Traveling Washtub Bass for a good cause
A Number 3 washtub has served many purposes in rural Arkansas through the years. It was once used for bathing as well as washing clothes.
A new use for the washtub is the traveling bass made by Kenny Weathers of Caraway. This unique instrument has been turned into a fundraising item to benefit the 2013 Bluegrass Cerebral Palsy benefit.
Weathers enjoys Bluegrass music and he and his friend Melton Emery attended a concert at the Collins Theater with his washtub "bass" to get an autograph. That was over a year ago. The rest is history.
Weathers and Emery enjoyed the concert and was pleased that they had their first autograph but it was too much fun to stop at one and they made up their minds they would try to get as many autographs as they could.
They attended their second, third, fourth and kept going. They took their "bass" everywhere with them. They got some funny looks and comments as they carried it in to show after show. Weathers was more than happy to give a demonstration of the Poor Boy's Garden genuine standup bass when people asked what it was. It was a great conversation starter.
They made new friends and soon became members of the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association.
In January they attended the Bluegrass Cerebral Palsy benefit at the Forum in Jonesboro. After attending the concert and seeing what it was all about, the two decided to use their washtub bass for the good cause.
After the benefit they decided to get serious about getting as many autographs as they could and auctioning off the washtub bass at the 2013 Cerebral Palsy Benefit.
"We asked permission from the NEABA president and received his blessing," Weathers said.
The washtub has made concerts at the Collins Theater, the Bluegrass Show in Mountain View, the Dailey and Vincent concert at the Fowler Center, the Rector Helping Hands Concert and many more. Some of the autographs include The Bartley Brothers, Bucksnort Hill, Cedar Hill, Sylamore Crossing, Murphy Bluegrass Boys, Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Continental Divide, Jamie Dailey, Darren Vincent, the Bankesters, Monroe Crossing, David Davis, the Boxcars, the Raymond Keisler Band, Meyer Bluegrass Band, the Links Family, Ernie Evans and the Florida State bluegrass Band, David Davis Band, Redmond Keisler Band, Eddie and Martha Adcock, Hwy. 351, Frank Ray, Claire Lynch. Two other signatures, who are not bluegrass performers, but were performing at bluegrass events, were gospel singers Jason Crabb and Jimmy Fortune, former singer with the Statler Brothers.
The Traveling Washtub Bass was featured in the Arkansas Bluegrass Association's newsletter in September.
"If the Lord is willing, we hope this washtub will put a smile on the new owners' face when they learn of the history of it," Weathers said. "More importantly, I hope it will put a smile on the faces of those who will receive the benefit of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation."
The Cerebral Palsy benefit will be held starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 12, at the Forum in Jonesboro.