Daughter Katie was out in Seattle couple a days ago, prowling around with her video camera. I was tagging along. We tapped into the mother lode of our world’s most unique people when we met Reggie, king of the Seattle Saw.
Many years ago when the seasoned, dobro-playin’ blues man first slid into his niche as a saw-singer, he had not yet attained the level of virtuosity that he has today. But in those early days he was excited about the saw and its unusual musical possibilities, so he got out on the street playing one anyway. He just couldn’t wait. I know that feeling. I’m a little like Reggie in that regard–throwing my novels out at the marketplace kinda half-baked. I like his approach, anyway…
Reggie Miles has mastered the musical saw since those first days of inspired learning. You can see and hear for yourself the exquisite tenderness with which he draws the bow across his blade.
Two days ago, November 22, sitting in a quiet spot at Pike’s Place Market, Reggie told us a few tales about his musical adventures. Back in those early days of learning the instrument, when he was playing on the street and still making a lot of “mistakes,” he found himself lol whenever he’d hit a .wrong note. As it turned out, his good natured, roll-with-the-crosscuts demeanor prompted some listeners to laugh with him. He said they often had a “laughfest.”
What a great attitude about life. We need more folks like him in America if we’re gon’ turn this ole wreck around
“Saw ya later,” said Reggie as we parted ways after a few fascinating hours with this unique artist of the springy steel.
Carey Rowland, author of Glass half-Full