Sunday, September 24, 2017

Merrills Mills

Merrills Mills (mp3) (pdf)

A jolly little tune titled after another obscure location in southern Piscataquis County, Maine. Hope you enjoy it.

(Note: In a highly unusual move I decided this morning [Monday, 9-25] that the second mandolin part was a little outside of my low standard of acceptability. So I have re-recorded that and re-mixed the tune. Hopefully not too many ears were damaged before this change was made.)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September Waltz

September Waltz (mp3) (pdf)

A waltz today, written and recorded before some late week challenges. The photo is from our front sidewalk, facing west.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Propsland (mp3) (pdf)

Just last weekend I drove up to Minneapolis to play for the Saturday night contra dance at Tapestry with Pat's Propellers (Pat O'Loughlin, Karen Mueller, Linda Breitag and me). We had a great time, as usual, and the next morning I started writing today's tune. "Propsland" went through some changes early in the week but it was ready to record by Thursday. Part of the idea was to make a tune with not so many 8th notes.

The photo above is of my "office" at the Winneshiek Farmers Market last Saturday morning. I played solo for the first half and then Erik Sessions joined me for the last set. It's always fun to play at markets like this. I especially enjoy seeing little kids discovering live acoustic music.

Yesterday in Decorah was really fun. Erik and I played the opening set for the Live on Water Street festival in late afternoon and then we joined our Western Home String Band buddies (last night featuring Bill Deutsch, Sue Otte, Sam Beard and Rob Hervey, along with caller Robin Nelson) in the evening for our first local contra dance of the season, also on Water Street at the Lingonberry. The weather was ideal and the music was good.

Finally, on Wednesday this week (Sept. 13) I will once again play a couple of hours of solo mandolin at Java John's. Stop by in if you are in town.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Dover South

Dover South (mp3) (pdf)

This week's new tune is a waltz that takes its title from a lovely area of Piscataquis County, Maine known as Dover South Mills. Brans Mill Pond, pictured above, is the source of the Black Stream that I used for a title a few weeks ago. Thanks to whoever took the photo.

I had a great weekend of music, playing with Erik Sessions on Friday night in McGregor, Iowa and on Saturday morning at the local farmers market and with Pat's Propellers (Pat, Linda and Karen) last night in Minneapolis.  A lot of miles and much good music, today though (after arriving home around 2:30 a.m.) I am taking it easy.

Just in case anyone imagines the life of an older, gigging mandolin player to be financially lucrative, let me just say that the speeding ticket I earned on Friday night pretty much offsets any profit for the weekend. The music, though, was valuable beyond measure.

Next Saturday, however, Erik and I are featured as the opening act of the Live On Water Street festival just a few blocks from home. I should come out financially ahead on that. Our friends at the Water Street Music Series have created another fun event that would be well worth a visit if you are in the area.

The festival ends at 8:00 but Erik and I will then also be playing for our local contra dance that night, held downtown at the Lingonberry event space. Unfortunately this means that I will have to miss a concert featuring acclaimed Danish musicians Gangspil, along with Norwegian Vidar Skrede a few blocks away Vesterheim's Bethania Church. So much to do, so many tunes.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.