Tinker men jam with local band, Mumford & Sons

  • Published
  • By Brandice J. O'Brien
  • Tinker Public Affairs
Amongst bluegrass fans, The Byron Berline Band is a name within its own right. With a history extending 18 years, the band was founded by world-renowned fiddler Byron Berline who has many achievements to his name, including helping to jumpstart the career of country singer-songwriter Vince Gill. Two weeks ago in Guthrie, the band jammed with English folk rock band Mumford & Sons.

Two members of The Byron Berline Band -- upright bassist Richard Sharp and fiddler/guitarist Gregory Burgess -- work at Tinker and recently spoke of the experience.
"They are great guys and it was a great show. Lead singer Marcus Mumford didn't come in with a star mentality, he just came in as one of the guys," said Mr. Burgess, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex quality assurance specialist who's been in The Byron Berline Band for the past nine years. "It was a real relaxed atmosphere and we just jammed."

Mumford & Sons were in Guthrie for the "Gentlemen of the Road" concert tour. The two-day Guthrie visit was the fourth stop in the five-city international tour. Twelve bands played - four on Sept. 6 and the remaining eight on Sept. 7. Following the shows each night, The Byron Berline Band hosted the After Hours Artist Jam at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Music Hall from 1 to 2:30 a.m.

Mumford & Sons and other artists from the concert stopped in both nights and joined the band on stage.

"I hope the people who came to see Mumford & Sons realize we're not that far removed from what they do and they'll come back to see us," Mr. Burgess said. "We're kind of the grandfathers of that style of music."

While it was primarily The Byron Berline Band's music, Mr. Burgess said Mr. Mumford also played his own stuff as well as "Not in Nottingham," from the Disney's 1973 animated classic, "Robin Hood."

"It was a favorite song of his from when he was a kid," Mr. Burgess said.
All in all, Mr. Burgess and Mr. Sharp said it was a fun experience, but neither was star struck by Mr. Mumford's presence.

"We're too old for that," said Mr. Sharp, a composite mechanic with the 551st Commodities Maintenance Squadron who has been with the band for 16 years.
The Byron Berline Band plays nearly every other weekend at Double Stop. Their next big event is the Oklahoma International Blue Grass Festival Oct. 3-5 in Guthrie. For more information, go to http://oibf.com/.