,TN, his family did old time music when he was young, but later moved on to other states and got away from bluegrass.  Days later when being prepared in the OR there was some modern music in the background. Largely in jest, I said it was too bad it wasn't bluegrass.  He said, "Wait a minute.  We might be able to do something about that."  He walked back out of my field of vision as I lay on the table, and what do you know: oldtimey and bluegrass began pouring through the speakers.  (I don't know whether it was satellite radio or from an online service or what - just good music with no voice commercials and mainly instrumental. I was only on a local anesthetic so could comment when a fav like East Tennessee Blues came on.  I could hear him humming along and when a hot number began he told the anesthesiologist he could just see his sister clogging to it.  "She was tall and skinny and she could really clog."  They all burst into laughter when Johnny Cash came on singing, "A boy named Sue."  The doc did know his stuff.  As a nurse was wheeling me off to recovery I heard him say, "That one was Mississippi Sawyer."  The next day while removing the eye bandages and explaining my after surgery procedures he said, "We enjoyed your music so much we played it during the next surgery, too."

I didn't expect to have such a good time having cataract surgery.  I hope both eyes recover quickly.
I have a Cajun gig coming up in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Lots of activities coming up, but my involvement may be minimal.  I am having cataract surgery today and another the following week on the other eye.  I hope most of you will attend the YBA jam and workshop on March 12.  I will be there if I can.

Monday, March 7, 2016


NOTE: Edd Trembly has years of experience as a professional musician and really knows his stuff.  This is an exceptional opportunity to advance your skill level.  Do not miss this workshop.
YBA Members,
Reminder Saturday is our Winter Jam 1:00 at the Blue Creek Church. Take Cabellas Exit head south a couple miles church is on left.  (If you are not on the Interstste take South Billings Boulevard past River Front Park and cross the Yellowstone River Bridge.) Please bring a salad or dessert.
1:30 I will give a Bluegrass Guitar Rhythm/Backup Workshop. If you can play the: "C,D,F,G" chords and understand how to use a capo you can probably play most bluegrass tunes. Workshop will cover all the basic bass and strum patterns the theory behind using a capo and the Nashville number system. Should be fun.
Finally be sure to catch one of the board members if you haven't paid your 2016 dues yet.


MORE FROM THE IBMA.  If you go to You Tube as below you may also find a link to Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling) doing one of my favorite jam tunes "Salty Dog Blues." Fun stuff and REAL bluegrass!

Happy birthday to Doug Dillard, who would have been 79 years old today. As a key member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame band, The Dillards, Doug developed his own distinctive banjo style that is still revered by banjo players today. He and The Dillards combined their great music with comedy to become a popular bluegrass band on TV back in the 1960s on the Andy Griffith Show as the Darlings and other variety shows. Check out this video of their appearance on the Judy Garland Show, playing "Buckin' (or Whoa) Mule". Doug passed away in 2012 and is dearly missed.
Also I have been watching reruns of the old Andy Griffith TV show om Me TV antenna channel 14 in the Billings region.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


There will be lots of good music coming up on MT PBS as they ask for pledges.   Tonight, March 5, 2016, 50 years of the Nitty Gritty Dirt band will be on at 10 PM followed by John Denver at 11:30.  Other days will have rock from Eric Clapton to the Carpenters and Ed Sullivan.  Anyone for Loretta Lynn? There will be classic to Celtic as we head to St. Parick's Day and lots more. too. Check your local listings for more info.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016



YBA Members,
Our Winter Party Jam will be held Saturday March 12th at the Blue Creek Church. Same church as fall jam at 1:00 PM. I will also be giving a bluegrass rhythm/backup guitar workshop on that day(more on that later). As always we will have the food entre provided and would love it if you could bring a salad or dessert. You can also pay your dues or become a new member on that day.