"I don't know what it is. Maybe a mid-life crisis?" fiddle player Larry Gääärd jokes about his plans to change instruments.
"Seriously, though," he says, losing the smile, "I just found myself losing interest in playing the fiddle. I mean, I still love the music, I still love being a musician, I just don't know if I hold that same kind of love for the fiddle."
Gääärd has made a name for himself over the years performing with groups on the fiddle. He was invited to join his most recent band, Honky Tonkitis, on the strength of his playing.
"Larry definitely has the fiddle chops," drummer Kurt Weber commented, "but we're not really sure where the instrument change came from. We're waiting to see how it turns out."
"He certainly has the passion for the keytar," singer and bassist Johnny Maplewood added optimistically. "I just don't know if a honky tonk band with a classic look and feel can use a keytar. I mean, you don't see me playing a synth bass. Bruce isn't playing a flying V guitar. And Kurt's not playing a drum machine. Except for that one show, but he forgot his sticks, so what was he supposed to do?"
"It can be a bit intimidating," guitarist Bruce Dean chimes in. "I'm just afraid that one day we're playing You Drink and Drive Me Crazy and the next day it's She Blinded Me With Science. It seems like a slippery slope."
"I say can the guy," accordion player Don Turner concluded. "He sees me tickling the vertical ivories and all the chicks I'm getting and suddenly he wants to be just like me. Sorry, Charlie. You made your call to play the pluck-box when you were six, now you gotta stick with that loser magnet. Bring that damn keytar thing around here again and I'll shove it where the synth don't shine."
May be a picture of Larry Gääärd on keytar.