Fundraiser a Success, raises $20,000

I was fortunate to be able to attend the fund raiser on Sunday for my friend Dale Vanderpool and fellow bluegrasser Gerald Evans. The turnout was amazing. There were 800 people already through the door when I arrived and more streamed in as the show went on. By the end of the Grascals set it was standing room only, a real testament to dedication and support within Bluegrass community. The music was, as you might expect, exceptional, with plenty of interplay between bands. I was thrilled to see that Dale felt well enough to play with Don Rigsby and he sounded as good as ever.

The official press release is below.

A little snowy weather and a busy Holiday season did not hinder the success of a special Appreciation Concert this past weekend, benefiting fiddler and songwriter Gerald Evans, Jr. and banjo player Dale Vanderpool. Both are fighting cancer.

Sunday, bluegrass fans from the Ohio and Kentucky area packed the Roberts Convention Centre in Wilmington, Ohio. With an all-star lineup of bands and special guests, nearly $20,000 was raised. Special thanks to all of the following performers and contributors:

Lost and Found, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Blue and Lonesome, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain, Don Rigsby and Midnight Call, the Grascals, the Wildwood Valley Boys, J.D. Crowe and the New South, the Larry Stephenson Band, Sonny Osborne, Mark Rader, Larry Cordle, Dwayne Sparks, Darrell Adkins and the staff of the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Bluegrass Classic, the staff and volunteers of the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival and WBZI Radio.

Many other members of the national Bluegrass community sent donations as well.

It was truly a special day for two talented gentlemen who remain in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas season.

Joe Mullins would like to sincerely thank all contributors for their support and generosity.

Yours truly on mando with Dale Vanderpool and Friends earlier this year in Goodale Park

200 year old Scotch anyone? Yes, and make it a double.

Via Scott Jagow over on the Marketplace blog comes news of a few bottles of McKinlay and Co. scotch from the Shakelton expedition that might get pulled up from underneath 200 years of Antarctic sea ice. Shakelton is of course one of the most bad ass explorers to ever walk the planet, and the story contained the word Nimrod and Royds in it, c’mon whats not to like about that right?

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica’s ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whisky that has been on the rocks since a century ago.

The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whisky that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.

Whyte & Mackay, the drinks group that now owns McKinlay and Co., has asked for a sample of the 100-year-old scotch for a series of tests that could decide whether to relaunch the now-defunct Scotch.

Workers from New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust will use special drills to reach the crates, frozen in Antarctic ice under the Nimrod Expedition hut near Cape Royds.

Al Fastier, who will lead the expedition in January, said restoration workers found the crates of whisky under the hut’s floorboards in 2006. At the time, the crates and bottles were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.

The New Zealanders have agreed to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.

Fastier said he did not want to sample the contents.

“It’s better to imagine it than to taste it,” he said. “That way it keeps its mystery.”

Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, said the Shackleton expedition’s whisky could still be drinkable and taste exactly as it did 100 years ago.

If he can get a sample, he intends to replicate the old Scotch and put McKinlay whisky back on sale.

“I really hope we can get some back here,” he was quoted as telling London’s Telegraph newspaper. “It’s been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.

“Even if most of the bottles have to remain in Antarctica for historic reasons, it would be good if we could get a couple,” Paterson said.