BY CHRIS MATEER
Following our exclusive song premiere of John Reischman’s ‘Itzbin Reel’ (featuring fellow mando great Chris Thile), Sitch columnist Chris Mateer gives us his in depth conversation with Reischman…
Can you briefly discuss your musical experiences before forming John Reischman and the Jaybirds?
John Reischman: In 1978 I joined the Good Ol’ Persons, who were based in the San Francisco Bay-area. The band played traditional bluegrass and other styles of acoustic music. We also featured a lot of original material written primarily by Kathy Kallick, but also by Paul Shelasky. It was in this supportive environment that I first started writing original tunes.
After I had been playing with the Good Ol’ Persons for a few years I heard that Tony Rice was starting a new group having recently parted ways with David Grisman. I auditioned for the job and ended up playing with Tony for the next 3 or 4 years. Needless to say, this was an exciting situation for me to be in and I really worked on my playing during this time. I continued playing with the GOP (Good Ol’ Persons) during my time with the Tony Rice Unit.
In 1992 I moved to Vancouver BC and started to work as a freelance musician, performing and recording with several Canadian based musicians including Cindy Church, Celso Machado, and Sal Ferreras. I also still toured and recorded with US based musicians like Kathy Kallick, Kate McKenzie, and Tony Furtado.
It was also around this time …