Saturday's concert by banjoist Béla Fleck with Brooklyn Rider at the Norton Center for the Arts in Danville and Sunday's solo dobro show by Jerry Douglas at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center are something of a booking coincidence.
Aside from being virtuoso players on their respective instruments and innovators who have taken string music beyond its bluegrass roots, both are former Lexingtonians.
Douglas lived here at the height of the mid-'70s bluegrass boom while playing with J.D. Crowe and with Boone Creek. Fleck lived here briefly at the close of the '70s while he was with the bluegrass band Spectrum.
More than having that in common, though, they are longtime pals.
"We've been best friends for years and years now," Douglas said. "We just went down different musical paths at one point. He's been the best man at my wedding, and I've been the best man at his wedding. It's that kind of thing."
Here is what each artist had to say about the other
Béla on Jerry: "Let me put it this way: If you haven't heard Jerry Douglas play, you need to go see Jerry Douglas play. There is nobody like him in the world. And if you know who Jerry is, then you know you need to go see him play. He has taken an instrument you associate with a fairly limited expression and brought the world to it through his personality, his intelligence and his musical gifts."
Jerry on Béla: "Béla just came along like my little brother there in the middle '80s when he came to Nashville. Our careers have been entwined ever since. I'm really, really proud of him and everything he's done. Béla's a new father, too. I imagine I'll be getting some phone calls about that because he has seen my wife and I raise our family and has been around for all of that. Ah, he'll be fine."