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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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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The Fifteen Best Ry Cooder Records, and Why You Should Drop Everything and Study Them Now

Ry Cooders fifteen best albums

Ry Cooder has put out, by quick reference, over 80 albums, collaborations, and soundtracks over his 50-year career. Along that time he has innovated technically (his 1979 record Bop Till You Drop was the first DDD album – recorded, mixed and mastered digitally!) and musically (his direct influence on the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, and Captain Beefheart is clear and undeniable). He also introduced many musical geniuses to the world stage – Flaco Jimenez, Gabby Pahinui, Ali Farka Toure, and the whole Buena Vista Social Club, for example. AND his soundtrack work in the 1980s painted memorable moments in Paris, Texas and a dozen or so other movies (I particularly enjoyed Alamo Bay and, yes, Crossroads).
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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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