While I was writing and recording The Fall Will Probably Kill You, I experimented with the Orkney Tuning and, although none of those sketches got turned into tracks for the album, I enjoyed it a lot.
Orkney Tuning is very strange – it is familiar in some respects, yet very different from expectation in many others. You can get into a little groove thinking you have it all under control, but then one little misstep, and you are suddenly way outside of the lines. It is lovely and brutal.
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“Gilyaks #2” is track on the Zirque Bois d’Arc album, Songs About Russia. Several years ago I spent a few weeks noticing videos from Russia and thinking, almost every time, how different it must be.
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Here it is, just in time for labor day! The fabled fourth album, Mission to Mars, from The Fence Sitters, is now available worldwide! You can stream it wherever you like, or even better buy a physical or downloaded copy of Mission to Mars at CD Baby.
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Yesterday I started talking about the mandolin, and I’m going to finish up today with a discussion of more modern mandolin players.
“Lesson” 7 – Grisman, Pt 2
Into outer space. This album – The David Grisman Quintet’s first record – is so damn good, and a huge innovation in acoustic music.
Continue reading “Modern Mandolin: Beyond Bluegrass With Grisman, Thile and More”
A few years ago a friend of mine asked for some mandolin lessons. Only problems were, she didn’t have a mandolin and she lived in a different city. Still, I have some peculiar notions about what it means to learn an instrument and I thought there was a lot of information to go through that would be helpful before she even picked up an instrument. So here is part one of two of the first set of email “lessons” that I put together. It turns out to be a pretty good history/overview of the instrument if I do say so myself. Enjoy!
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Hey – the day has arrived! The Fence Cutters album, Horses and Asses, downloads and physical CDs are for sale through CD Baby.
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I hate “the best.” It rankles me when people say it – always has. Superlatives (and even extreme comparatives – like “genius”) always make me pause. Only genuine experts in a subject should be able to reach that level of judgment, and even then it will be skewed by the data available, or their upbringing, or their path of study. And then the Dunning Kruger effect suggests that the more of an expert you are in a field, the more you realize that your answer is not absolute. Now we find ourselves in an era where bloviating about the “best wall” and the “best steaks” has empowered a racist administration who are rapidly turning the clock back to 1789.
Continue reading “6 Great Albums You May Not Have Listened To (But Probably Should)”
While preparing for my Carousel Lounge Show tomorrow (August 26, 2017) I needed to cut many songs from my set-list, and well, I don’t want to cut anymore, so I have decided to cut my banter. Here you will find my extensively crafted and artistic rendering of well-told stories to accompany my song performances. Perhaps if you are in the audience, you can follow along and consider this banter augmentation for your reality. In fact, I plan on casting my 7:00 set on my Instagram, so if you’re at home or wherever you can watch me and follow along.
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When I was working through my First Song First Side First Album: Who Did It Best? I remembered how much I love My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello. 30 some odd years since my original obsession with the album and I still know every lyric and every guitar lick by heart. So it seems like a natural choice for a Listen Along.
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Back in the 90s when I owned Austin Homebrew Supply, one of my favorite customers, Dan Martaus, worked on Austin City Limits, and as a result, I would get occasional inside scoops on upcoming tapings. One of those fantastic opportunities was to see a Son Volt taping, which I went to with my buddy Chip Tait. Son Volt was great – I think the other act taping that night was maybe Kenny Wayne Shepard? Chip was a huge Uncle Tupelo fan, and I was warming up to the genre pretty well. Fun time, free Shiner Bock, and we likely went to Lovejoys after.
Continue reading “Turn of the Century Acoustic Americana: Gillian Welch, Mountain Man, and Beyond”