My friend, Allan Block, was a colorful person – very much an individual. He was a great fiddler, a fine musician, and a wonderful poet and leather craftsman. His sandal-making shop was an established part of New York City’s West Village for many years. And on Saturday afternoons, it became the meeting place for one of the best Old-Time Music jam sessions in the Northeast USA. Allan had high standards when it came to his music. But he was also kindhearted, which meant that younger players like me and my friend Kenny Kosek could find a place in the mix of players at his shop on Saturday afternoons and, as Bill Monroe might have said, “be part of something.”
(Kenny Kosek, Allen Feldman and I) …became the Star Spangled String Band in High School. We were crazy about old-time music. We played constantly throughout high school, did a lot of live shows and appeared on radio often. We also traveled to the fiddlers conventions at Galax, Virginia, and Union Grove, North Carolina, a couple of years running.