Learning The Mandolin: History – The Bluegrass Era (pt. 1)

learning the mandolin

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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Witty Banter From My Carousel Show Tomorrow Night

Carousel Show Tomorrow

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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Turn of the Century Acoustic Americana: Gillian Welch, Mountain Man, and Beyond

Acoustic Americana

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.
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Riparian Reflections: A Bucketful Of Texas River Songs

Texas River Songs

I love Texas rivers. One of my prized books is B.L. “Bud” Priddy’s Fly-Fishing the Texas Hill Country that I bought from JT Van Zandt when he was working at The Austin Angler on Congress Avenue. It’s a spiral bound volume that explains where all of the most likely fly-fishing spots on our Central Texas rivers, as well as advice on legal car access and boating/floating and so forth. I’m not much of a fisherman, although I have had a few licenses through the years; however, the spots where the fly-obsessed fish gather appear to hold the same attraction for me and my kind. Coupling this volume with a Texas Gazetteer, you could pretty much guarantee a beautiful weekend spent amongst the finest natural beauty in our state. Siri, great as she is, isn’t going to open up that level of enchantment for you.
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Listen Along: More Blue Than Green by The Fence Sitters

More Blue Than Green The Fencesitters Acoustic Americana

Hey – the day has arrived! The Fence Sitters first album, More Blue Than Green, is now available on all major streaming services like Spotify – worldwide – and downloads (and a few of the remaining copies of the physical CD) are for sale through CD Baby.

In recognition of this occasion, I have decided to launch a series called Listen Along, which is basically live blogs of my favorite albums. I think of it as a DVD commentary track – or like that VH1 show where they told you stuff about the songs and videos. Anyways….
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