Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sally Johnson (Charlie Walden, Mike & Tim Bing ect)

Charlie Walden, Mike and Tim Bing, Charlie Boothroyd, Peter Hisco, playing Sally Johnson at the Harrietville Festival in Australia. Video clip stolen (borrowed) from Charlies site. Charlie has posted some new you tube videos. Swing by and check them out. I really liked this one. Charlie is one smooth fiddler. Makes it look easy but you know it's not.

Like I said, stop by Charlie Walden's YouTube site and enjoy some interesting videos.

I mention Charlie Walden so much I too often assume you know who he is. He is perhaps the best living representative of Missouri fiddling out there. He has done heroic work in keeping the fire burning through his playing and his education efforts on the web through his websites on Missouri fiddling and fiddlers. Be sure to check out his sites and often. Old Time music lovers over the world need to know about Missouri Fiddling. It's not all about the Appalachians. Nor is it all about the Ozarks. Missouri was and is the crossroads for many styles and genres. Expand your mind about fiddling.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peaceful Bend Americana Festival

Here is the website for info for Peaceful Bend Americana Festival.
This is the best place in the midwest for high octane guitar flatpicking music.
Some of the most accomplished and talented flatpickers appear there. I fully intend to go someday myself. (If I ever get a job again!)

It's coming up in May. That's only a couple months or so away. It looks beautiful there and you can easily interact with the perfomers if your interested. The setting is very intimate and the performers are available to mingle and jam.

Peaceful Bend is in the Steelville Mo. area and is a Winery. (how sweet is that!?)

Norman and Nancy Blake at Peaceful Bend

I love Norman Blake. Nancy too. Nancy is from Independence Mo. in case you did not know! This brings them here from time to time. I don't know how often but keep your eyes peeled for them and for gods sake let me know if you have a sighting!

This is an excuse to start mentioning Peaceful Bend. This is coming up in a few months. I yearn to go sometime. You should check it out. I will post about it tomorrow with info.

Lost Indian, Blake, Rice, Watson

See Normans Guitar when he is standing by Rice? The big twelve fret Martin mine! I love the 12 fret dreds!

The Bones

I have mixed feelings about Bones. When I first heard them after my interest in accoustic music surfaced several years ago, it was Barry Patton playing on stage at Winfield's Walnut Valley Festival.
Barry is an excellant player but I just did not "get" it for much of the songs I heard. It got obnoxious after a while. By Festivals end I positively hated the bones.

Since then I have moderated my feelings about them. Now, for certain songs, I enjoy them. Better that, than drums!

So what do you think? Sound off on my poll to the left.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kansas Fiddle Championship contest player

Buddy! I like her playing!

Don't know her name. If you do let me know who she is.

Mike Seegar

I sure miss him. I admit I did not properly attend to his works and music while he sojourned among the living but when he left us I realized what a hole he would leave behind. This humble and quiet man who unpretentiously continued to work the fields of this music for that golden harvest for so many decades that it is hard to think of a time in my life when he was not there.

I don't often get out of the area on my postings but Mike Seeger is worthy of the exception. I wish I could play like that.

Ragtime Annie

Performed in Concordia Ks at the Brown Theatre by "Scenic Roots" in 2007.

Whiskey Before Breakfast -2008 State Champ

This is Josh Hungate, the 2008 Mandolin Champ in Kansas. Amazing young man. Plays pretty damn good.

Winter doldrums

Winter continues unabated here in Mission Ks which is part of the KC metro. It's pretty cold out there and snow covers the ground. My driveway is icy and the dogs don't stay out long for the potty runs.

I have good news for you. Spring is within sight my friends! Being older now, time streaks by the little woman and me all too fast but this only makes me sense that spring is just around the corner and that means....EVENTS! CONCERTS! FESTIVALS!

Stringband Rendevous will be here sooner than you think.
Big Muddy Festival is just around the corner too!
All of this is local!

I will start posting about upcoming events more often now. We have to keep out chins up. March be be pretty tough to get through. You wake up hoping global warming is coming this week and you won't mind. March often disappoints.

This too will pass. Time for music videos

Bring your playing to a Jam

When I started out to learn how to play guitar, tops on my list of motivations was the intense desire to play and make music with others.

I still have that desire too!

However, as new players we are all intensely aware of how badly we play and how ignorant we are and that causes a lot of people to hide in their bedrooms or whatever, and play alone and never for anyone else or in a jam.


In our fear we isolate ourselves and block off one of the biggest and most effective tools to progressing in our skills out there. It happened to me. It has probably happened to you too. At least at some point. I put off attending jams for years. You probably did too.

Wellllll..... Snap out of it!

Everyone at a jam is at varying levels of playing skills and no one will laugh at you or make fun of you for not being perfect. Initially you might well suck, when you attempt to lead a song in a Jam. Likely as not you will. Just bull your way through it and keep going. You will get used to playing in front of people and making mistakes in the process. Each time you play in front of others is a victory you can build on and each time you attempt to lead, you will find yourself getting stronger and more confident. This leads to real progress.

So pull out of that lonely dead end street you travel and find thee a Jam and discover the joy you went looking for when you started. It's out there.

Personally, my favorite part of playing in a jam is when we are all in time and I am playing chords and following the lead.

If your one of those veteran players who play really well, come on out and help us cluttsy players out so there can be more good players for you to play with in the future. Most good players I know enjoy teaching lesser lights.

So my advice to all is...go find a jam and join in the fun. And do it asap. You WILL thank me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The first jam in Shawnee

Tonight was the first jam session for the Keep on the Sunnyside Old Time and Bluegrass Jam in Shawnee.

We had a good turnout and a good time was had by all.

To those who attended and are reading this, welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming to the Jam this evening.

Thanks to for helping this jam happen.

Thanks to that helpful person who started the daisy chain that brought in some fine folks and nice players who did not know about FolkJam.

I am trying to make my camera transer the pictures but it's not working now. Maybe later.

I had one stupid moment when I said I was going to play Billy in the Low Ground and actually started playing Red Haired Boy. Jeez! Nothing like a Homer Simpson moment at the first jam!

We need a fiddler at this jam!!!

I am going to change the date for the next jams to the SECOND saturday of each month instead of the third. I am hoping to poach a fiddler or two from a differant jam that was also on the third saturday.

Poor people had to endure me singing one song...

A new idea!

I just had an idea. Being long term out of a job, I would love to support local bands by purchasing their latest CD's. However, that's hard to justify on my unemployment benefits level.

So here is the idea. Send me your CD's or MP-3's so I can review them (as fairly as I can) and get the word out about them for you.

I have developed a pretty fair readership with efforts to build the local base more over time.

I just can't affort to buy everything that's out there. Even if I was working. So, in a good faith effort to support the music and help each other, send me your latest OR what ever you wish.

I still don't get anything from local bands as to info or such. I guess they feel that Facebook and MySpace is enough.
Yet more evidence of fragmentation.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Jam at Shawnee Ks Masonic Lodge Saturday evening

Ya'll come to the new Old Time and Bluegrass Jam at the Shawnee Ks Masonic Lodge at approximately, the corner of Neimann and Johnson drive. Park in the bank parking lot in back. Entry in back.
This will be the first jam. Starts at Six pm and goes till nine pm. Saturday.
Please come out and support this effort to keep the music alive.
I have had some calls and emails and there has been some interest expressed. I have no idea how many will turn out.
If you love to play this music please come out and join us.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This is Howe Teague

Howe Teague is one of the Ozark Fiddlers featured on the "Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks" CD series by Rounder. This is his picture. He is one of my favorite fiddlers. He was from Salem Missouri, which to many of you is on the way to the Current River and Montauk trout park. It is God's country. Really.

Howe passed to the great beyond in 2005. Let us not forget him.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Keep on the Sunny Side Old Time Jam countdown

I am a bit nervous about it but excited too. The first jam starts next saturday evening in Shawnee. One week to go. I have been kind of practicing again and will do so a lot more the rest of the week.

I hope the turnout is good so we can do some fun playing. I am also looking forward to meeting some new people. This new jam has to be a good thing. I know a lot of people will be happy it's available.

My hope is that it will fill on one of the big holes left when Mountain Music Shoppe died over a year ago. I am still upset about that.

Please visit for current info on this jam. Directions and such may be found there.

Nice blog post you should read

Go read this nice posting over at Jeremy Myers blog.

He answers my inquiries about his instruments and such. He also speaks to how he found himself at the place he lives in SE of the Springfield Mo. metro region and what that led to.

Interesting coincidents for him. While living in Springfield, he was once next door neighbors to Fred Stoneking. Then he moves to the country and finds himself living just a little bit away from Ashley Hull and her Grandmother.

The egg hatches when he starts going to the Old Time Jam in McClurg Mo where Bob Holt and Jess Silvey and Alvie Dooms and others play. (I don't think Jeremy met Bob Holt before he passed but am not sure)

Good reading for a sunday afternoon. Go check it out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Comments settings reset

Somehow my comments permissions were changed which hindered people from commenting here. I have corrected this problem.

I welcome all comments here and do not moderate them unless they would be obviously inappropriate.

I welcome criticism and kudos.

Regretably, spam comments appeared already so to fight that I had to turn on moderation. Sorry about that but I will not tolerate them.

Culture and money

Posting Update!!!
I just received an interesting comment from the Lyric Opera folks. Please read the comments for their response. I appreciate hearing from them. I do wish them all the best success. Count me jealous.

I have been in a state of wonderment and dismay all at the same time over the new Kansas City Lyric Opera building now under construction in downtown KC.

Think of all that money going to what has become an elite expression of culture in KC. Excess money accumulated by Ewing Kaufmann by the genius of his business of pharmaceticals which has now completely left KC.

I have enough of my college junior year socialism left to find it a bit sad that so many people paid so much for pharmaceuticals to enable the excess to be eventually applied to an elite expression of culture that so few will imbibe.

On the other hand, popularity of cultural expressions are not solid grounds to stand on when "worthiness" is caluculated. Our own "Old Time Music" is not all that popular these days compared to other genre's of music. No benefactor of this music is about to build a new hall for our musical enjoyment.

Maybe I am just jealous? If only Ewing Kaufmann had been more eccentric and played the old time fiddle instead of pouring it into the Royals baseball team?

In spite of all this, I congratulate the Lyric on this acheivment soon to be realized. Maybe they will perform some fine choral works that will pull even me there. I can only hope. Maybe, just maybe, someday, fiddlers will perform there for some special occasion? Maybe they will bring in the humble folk musicians and allow the curtains to be parted for some down home music?

If this sounds unlikely, remember how Carniegie Hall has hosted myriads of folk musicians over the decades now? Maybe Tony Rice will play there someday?

Right now, I don't see much money in Old Time Music. Times are hard and are going to stay that way for some time. The strength of our music is in it's commoness. It survives because we survive. It's what we play and listen to. Usually for free.
So maybe there is hope.

The more we can play for others and expose more people to the simple joy it offers the more people will be drawn to it. This is a jewel we bear and it should be passed around freely.

So, again, I say that we must find venues for our music here in Kansas City. Is it true that Lawrence has more people that enjoy this music than we have in KC? No way.

Stop by and check out the Lyric Opera's website.
I would suspect most of us are music lovers who also have deep appreciation for numerous genres of music and perfomance. Personally, I don't get Opera. I like Wagner alot but thats about it. Now Choral works and performance is another of my great passions.

Philosophical and Economic disclaimer:
I am not currently a Socialist. Ewing Kaufmann was a genius Capitalist who made life in KC better for a lot of people. He made a lot of every day workers rich. His efforts on behalf of baseball were legendary. If his daughter wants to spend her inheritance in this way, so much the better. Free Enterprise creates possibilites for cultural expression that otherwise would perhaps not be expressed. So, overall I find great good in the Lyric Opera building. Still.....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And now for something a little different. RAGTIME

On occasion a little ragtime is appropriate.
I have not heard of these folks before.

Nice work!

Uncle Baccy Juice

I was hunting around for Bill Graham video and stumbled onto his playing with a group called Uncle Baccy Juice. Here they are playing in Liberty Mo.
I like it. Angeline the Baker.
Bill Graham used to be one of the better KC Star reporters who covered the northland beat. He has played the Mandolin for many years and occasionally writes for the Mandolin Cafe out of Lawrence which, ta da! Scott Tichenor runs. Small world.
I will have to check these folks out and post about them some more.

Yet another reason I loathe the Star. They let Bill Graham go and keep Jenee' Osterholdt who embodies absurdity. Yes, I said it. I hate the KC Star. They ran a fine newspaper into rubbish. This comes from a newspaper addict who did two things in the morning before I did anything else. Make and drink coffee and read the paper. Now it's make and drink coffee and read the news on my laptop. It turns out to be much better anyway.

Bill Crahan and Scott Tichenor

These two guys are at the upper levels of the musical pyramid for our area. I took guitar lessons from Bill back in 2004 or so. Helped me get started until I had to quit due to business travel. A wonderful teacher. Great fellow.
I have never met Scott Tichenor but I have heard of him and heard him play with Bill. A master mandolin player.
This piece is close enough to my range of music I am trying to cover least for me and I get to
I have wanted to post about Bill Crahan and Scott Tichenor for a long time.

Banjo Billy Matthews doing what comes natural

Why yes, he does play banjo. Makes it look smooth and easy.

This is from the "Listen up Illinois" broadcast. I am leaving the discussion in for your information and edification.

Billy Matthews is the real deal. I HAVE to find a way to get him back to our area in Kansas City again.

I had noticed that I tend to post fiddlers a great deal and have been neglecting clawhammer banjo, another of my favorite instuments.
I far prefer clawhammer banjo to the three finger roll bluegrass style. I am just weary of the TOO LOUD bluegrass banjo work in bluegrass.
I also really enjoy clawhammer with no finger picks for that mellower tone.

I have great doubts about my ability to pick up the fiddle but I think I stand a chance with clawhammer banjo. I nearly bought a banjo from Jim Curley the year before his shop closed and wish I had.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

John Williams, Missouri style fiddler

Monroe County Influences vol 1. New CD of Missouri Style fiddling. I have not heard it yet. Available only on cd via snail mail. I wish he had samples available.

Jim Herd

Jim Herd can be found on the Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks series by Rounder.

Practice before a contest.

Cyril Stinnett clip

Here is a poor quality clip I have not posted before. I think

Charlie Walden's new Facebook page

Charlie Walden has started a new Facebook page called "Missouri Fiddling on Facebook"
Stop by and check it out. There seems to be some nice activity there with Charlie posting information about recordings of interest.

Good on you Charlie!

Good news for passionate fans of Missouri fiddling which I count myself one.

If it was not for Charlie we would not know so much about it. This humble blog stands on his shoulders.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who is the next class of Old Time Fiddlers and Musicians we will hail as legends?

What is going to be left to the next generation? Who are they going to recieve the tunes from? A CD or an MP-3 file or a living person who taught you a song person to person?

Who will they talk about when they recall the fiddlers and and the players and the music?

Will there be many people who even remembers Missouri Fiddlers let alone hear one on occasion?

Will this traditional music survive much longer as music performed live by people who play what they love or will it just be a footnote to history and what culture was once?

You could be pessimistic. Or optimistic. Think about how far it's traveled thus far?
It survived a long time.

Allen's Archive of Early and Old Country Music (blog)

I am long overdue to tell you about this blogsite.

This is a blog done by a collector in SW Missouri who wants to SHARE his collection with his readers. He posts photos of the covers as well as song lists AND!!! on occasion will share the music with us for free downloads. The music varies from old bluegrass to old nashville country to old time fiddlers.

Recently I realized that I needed to learn what was really out there as to Missouri fiddlers and Old Time music recordings from musicians from around the area in general. There is no discography to cover what I really like in Old Time Music in this region. This caused me to stop by Allen's blog and start paying more attention to what he is doing.

What I found there really excited me in my new quest for recordings. I got decidedly giddy when I realized I could actually download music from there.

In this economy, I can't afford to buy much. There is lots of out of print music out there and often the performers are no longer with us. Why can't this stuff be passed around more than it is? Well, it can. Allen is to be commended for doing some of this.

This is not to say, we should not support our musicians. We should. CD's, LP's and Tapes of currently available recordings should not be shared freely among the general public. The last thing we should do is rip off the good folks who play Old Time Music and try to get a small return on the investments they made by making a CD.

In this new freer internet world with our ability to pass data around, we now have a way to conserve and recycle music that would otherwise languish in someone's vault who might or might not ever release it again. Think of what has been lost or is lying dormant in some drawer and will never be heard or heard of?

Thanks to folks like Allen this tragedy is not as bad as it has been.

Beyond the music downloads, I appreciate the information he brings to us. At some point I hope to share my list of recordings that I think we should know about. In fact, I may have to spin off a new blog to contain that if I develop that idea like I have in mind.