El Trio Los Dos

14 Dec

This past Saturday I accompanied my girlfriend Debbie to her family nursery, where her mom Hilda was conducting the annual wreath making workshop. Debbie was needed as a translator slash hot young face to sell product, and I dutifully tagged along to hang at the nursery and help in any way I could. I ended up getting stuck with photography duty which, despite my lack of photography training, I took very seriously, and I must have ended up with over a hundred pictures.

Debbie's Mom Hilda holding a lovely wreath she made for my mom

So after the wreath making workshop (which was from 10:00 to 11:30), we had planned on leaving, but we ended up hanging around in the redwood grove and Debbie’s dad Mike built a fire. Debbie’s cousin Patti then conjured carne asada out of the ether like many women of latina origin can and threw it on the grill, and soon enough we had some tacos to munch on. Joining Mike, Hilda, Patti, Debbie and I was an itinerant wanderer named Hedgehog who is currently staying in his van on the nursery property at Mike’s request. Hedgehog is a wanderer, having spent much time in Mexico and raised goats in Ramona for a number of years. He also has a leathery old voice, and so to conclude the great campfire hang, Mike suggested that we go over to the retail store and sing some songs. Mike and Hedgehog would play guitar and I would get to play Mike’s homemade gut bucket. What’s a gut bucket? A gut bucket is a musical instrument comprised of an upside down tub with a string of gut attached to a stick. It’s basically a hillbilly’s stand up bass, and the Mike Evans variety features an old Manzanita branch instead of a reg’lar non native stick, and a rope instead of animal intestines.

Now I consider myself more of an ivory tickler than a gut bucket player, but Mike assured me that I would be up to snuff. So I said what the hell. We headed over to the retail store and with after a 2 minute gut bucket primer, we were playing and singing. We sang old folk songs and even Polkadots and Moonbeams, to which I surprisingly know many of the words. This is what our ensemble looked like:

El Trio Los Dos con Teej

After about 5 songs I had to throw in the towel, as my skin was starting to get a little raw. But before we disbanded, we were probably the best band to play retail all day, including what they were playing on the CD player. And what was supposed to a quick morning of helping out at the nursery turned into a 6 hour ‘salt of the earth’ hang. We were called ‘El Trio Los Dos’, or the trio of two. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think the name references the fact that Hedgehog, who’s real name is Robert, shares his name with me, who’s real name is also Robert. We could also be El Trio los dos Robert’s con Mike y Teej, although Teej’s contribution was mostly to sleep on the ground.


One Response to “El Trio Los Dos”

  1. Mike Evans December 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    That there was a two-string gut bucket of my own invention. You excelled in playing an instrument that is actually TWICE as hard to play as the common one-stringer. Congratulations.

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