Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Edwardsville Tunnel

The Edwardsville Tunnel (mp3) (pdf)

This friendly jig came to me a few weeks ago and I thought of this title while looking at online maps of the area just to the west of New Albany, Indiana.

When I was a kid and into my early driving years, before the finish of I64, if you wanted to go to Corydon, IN you would drive out Main Street in New Albany and then up the Knobs on the Corydon Pike. When you got to the top of the hill you would be at Edwardsville. From there you could turn left and take Highway 62 on to Lanesville and then to Corydon. Or you could turn right on 62 and drive a short distance to Georgetown and have some good ice cream.

As the road heads up the Knobs out of New Albany, if you know just where to look, you can spot the opening of the Edwardsville Tunnel, much as it is pictured above. It's apparently also known as the Duncan Tunnel although I have never heard anyone call it that. I never stopped the car and approached the tunnel entrance, I imagine my parents cautioned me against such foolishness, but it was always a mysterious place to me. Once or twice I happened to see a train coming out of the tunnel and that was pretty exciting.

In any event, this week's tune now has that title and I like the nostalgia it conjures up.

Speaking of trains, I'm looking forward to boarding Amtrak's Empire Builder on Thursday morning (hopefully in the morning and not mid-afternoon) and riding into Chicago. From there I will catch the Capitol Limited into Union Station D.C., arriving Friday afternoon. I'll meet up with my Contratopia bandmates and Ted and Lynn and we will have a wonderful weekend playing dances at Glen Echo park and a dance/house concert on Sat. night in Adelphi, Maryland. You can find more details about our gigs on our website. Just click here.

If anyone reading this comes to any of these events please say hello.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Winter Done Gone

Winter Done Gone (mp3) (pdf)

Of course winter is not really gone, that just happens to be the title of this week's tune. The photo was taken yesterday while walking along the Upper Iowa River near our house. You can see that some ice is breaking up and flowing towards the Mississippi after our cold snap a few days ago.

In any event, today's tune is another example of me finding an unfinished piece in an old notebook (this one from 2004) and tinkering with it until I feel like it's ready to share. I actually finished the tinkering sometime before Christmas but I didn't sketch out the harmony line until yesterday. Once again, because of the time that has passed, I have no idea what I was thinking when I applied the title to this one.

Another photo from yesterday. This time walking with Suzy our dog, trying to hold still long enough to push the button while she was tugging to keep going.

Last Thursday night Erik Sessions and I played for the first time at Impact Coffee here in town. Check their website to see some photos of the impressive work they've done re-purposing the old JC Penney's store on Water Street. It was around 5 below when we started our gig that night and around -10 when we finished but a good number of folks still turned out. We had a great time and the music sounded pretty good in the big old building. I'm hoping we'll play there again sometime when the weather won't be such a factor.

Our next gig in town will be at the world famous Toppling Goliath Brewery on March 11. Come check the place, and us, out if you are in town that night.

Between now and then Erik and I will travel out to D.C. with our Contratopia band for a fun weekend of dances at the end of the month. You can find details at the link above. Be sure to say hello if you come to one of those dances.

Sunday, February 09, 2020


Bonnycastle (mp3) (pdf)

Here's a recently composed tune named for one of my favorite streets in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, KY. Back in the 1970s I got to know this street pretty well but the part of the street that I knew the best was the intersection where it crosses Bardstown Road. There was a Karma Records store on one corner and, just across the street was the Doo-Wop Shop music store. A couple of blocks north, at the busy intersection of Bardstown and Eastern Parkway, was one the best of the many White Castle restaurants in the Louisville area. Almost an ideal combination; records, guitars and sliders (back when that was a word that no one would dream of putting on a menu).

The photo above was taken sometime this winter while walking around Palisades Park here in Decorah. More snow today but kind of cloudy and dull.

I'm looking forward to playing some tunes with Erik Sessions this Thursday evening (7:00-8:30) at Impact Coffee on Water St. Stop by if you are in Decorah, no cover charge.
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