Be sure and have a look around the different photo pages as Mary's been quite active with her camera, taking in a range of subjects.
I've been doing a little house cleaning on this site and it seems to make a little more sense and flow a little more easily.
1st: I brought "Adirondack Links" and "Interesting Music Links" along with "Philosophy of Music" over under the "Home" tab.
Next, I reorganized the "Pictures" tab to include pictures taken by Mary when she was "Up North" and now that she is "Down South". The "Bluegrass Country Pictures" (page 1) is full - in the sense that if I add any more pictures it will take too long for the page to load in on many computers - so a while back I created "Bluegrass Country Pictures, Page 2" to post new pictures coming in. This page is filling in fast, so look for "Page 3" in the near future.
Next, I moved "Hobby Music" and it's drop downs along with "Fiddliferous" and it's drop downs to be situated under the "Bluegrass & Fiddling" tab. This makes obvious sense (and I don't know why I didn't think of it before:)
Next, I created a new header called "Famous People & Places" and organized "The Ralph Stanley Museum", "Carter Fold" and "Historic Jonesborough" dropping down from it.
I also added another Tennessee band to the line up of bands that I've played with (either as a full-time member or a guest). The band "The Olde Timers" now has a page of their own. I was a guest performer with these gentlemen on January 19th in Unicoi and enjoyed playing music with them very much.
I've created a new slideshow from some of the many pictures Mary has taken from time to time over at The Red Barn on the Laurels Road. It's accessed by clicking the mouse on the header titled "Bluegrass & Fiddling". Then click on the first picture and it will play the slideshow.
_ It’s quite interesting the email I get. This month there have been questions inquiring about such persons as myself, Bob Gibeault, banjoist; Ira Storrs, from the Town of Wilmington’s history; Billy Banjo Wiseman; The String Fever Band; The Adirondack Fiddlers; Donnie Rogers the mandolinist; Casey Willis the fiddler; Bill Gokey and Billy Edwards (both are banjo pickers); and Hope Greitzer, well known fiddler and instructor at the NYS Fiddler’s Hall of Fame to name a few. But, I also get theory questions about when to naturalize notes; structures for laying out string quartets; help with chord inversions, etc.; and questions about specific tunes and requesting banjo, mandolin and fiddle tablature or written notes.
Every effort is made to answer all emails. If I don’t already have the tab or music written out for requests, I usually decline due to the time involved, but I certainly enjoy the questions. Before asking theory questions, be sure to read through the theory pages first. I do receive a lot of questions that are already answered either in the text of the theory pages or in the quizzes made available.
As always, Thanks very much for your continued interest in this website.
Adirondack / Appalachian Composer
_ I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been composing more banjo tunes than fiddle tunes. Perhaps it’s because of a renewed interest in banjo picking due to my new Gold Star banjo. I’m not really sure. I got the Gold Star in a musical instrument trade and shortly after the trade I parted with my old 1963 Gibson “Bowtie”. I didn’t let the “Bowtie” go with the original 1963 19-hole tone ring, though. I kept that and swapped it out with the Kulesh ring that was in the Gold Star. This made the Gold Star come alive in the sense of improved tone. The old “Bowtie” still sounded great even with the new Kulesh ring, probably because the rim was a 3-piece rim from 1963. I would have loved to have kept the old rim and changed that out, too, but I didn’t take the time to make the swap.
But, anyway, the activity around the new banjo seems to have inspired three new tunes, so far. The first tune I wrote, I named “The Unaka Bounce” and it has a very catchy melody almost western swing-like in progression. The second has a recurring melodic theme repeating through the basic 1, 4 & 5 chords with an interesting “B” part that has a V of V chord resolving back to the V chord. I’ve named this one “I’m Goin’ to the Jam” and the third and latest tune is a lightning fast one I’ve named “Fred’s 5-String Breakdown” which is basically all over the neck in a great big hurry.
When I add the banjo tunes I wrote last year, i.e. “Blue Ridge Pines” , “Shake and Bake Breakdown”, “The Rheatown Ramble”, “Mountain Fairies” and “The Chuckey Pike Breakdown”, it gives me a great start for the original tune portion of volume two of my banjo book I’m working on.
The Dennis Cove Band http://www.denniscoveband.com/home.php consists of Carl Hazelwood on guitar, his son, Chris Hazelwood on mandolin, Don Anderson on standup bass and Dean Burchett on banjo. Mary and I first heard them at Thompson's Produce, near Embreeville, TN., at one of their Saturday night shows and we were delighted at the traditional Bluegrass music and excellent harmonies. I spoke with them after the show and they all turned out to be wonderful fellows.
They have a busy schedule which is starting to fill in even more each week. Here's a partial listing of where they'll be playing:
January 20th, 7 p.m. Cranberry Thistle, Jonesborough, TN
February 18th, 12p.m. & 11p.m. Bluegrass First Class, Asheville, NC
February 24th; March 23rd; April 20th, 7 p.m. Cranberry Thistle, Jonesborough
March 09 & August 12th, 7 - 10p.m. Lays Hardware, Coeburn, VA
EARL SCRUGGS from Flint Hills, North Carolina, turns 88 this Friday, January 6th. I had breakfast with Earl many years ago in a little diner in upstate New York. He's a wonderful man and I wish him a great and happy Birthday. He's been my "idol" for more than 40 years, now.