You’d think that playing at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival would be excitement enough for Dr. Magpie, Berklee’s alt-string jazz band. But then student guitarist Lee Dynes met. . .

Magpies Lee Dynes (center) and Eric Robertson with Steve Martin (!)

Magpies Lee Dynes (center) and Eric Robertson with Steve Martin (!)

October 1

Dr. Magpie house show

Dr. Magpie plays a house show for Berklee parents.

Today we traveled to Alamo to play our first performance as a full group at the house of Berklee trustees John and Dorothy McDonald. The music went well, and was received very warmly by everyone listening. But, in my mind, the most impressive facet of the trip was the stunningly kind hospitality shown by our hosts. After inviting us into there beautiful home, we enjoyed an incredible home cooked meal made by Dorothy, and fantastic conversation with everyone including Peter Gordon, the director of Berklee’s Los Angeles office. The warmth shown by all the guests, which happened to include Roger H. Brown, was nothing short of amazing, and it was a blast to play with Dr. Magpie for the first time. All of this and more went into creating one of the most memorable nights of my life, no joke.

October 2

Today I had my picture taken with Steve Martin!!! On account of him being a banjo player who recently released his first full-length album as a bluegrass artist, he was in attendance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park, where the Magpies also played on the same night. We happened to walk past his tent and I noticed a short, stocky man wearing an all white suit with a white top hat, who looked strangely familiar. I put two and two together and walked up to Steve and politely asked him if he had a moment, and his grumbled response was “What do ya need?” After asking him if he would mind having his picture taken with me he agreed, but making it very clear that he was busy and wanted it to be quick. Although he was short with me, I was impressed with his willingness to do us a favor by having his picture taken, knowing that that probably was the hundredth or thousandth time he had been asked that in his long career. So, that was definitely one of the high points of my trip. Steve Martin is the man!!!

More photos from the fest

Dr. Magpies Jon Sosin (left) and Duncan Wickel work on a break backstage at Hardly Strictly.

Dr. Magpie's Jon Sosin (left) and Duncan Wickel work on a break backstage at Hardly Strictly.

Dr. Magpie in action.

Dr. Magpie in action.

We dont really know whats happening here—Ed.

We don't really know what's happening here.—Editor