Saturday, July 26, 2014
For some time now I realized the interest and energy to maintain this blog had largely left me. I am sure you have noticed no posts this summer. I will leave the blog up and running and I encourage visitors to peruse the achieves for some good information. I largely achieved my goals for learning about Old Time music in this region. I will makes a few closing observations. The deep divisions that are tearing our country apart affect our musical world too. Left/Right? There are jerks from both sides but most folks are real nice. Meanwhile the polarization keeps us apart. I don't see this changing. In my opinion Arkansas is the Old Time Ozark music heartland. Specifically Mountain View. The McClurg jam is in serious danger of ending soon. The building is up for sale. More proof that local traditions are not going to be passed on by local people as much as before. Enthusiasts from "away" will be the standard bearers in the future. In fact, they pretty much are now. The recession hurt a lot of musicians. Still is. Instruments did not get cheaper. Chinese instruments are catching up in quality of sound and will in time dominate. Just like everything else. Change is inevitable. Embrace it.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The annual list of fiddle contests on Charlie Walden's website has been posted. Check it out Missouri Fiddling Event Calender
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I just found the announcement on Facebook for this event in central Missouri. Check it out. "*** Polly Burre Memorial Old-Time Fiddlers Contest *** Saturday, June 28, 2014 • 5 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Tebbetts, Missouri For the first time in 15 years, the Tebbetts Community Picnic is bringing back an old-time Fiddler's Contest. It will be named for the late Kenneth "Polly" Burre (1916-1999), who was a well-known organizer, promoter, and emcee of fiddle contests all over Missouri. Polly was also a musician in his own right. The event is part of the Tebbetts Community Picnic. Tebbetts is located 13 miles east of Jefferson City on Highway 94. (map) Cash prizes will be awarded in three divisions: Senior, Open, and Youth. Registration for the contest is free."
Monday, March 24, 2014
Josh Gilbert has announced the date for the third annual Firehouse Fiddle Contest to be held in Springfield Mo. July 12,2014 at the firefighters Union Hall. See the poster below.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The annual Arkansas Fiddler's Convention is coming up March 27th through the 30th at Harrison Arkansas. Be sure to check the link for full information. This is an event you should attend if you live in the general area of Northern Arkansas or Southern Missouri or, shucks just about anywhere. I won't be going but one of these days.... Here is the link Arkansas Fiddler's Convention
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. UPDATE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.
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.