Fiddle player Larry Gääärd of local band Honky Tonkitis announced Tuesday that he will be taking a leave of absence from the band after being hired to play fiddle for a national tour.
"I'm really excited about this tour, although I'm still a little shaky. I hope everything goes all right. And I'm grateful to Honky Tonkitis for giving me the time off to follow my dream."
Gääärd will be playing fiddle for a tour featuring artists Dave Matthews, Michael McDonald, and Shane MacGowan.
"When I was offered to play fiddle behind the likes of Dave and the singers of the Doobie Brothers and the Pogues, I was like, 'who wouldn't?'" Gääärd enthused.
Although thrilled to be part of the tour, Gääärd confessed he has some misgivings.
"Every so often, as we're practicing in sound check, Dave Matthews will point at me and say something. I dunno, it all just sounds like, 'bing bing bong, ging gong, bak bing bing.' I asked him to repeat himself the first couple times, but he just started getting mad, so I just nodded like I understood. I figured I could maybe better understand his speech style if I went back and listened to his recordings, but they're just the same! I can't understand a freaking thing he's singing!"
Gääärd hoped things would improve for the Michael McDonald rehearsals.
"I was stressed out about the whole Dave Matthews thing and thought I could take the pressure off by joking about it with Michael and his band, but McDonald got kinda serious and was like, 'Wha ae ou alin abou? I unesta eveehin Da Mhhew si!' I thought, did this guy just have root canal surgery? Is this guy using any consonants when he talks? I just nodded my head a couple times and stopped talking."
Gääärd found less to be happy about after that.
“As soon as I heard Shane MacGowan talk, I knew I was really in trouble. I asked a couple other guys in the band what he was saying, but they all just looked at me like I was being a jerk or something. Personally, I think they don’t have a clue either and they were hoping I’d know. So now, when Shane points at me and says something, I just play louder. So far, it’s worked all right.”
Gääärd plans to perform with the “Words” tour through September and has booked himself into a sanitarium for the month of October.
The Matthews/McDonald/MacGowan tour plans to bring new challenges to Larry Gääärd’s cognitive skills.