In the fall of 1984 while talking to Cecil Hall who I had played with off and on for 30 years....we decided that I could play banjo on some shows in the 1985 season. I still lived in Knott County Kentucky but all my weekends were free and during the summer I could take time off when ever I needed too.
The first date was to be at Old High School Roxboro NC in December of 84.
Along in November, I was talking to Cecil one night and he asked if I knew of a fiddle player we could get....He had been booking shows and using Uncle Josh Graves as a "Featured Artist" during the past couple of years.
I said well "Kenny Baker has left Bill (during October of 84)to which Cecil said "He wouldn't play with us would he? I said if he isn't booked somewhere else I'm sure he will if you pay him. I told him that he had been working some with Bob Black and his guys in Iowa, but didn't know how steady that work was, then I told him of the album that Josh and Kenny did sometime back on the Puritan label featuring Kenny on the guitar and of course Josh playing dobro. Somewhat hesitantly he said call him and see what you can work out.
I called Kenny and he said "Why I recond I could do a few dates with you guys...."
Fast forward ------December 1984....Roxboro North Carolina school Cecil Hall and the Dominion Blue Grass Boys Featuring Kenny Baker and Josh Graves....We did the school on a Foggy Friday night and the the Iroquise Club in Roanoke Va on Saturday.
Kenny Baker, Josh Graves, Cecil Hall, Billy Hutchens, Jake Tullock, Doug Hutchens
Over the next year and a half we worked many dates around the country under the same billing...a few include The Sullivan's Homeplace St.Stevens. Al, Wiggins Ms, Ralph Stanley's Whitesburg Ky, Galax, Va, The Kitchens's Summerville W.Va. Wayside Park Stuart Va. Spruce Pine NC, Lilly Mae's Lorane Ohio, Bill Grant's Hugo Ok, Elizabethon Tn, The Carter Fold Macy Springs Va, Bass Mountain in Burlington NC, Myrtle Beach for Norman Adams...........
Galax Virginia, Fairview Ruritan Building Emma Smith joins us for a tune
At Summersville in 86 we found that Josh had already booked the festival for the 87 season. He had taken the innitative for he and Kenny to book show's themselves and then hire musicians from the area when ever possible, much like Mac Wiseman had done for years. This gave them a larger slice of the pie. In the coming months Kenny called me a few times times to work shows in Kentucky and Ohio since I still lived in Kentucky at that point.