“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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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.
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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!
Continue reading “Learning The Mandolin: History – The Bluegrass Era (pt. 1)”
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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Shelfies. I thought maybe I’d take this Friday to talk about something besides music, and as I looked around me I realized I have an awful lot of books. Around New Years Day I decided that rather than selfies, I would take shelfies – pictures of my bookshelves – this year. So we’ll take a look at a few of those #shelfies and see what we can learn about the real me. But first, just listen to that bass playing.
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Someone once told me that Eric Clapton said, “acoustic guitar will teach you everything about the electric guitar; electric guitar will teach you nothing about the acoustic guitar.” Whoever said it, I believe they were mostly right. So today I nominate acoustic guitar wizard Django Reinhardt as the Greatest Guitar Player of All Time.
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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”