Dem Bones Dem Bones

The Story of the First Bones Festival

Saturday September 20, 1997 was just another normal day at "the ranch". The flag was run up the pole at dawn, but wait -----, bones were hanging on the mail box. What gives?

This turns out to be the 1st Annual Bones Festival (of the century maybe). Eleven bones-players (bone-player, boner, bonist, bonesist, osyonist, we can't agree on the name) and spouses or significant others had gathered by 1:00 PM to share bones-playing techniques, instruments and instrument construction material, musical preferences, to harmonize and to have great fun and fellowship. All objectives were met beyond expectations. Everett (Ev) Cowett, Greensboro, NC extends a huge thank you to all of the participants who made this occasion memorable.

pictured from left to right: Carl Hedrick (grandson), Carl Hedrick, Tom Rice, Parker Waite, Russ Myers, Mel Bryant, Fred Edmunds, Martha Cowett, Ev Cowett, Dan Cowett, Jim Hobbs

Historical documentation of the bones-playing was provided by Russ Myers, Brightwood, VA and Fred Edmunds, Lexington, VA.(pictured on right) Bone-playing techniques including one-handed Irish pub clicking by Mel Bryant, Houston, TX; changing the pitch without interrupting play by Russ Myers; Reggae Rap by Parker Waite, Sedgwick, ME; masterful clicking to Rock music according to his book by Fred Edmunds; classical boning by Ev Cowett (according to Ev); Pop music from New Zealand by Martha Cowett, Raleigh, NC, the only female bone-player of record and Bonesgrass music by Dan Cowett, Greensboro, NC who also ran sound for this event was enjoyed.
Bones of all sizes and shapes made from several types of animal bone, 50 kinds of wood, laminated resin material, light weight metal and several plastic materials were displayed by Russ, Parker and Ev.

Pictured from left to right: Al Cowett, Tom Rice, Ev Cowett, Russ Myers, Martha Cowett, Dan Cowett

Just great fun and learning was had by all including Carl Hedrick and grandson Carl, a duo of a boning comedian and a young potential boner, Tom Rice, Farmville, VA an up-and-coming bonist, and Al Cowett, Greensboro, NC a born-again bone-rapper who also filmed the event.
This was followed by a NC barbecue (pronounced Bobby-Q) dinner a business meeting where decisions were not made and an evening of spontaneous bones-playing and socializing. Thanks again to everyone who made this such a memorable event. We must hold it again next year. Suggestions requested.

The Cowetts of North Carolina

Go To Top