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Robert E. Lee Rollin’ Through Walnut Creek

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Peet's Pickers

A small group of dedicated pickers can be found in front of the Walnut Creek Peet’s most mornings, clawing out some Old Timey favorites in a coffee-fueled homage to the country’s musical foundation.

That’s Harry Higgins and his wingman John Robbins banging out Waiting For The Robert E. Lee at Peet’s the other morning, with another guy we recognize providing the percussion (News24/680’s very own Chris Rodriguez) as befuddled passersby who have possibly never seen a banjo or heard the finest of American instruments being played well stand by in amazement.

Harry is no slouch when it comes to the banjo. He was inducted to the instrument’s Hall of Fame in 2008, led the band at the Red Garter for 17 years and has been known to drive 49’er fans into a frenzy at home games.

The sound, musicologists will tell you, is as American in its origin as it gets. It rings true with us, particularly when it’s delivered by a master.