Saturday, March 8, 2014
I don't know the history of this Jam/gathering but from what I understand, they used to hold this at least yearly at Lake Charleston near Charleston Il. Steve Harrison, formerly of the southern Illinois OT group,Indian Creek Delta Boys, is helping put this together. If you live in eastern Mo. or southern Illinois or where ever, this is a gathering you should consider attending. This is coming up in June, 13,14 at Waltonville, Illinois. I would encourage anyone who can, to plan on attending this revival of a gathering with a rich history. You can go to this site that Steve Harrison is running to promote the Jam. SandyDome South. If things allow I might try to find a way there myself but I can't be sure that far ahead.
Bill Graves album "Sugar in the Coffee" has been re-released by the Missouri Old Time Fiddlers Association. Bill Graves was an Ozark style Fiddler who lived in Lebanon Missouri. Pre-revival Mountain Dulcimer playing is included. They are asking $12 dollars. I encourage everyone to consider buying these albums to keep the flame burning and for your own education in authentic fiddling in the Ozarks. I will make note of a problem that has concerned me ever since I started this album. Old Time music in the midwest was never just about the fiddle yet much of the work in preserving that heritage was done in the name of the fiddle. The music is much broader than that. This CD is an example of that with his very fine dulcimer playing. While I love the fiddle, there is more to hear which is one of the goals of this humble blog, to show you CD Baby here.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I have had Mark Franzke on my Instrument builder list for several years now. Here is a very nice video a friend of his made about him and his work building these spectacular mandolins. I have never met Mark but one of these days I need to. Those who know say his mandolins are wonderful. Pull up a chair and check this out. You will find a link to his website below right. Stop by and look. I encourage my readers to consider our wonderful regional builders. They are all building some especially fine instruments.
I have been tidying up at the blog ranch this week. Changed the look a little bit, dropped a couple of things I thought were more clutter than helpful, and am going to clean up my links, drop the dead ones, maybe add some new ones and finally start to make the Events page come to life. My work and other factors put me in a bad place this last year and I just kind of lost interest for a while and nearly gave up the blog but after being off work for a month my sanity returned and I'm back to blogging. Life is too short to work somewhere doing something you realize you hate. I went back to a former employer and found the place in much worse shape than when I left it. You really cannot go back "home" again. It's time for a transition to new things for me but that's another story. Now, on to the task at hand. I think the blog is getting better. I reviewed my early posts....yes, it's better now.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Spencer and Rains)were pretty good.Only Roustabout is on the new CD, the others are on Rains previous CD. As you know I really think a lot of Tricia's fiddle playing. Her CD of last year was in my opinion fantastic. I was a bit concerned when she married a Texan and I feared he would spirit her away to the Lone Star State and Kansas would lose a damn fine fiddler! But Tricia remains at her luthier job and Howard lives in both Austin and Lawrence. Here is the new album cover Howard designed.I think it's pretty neat myself. Folk Alliance
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Billy Mathews has been having health issues and I have not seen any videos of him playing lately. This is partly my fault because of the lousy stressful job I had this past year. I will try to post more as soon as I can. I got this off facebook and youtube via a mutual friend.
Chapman's Acoustic shoppe in Springfield Missouri is holding a "Ozark Music Preservation Workshop" on February 23rd with The Foghorn Stringband out of the Portland Oregon area. These folks are coming to share some real fine Old Timey music with local folks who might be interested in "Ozark Music Preservation" These folks from "away" can really play and it's a delight to hear them. I have never attended one of their shows or workshops so I can't tell you how these "away" people are in person. I really do hope there is a great turn out to see some really fine musicianship in the genre we all love. Old Time Music. You never know, some of the bluegrass people might just get that OT bug!!! If you don't know, The Acoustic Shoppe in Springfield Mo. is owned and run by Jeremy Chapman, formerly of the noted Bluegrass band "The Chapmans". This was a particularly fine family band with his Father and brothers. Jeremy was the flatpicking leg of that table and can he pick! I commend them for putting on this workshop even if these folks are from "away". We can all learn from each other right!? Here is the Band's link THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND. Here is the Shoppe's link Chapman's Acoustic Shoppe
New Video I found about a local Mountain View Arkansas Ozarks style Old Time group "Ozark Traditions"
My friend Jeremy Myers pointed this video out and I just had to share it with you folks. The video just reinforces that Mountain View Arkansas is the very Jerusalem of Old Time Ozark style music. This video is a local group who call themselves "Ozark Traditions". I don't have everyone's name who's playing here, just a couple of them so I will maybe identify them later when I can ID them all. I really like the fiddlers playing. A lot. The banjo player is pretty good too as well as everyone else. It's when I see this kind of playing that my music juices really get flowing. This is exactly what inspires me. I love Ozark style Old Time Music. This is what gets me going. This second video is about music in Mountain View Arkansas. You have to go there and see it to believe it. If your into Old Time music that is where you want to go. As I have said before, the real center of the Ozarks is in Arkansas and the real center of Old Time Ozarks music is down there. You might be tempted to think otherwise after the CD "Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks" came out. To be sure Missouri has its music too. A big big chunk of what we know of Ozarks music comes from there. But today, the center is in Arkansas. Of course, this is just my silly opinion. You might feel differently. The town is a very quaint Ozarks small town and well worth the visit. While Jimmy Driftwood gets his due credit for helping bring the Ozark Folk Center to Mountain View and for his efforts at promoting the music there, it's also true all of this preceeded him and the area has always been noted for it's old time ozark music. Still, when you go there think of old Jimmy won't ya?
Thursday, January 16, 2014
My longtime friend Jeremy Myers is now building banjos in his Oldfield Mo. home. His work looks to be very good and the sound he gets is very good as well. He has been working on fiddle repairs and some guitar repairs for some time now and has entered the world of building banjos. Jeremy has been a fixture at the McClurg Jam for years now and plays the fiddle, guitar and banjo. Here is Jeremy with his new banjo. Jeremy Myers, Luthier UPDATE 02/11/14 Jeremy now has a new website for his luthier business. Stop by and check it out. I recommend him highly. Ozark Songbird Music
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
I have noticed a pattern over the years where I have spells where I just run dry here. This past ten months I took a job that was incredibly stressful and difficult. I left that job friday (thank God!) and I'm actually feeling good about it even though I'm now unemployed! That's how bad it was. I returned to the company I worked for when the crash of "08" hit and was then let go. They were good to work for then but not now. Thomas Wolfe really was right even though his phrase is so overused...you really can't go home again. I have gotten older and I was different just as much as they were different. Just not a good fit anymore. So, my sanity is returning and my obsession with jazz is coming to a reduced level. I'm back into my interests in Old Time and Bluegrass music. My spirit really did miss it. I have been in a really deep hole with this music due to my serious fatigue problems and the stress level I had to deal with. Right now I have the flu but in a couple days I am heading up the stairs to my hidaway and will resume my long struggle with the guitar. I sure miss having the Dunhams around to fire up the jam and keeping me fired up to play. I really need to do some woodshedding before I can resume jamming. See you soon.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Yes, it's been months since I last posted anything of substance. In fact, anything at all. Sorry about that. The demands of my job and my problem with fatigue really left me with no energy to do much of anything at all. I admit I wondered if it was time to walk away from the blog given my lack of energy but like so many other times my interest in the blog seems to return and so I will let time tell that story for a while longer. Most people go through periods of change and I am no different. When I began this blog it was an effort to help educate myself and others to what we had here in the heartland with Old Time music. John Hartford was the one that ignited my passion for Ozark style fiddle tunes and I am still grateful for his influence in my musical life. When I started this blog I noticed that many of the noted fiddlers of the previous generation were already gone and only a handful remained to carry on the music. What I discovered was a significant number of people who were keeping the music alive and well and were going to be around a long long time. Two noted bands called it quits this year. In fact, these were my two most favorite bands here in the heartland.Prairie Acre and Mountain Boomers String Band. I sure hated to see it happen but people and circumstances change. Tricia Spencer became engaged to a texas fiddler Howard Rains and the demands of love made them a duo while her tie to Prairie Acre had to end. Tricia is my favorite living fiddler and I have to remind myself she is not dead, just moving on. The Mountain Boomers String Band was a real treat to hear but alas it was only on YouTube and other recorded media that I heard them on, and not live. They were based in Northern Arkansas and I had not been able to go see them there. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying the company of good
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I realize I have all but abandoned the blog this past month or two. The demands of my job are pretty serious and my stress and fatigue levels have left me with nothing left at days end. I hope to return to posting pretty soon but I want it to be worth your time as well as mine. I hope I can do something sunday. My goals for the blog have just not come close to what I had hoped but I will have to see what transpires this fall. I will say that I can see some real life out there compared to what I saw two years ago.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Summer is now over and it's time to look at restarting the Old Time jam. I'm thinking a couple weeks or so. I will send out emails soon. I'm inviting anyone in our area to join us. So far this has been a real nice jam with some real nice folks. No matter your skill level, you are invited to join in the fun.