Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ain't Over

Ain't Over (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune should probably go a little faster than it is presented here. Hopefully the rhythmic, um, inconsistencies won't be bother you as much as they do me. Obviously, however, they don't bother me enough to spend more time trying to tighten it up. Perfection has never been the goal with these blog recordings and I think I can live with this one as it is.

There's a kind of cool effect (at least to my ears) when the harmony part comes in because it's recorded with the guitar and melody parts playing out loud in the room, thereby bleeding into the harmony track. Oh, and there's a neighborhood lawn mower somewhere in the background too.

I've been going through the early entries in this blog because I'm putting together what might become a tunebook that I may or may not have created and printed in time for the upcoming Classical Mandolin Society of America convention in Milwaukee at the end of October.

Visiting the old tunes and recordings is fun and I'm thinking I might post a couple of them again for any readers who might have missed them the first time.

So today I'll call your attention to a tune from February of 2010 called "Something About a Queen." All of the Neil Young fans know where that title comes from. It's a fairly unusual tune for me and never gets played at gigs but when I listened to the recording recently I enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe you will too.

Something About a Queen (mp3) (pdf)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Starbird Siding

Starbird Siding (mp3) (pdf)

Traveling north on Maine highway 7 between Dexter and Dover-Foxcroft you will find Starbird Siding to be the first road on the left, shortly after you pass Board Eddy on the right. I'm guessing that "Siding" is a railway reference, there is an old rail track that crosses the road just west of highway 7. "Starbirds" is listed as a locality in Piscataquis County but I don't recall ever seeing anything like an old town there when driving on the short road. In any event it's a great name for this week's tune.

The photo above of the cool amphitheater (the "Bowl") at Highland Prairie Lutheran Church was taken this morning before playing with Foot-Notes for an outdoor picnic event. After we played two sets in the bandstand up the hill from this photo we walked down to the Bowl and played a short acoustic set just for fun. A very memorable gig.

This is a busy week for me. On Tuesday I will drive up to Minneapolis and play solo mandolin from 5:30-7:30 at the Mill City Farmers Market, which should be lots of fun. The next night, Wednesday, I will play my monthly solo mandolin gig at Java John's in Decorah. Finally on Saturday night I will join the Western Home String Band for our annual first year student dance at Luther College.

I am daily reminded of how lucky I am to be able to play music of my choosing with good friends for wonderful audiences on a regular basis. When I'm not playing gigs I get to work on composing, creating music books and various other projects. I don't take this for granted, I am truly grateful that I have these opportunities. With luck I'll get to continue this work for a long time to come. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Black Stream Crossing

Black Stream Crossing (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune (2017, week 32) is a nice jig in F, presented as a duo for two mandolins.

I went through a couple of titles before settling on this one. I'm once again mining the rich vein of places names in Piscataquis County, Maine (which I have just learned is the same size as the state of Connecticut, with a population of around 17,000) for this tune and I think there will be more to come.

The photo above is not of Black Stream but it resembles what I imagine when I think of the spot where Board Eddy Rd. crosses the actual stream. We have often visited the Dover-Foxcroft area in the month of August (although not this year) and this shot was taken overlooking a different creek during August 2009. I hope we will be able to return to this beautiful area soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest (mp3) (pdf)

The photo above was taken in August 2009 and it might be a picture of part of the woods that housed the original "Enchanted Forest" near Sangerville, Maine. It was a true dream world for children and their families created by Ardell Flanders and the Flanders family, full of wonderful wooden characters from the world of fairy tales.

In the 1980s and 90s we tried to visit the Forest whenever we were out east and it was always a highlight of our trip. There seems to be little information online about this place that delighted thousands of people during its heyday and some of what you do find is mistaken. I could only find one photo but I'm not using it here because I want to respect the privacy of the child in that photo, plus it only shows a tiny piece of the actual site.

In any event I thought of the Forest while I was casting about for a title for this week's tune. I hope you enjoy the tune itself. We certainly enjoyed the Forest while it lasted.
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