Sunday, February 8, 2009

Remembering Chan

Today I'm remembering Chandler Maranville "Chan" Goodnow.

Chan, who was my age, died unexpectedly in 2001 after performing at a bluegrass festival in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. He was one of the most gifted mandolinists I've ever seen or heard, and he played a mean banjo. He also was among the gentlest souls I've ever met.

Standing onstage with Chan while he and Stony Creek Band cranked out "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" (sans fiddle) is one of my fondest musical memories. This afternoon I listened to the band's recording of that Vassar Clements classic, marveling once again at Chan's eight-string wizardry.

The world is richer for his presence, poorer for the loss of it -- and that's why I remember Chan.

I just don't know why especially today.

In this 1998 photo, KintlaLake harmonizes with Chan (center) and Stony Creek Band on "The Weight." Listen to an mp3 sample of the band's rendition of "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" here.