Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mark Franzke, Prairie Village Luthier, Mandolin Maker Video

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.

More dusting and cleaning of the blog

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

Update on Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer

As you may know, Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer married somewhat recently and are now a duo. They also recently recorded a new CD, "The Old Man and The Old Woman". I have not purchased this yet and cannot review it but the three songs available for a free listen on their shared website (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.
You can see Spencer and Rains next week here in Kansas City. They will be teaching a workshop at the Folk Alliance Camp and Showcase on February 19-23. They are performing on friday at the Penn Valley location at 9:30 pm. I should also mention that there will be a number of really good musicians there. So many I can't begin to list them all. To mention some that caught my eye, Mike Compton, Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, Betse Ellis, Foghorn String Band, Riley Baugus,and so many many more. The list is huge. Must be over a hundred. I was thinking of going until I saw how expensive it is to attend. You'll need to visit the Camp website for info for your self. I'm unemployed again but to those who are serious about this, it might be worth it to be in the vicinity of so much good music and people. I am disappointed not to be going because I did want to see them perform and to see the huge number of others there. Here is the website for Folk Alliance
Ya'll go check 'em out some time hear! They are just flat good. Here is an example for your listening pleasure. Don't forget to buy that CD and if you don't have it yet, Tricia's CD from last year. I have to tell you they sure make Kansas proud. (Texas too!)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Billy Mathews playing a nice tune

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.

Ozark Music Preservation Workshop February 23, 2014 Acoustic Shoppe, Springfield Mo.

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

Beginning to sweep and tidy things up here

Hope you like the improvements,if improvements they be. Time to shake things out and get going again. Hiatus over!!!

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?