Monday, December 29, 2008

December 2008

Snow Drifter (mp3)(pdf)
Pocket Change (mp3)(pdf)
Waitin' On the Julia Belle (mp3)(pdf)

This entry marks the end of the second year of So Many Tunes. I've chosen three tunes from my 2005 backlog to round off the year and a quick count of the entries at the alphabetical listing page tells me that I've managed to record 60 tunes in that time.

Back in January 2007 when I started this project I imagined that I would add a tune or two every week or so. That quickly became more work than I expected and the pace has slowed since those first few months. What began as a fun idea has sometimes become a chore as I try and find the time to record and edit tunes and printed music according to a self-imposed timetable.

So, beginning in 2009 I declare myself (to myself) free of any obligation to add tunes to this blog with any regularity. When I feel like adding something (and I find the time) I will do so. It might be next week, it might be next summer. We'll see what develops.

"Snow Drifter" is a waltz that languished in the key of Am for years before finding new life in a new key. I know a lot of fine guitar players who are a little intimidated by the half-diminished or m7b5 chord but it's really a very useful chord once you get to know it. Nothing else quite like it.

"Pocket Change" is a fun slip jig and feels good to play once you get it under your fingers (at least on the mandolin).

"Waitin' On the Julia Belle" is another of those tunes inspired by the brilliant compositions of Norman and Nancy Blake. I was delighted when we moved to Iowa to discover that the Julia Belle Swain makes its home in nearby La Crosse, Wisconsin. I always looked forward to seeing it during the Great Steamboat Race every year in Louisville, just before Kentucky Derby weekend, but I only thought of it as a boat somewhere on the Mississippi. Now I see it several times a year and can take a short cruise during the season if I want. It's easy to picture John Hartford in his prime just by seeing her on the water.

Happy New Year, more tunes to come.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.