The Incorrigible String Band
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The Incorrigible String Band

Band Folk Bluegrass


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It's Raining Words LP-2008



On one hand there are bands which
are built from the top down. Some
producer with an idea and dollar signs
flashing in his eyes starts auditioning
musicians and tries to build the entity
he saw in his mind. These kind of
bands are usually not much fun for the
musicians though you might end up
with a pocket full of money and a gig
on a cruise ship.
The other way bands form is the way I
like it to happen. Nobody has a plan. It
all starts with some jamming and a little
audience develops and they start
telling you that you are band before
you even knew that you were. Organic
and spontaneous formation--like those
mushrooms that appear in your front
yard one cool fall day. That’s how the
Incorrigible String Band came to be.
Cory was hanging out on the fringes of
every jam session at every festival,
singing and banging away on his guitar
and I was invited to 15th Street
Pizza to come jam with Cory and his
buddies. I thought it might be cool to
drag my upright bass along.
They had a youthful energy in
everything they did and I brought my
buddy and neighbor, Harps, down to
blow the mildew out of his collection of
harps and get in on some of the fun!
After a few of these weekly jam
sessions I noticed three things.
First, I kept hearing Cory sing these
really cool songs that I’d never heard
before. And the audience liked them.
After some prying he modestly
confessed that he wrote most of them.
Hmmm... I thought. The kid had
something goin’ on upstairs and was
writing old-timey songs with new-timey
themes. Interesting!
Second, Harps and I were having a lot
of fun. I have been performing
professionally for three decades and
there was something very refreshing in
NOT having a mandolin in my hand at
a gig. It was just fun to do something
different and make some new sounds.
Playing bass also allows me to “sit in
the back seat of the school bus” where
I get to screw around and enjoy the
ride more.
Third, I noticed that audience was
“into” what was happening. My wheels
started turning and pretty soon I was
suggesting that perhaps a rehearsal or
two would be a good idea? Maybe we
could figure out how to start and stop
songs at the same time? Maybe a
name for this outfit? Maybe some 1”
buttons? (Actually, that was Cory’s
To our delight, Tim Ussery whittled out
some time from his busy giggin’
schedule and the band was on a roll.
Cory and The ISB, incorrigible as ever,
continues evolving.