Monday, December 31, 2012

Retrospective of loss; Garry Harrison and Jim Lansford

I was listening to the radio while waiting for my wife to get out of a store this afternoon when I caught a mention of a Garry Harrison and what a wonderful Old Time music song writer he was as well as really nice man. It was on NPR and they mentioned that he had passed away this year. They played a couple of his tunes (samples) and I was really impressed with what I heard. How could I not know more about him? Garry lived in Illinois and is the brother of one of my facebook friends. This is another example of my becoming aware of someone too late. John Hartford really only got to me after he passed away. I hate this when this happens. So, my old home state of Illinois was the same place Garry Harrison and his brother and others played some really excellent old time music. And I did not know.
Garry's daughter is also seen in this photo. Here he is playing fiddle at the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering earlier this year. (2012) It's sad to see them pass on. Another sad loss was that of Jim Lansford. I only got to see him perform once, live. He and his wife came to the violin shop in Merriam Ks to perform for folks under the auspices of the Missouri Valley Folklife group. I was struck by how softly and deftly Jim fiddled or played the guitar seemingly effortlessly. I recognized that he was a master musician and knew what he was doing. Sadly, he passed away recently leaving a big hole in our hearts for him and his music. Where would we be if folks like Garry Harrison and Jim Lansford did not leave such a rich legacy for us to enjoy and appreciate? Rest assured they will not be forgotten. I will continue to post about both of them this coming year. Each one will be featured with their discographys and what ever else I can discover.

Roscoe Holcomb

I try to stick with the Arkansas,Missouri,Kansas players on this blog and don't often mention or post about our cousins in Appalachia. I am going to make this exception because Roscoe reminds me of the kind of people I used to meet back in the late 60's and early 70's when I first came to the Ozarks. These folks are long gone now. Folks just like Roscoe. Just down home, salt of the earth hard working people.

Auld Lang Syne

Bob Minner plays a particularly fine arrangement of this very old song. I think it qualifies as OT. It can be translated as "long long ago". Robert Burns wrote the poem and it's set to an old folk song. May you close out this year with many fond memories and blessings. It's been a bittersweet year as they all are. Some of you may still be suffering economically, others of you are treading water and perhaps a few doing very well. In what ever state you are in , I hope you find the sun shining through the clouds more often than not. I begin the year with a renewed interest and excitement with this blog and I hope to improve things soon. My health has improved somewhat and although I get one year older and each year feels worse than the previous one, I still think I'm well ahead of the curve on such things. Robert Burns
I still plan on including more guitar work in the shared clips. The guitar is kind of the red headed step child of OT but it's still got feet under the table and it's what I play. Perhaps I can share my own playing later this coming year. We shall see. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY DEAR READERS

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Growing interest in a Jam in KC Metro

There is more interest in a jam in KC. I have always known that there are a lot of people out there who want to jam Old Time tunes but for some odd reason it's just never really taken off. Again, if your interested in a real Old Time music jam please email me and I will include you on the list of interested people. I would still like to see more people express interest. I know your out there. Like I said, I'm not trying to get a mega jam up this time. I think a modest start is called for. I think we have the minimum. I will post a tune list soon.

Monday, December 24, 2012



Friday, December 21, 2012

Weissenborn crazy I am!!

This may be where I veer off the reservation a bit and leave purist Old Time music for a bit of something different. I have always loved slide guitar playing and Dobro's. They don't get used in OT that much but certainly they could be.Most people associate them with Bluegrass but I think there is a place for them in OT. Shucks, music is music and good music played on different instruments than fiddles, banjo's and mandolins is not forbidden in my book Recently, Bob Minner exposed me to a Weissenborn guitar played wonderfully by an excellent musician and I was enraptured by the beauty of it. So sit back, enjoy these tunes played on a Weissenborn type guitar. They will be OT tunes. The last one was not truly a Weissenborn style but I included it anyway. Is there a place for slide guitar in OT? I think so. Why not?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Time for another Old Time Jam here in Kansas City

Interest has been shown for getting a jam together for Old Time music here in Kansas City. This time it won't be advertised for anyone to come via but will be initially limited to folks that mostly know each other in some way. If your interested please email me and sometime in January we will try to meet up and see what happens. Of course, if you play OT and want to come you may but this will not be like my last jam that we held at Shawnee Masonic Lodge. We are looking for people who want to be regular participants, more or less and want to be part of a real OT jam. There will be no Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix tunes played here btw. This is strictly OT. There is a couple who recently moved here from W. Va. who can play and really want a jam to attend and I am now ready to get back in that pond myself. I will not be the jam leader or convener this time but will do my part to help this start. Please drop me a line and let me know if your interested. Esp. Fiddlers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Slow blogging and the holidays

It's been nearly two months since my last post. The holidays and my personal health issues have kept me from doing any posting. The recent passing of notable Old Time musicians has also saddened me and I find myself not in much of a mood for posting. I have sometimes wondered about whether I should keep doing the blog as I have shifted my own musical listening and preferences somewhat over these past three years. I must admit I don't listen to OT nearly as much as I once did. I am holding out against any permanent changes due to the real possibility this will soon reverse. I also want to maintain some kind of quality to what I post and not just put stuff up just to post. From time to time I have had to rethink what I do here and maybe I should change things up to keep it interesting to me? I have certain things I have so far failed to do with this that I still want to do. I will try to see if I can get myself off dead center to do them. I want to try to provide more historical information on OT music than I have so far. I am woefully deficient in sources other than the internet and so I will be looking at doing more research at some point. At least, this is my goal. I have also considered adding lifestyle oriented material to the content. I hope you enjoy this blog and what it offers. I want it to be worth the time and effort for you to read and for me to write. In the meanwhile, have a merry Christmas season!