Friday, November 30, 2007

God Just Announced... Blogs - SPARKS LIVE! SPECTACULAR – 21 ALBUMS IN 21 NIGHTS - SPARKS MySpace Blog

If there ever was a time when I really needed to be someplace, I'm thinking this would be the time. Holy Crap!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Native Radio Rocks!

So Alike

I called up Ken Light today and ordered a Native American flute. Ruth Rhandle let me play a couple of hers at Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival and it was quite a revelation; it was like opening up a channel inside of my core. Of course, I'm just starting off with a plastic one - because it won't break the bank. I didn't realize just how much mountain dulcimers and NAFs had in common until reading this article:

Pentatonic Myth -
There are some who take a nearly religious stance on tuning, spacing, thumb holes, keys, the warble and such. The history of the NAF is long. The plains flute that we all love appears to be a recent invention, maybe 170 years ago. When one go back to the earlier NAFs, one can see many innovations or revolutions in their design. I can say I'm glad for those innovations, because they appear to have eventually led to the plains flute. But I wouldn’t want to see it evolve into the ultimately optimized silver flute. We know where that path leads.

Ain't that something? It's two co-existing pockets of folk culture, both relatively young and highly protective of the simplicity and beauty that each instrument brings.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NGFDA Fall Festival: What a blast!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fest Press

West Volusia -
Faye Henderson couldn't stop smiling, even as she belted out sad, sultry tunes Saturday afternoon. On stage, Henderson's songs with Ed McCurdy & The Intruders were full of the blues -- the hopelessness, the sadness. They talked about bill collectors banging down doors, boyfriends leaving and hearts being broken.

"Chain, chain, chain. Chain of fools," she crooned in gospel style as the audience swayed, nodded and then erupted into cheers.

But even with those serious tones, Henderson, a day care director, couldn't help break through the melancholy with her 10,000-watt smile.

This was, after all, her day on stage.

Henderson was just a small part of the DeLand Original Music Festival -- a 12-hour event on Saturday that had musicians from across Central Florida showing off their talents. But for Henderson, she may as well have been headlining in Hollywood.

Rock on, Faye! What a sweet spirit and what a voice! Nice to see the fest getting some press!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unicoi Bound

North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Fall Festival. That's a mouthful, isn't it? This is such a huge festival, yet I wasn't aware of how huge until it came time to prepare for it. By "preparation", I mean the printing out of worksheets that I use during my three classes. Additional to those workshops is a Saturday "core" class featuring five instructors (the others are no small potatoes; Stephen Seifert, Tull Glazener, Susan Trump and Larry Conger - wow!) that rotate among five different groups of students in skill levels ranging from novice to advanced. In this arrangement, I'll be teaching "Adventures in Ionian" (playing in DAA tuning) while my other three workshops are "Dark Side of the Dulcimer", "Songwriting Crash Course II" and, what's becoming quite the popular little course, "Primal Dulcimer."

I'm really looking forward to this, for a number of different reasons. One, it's just going to be awesome to be around this many great players of the instrument. The staff list is a who's-who of musicians, including Janita Baker, Sarah Elisabeth, Ken Bloom, Jeff Hames, Guy George, Ron Ewing, Karen Mueller and the list just goes on. Mike Clemmer will also be there - and I'm really stoked to meet him, especially because he's got a little double-necked goody that he built for me. We may get to know each other before my concert slot on Friday night (right after Stephen, talk about a tough act to follow!)

This will Jae's first dulcimer festival and I'm glad she's going to this one - Helen is somewhat of a tourist town known for its beautiful countryside and Scandinavian theming. A hofbrau haus on the rim of the great Smokies? Sounds like a killer time to me.

Mountain music
Members of the Athens rock group R.E.M played one. So did Cyndi Lauper and even Joni Mitchell.

What instrument other than the guitar could these eclectic acts have in common? They all shared a desire for the simplicity of the dulcimer — a stringed harp-like instrument that is traditionally played in one’s lap.

And nearly 400 of these dulcimer players will attend the dulcimer convention at the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Fall Festival at Unicoi State Park, taking place Thursday through Nov. 18.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where I Been?

This trio sort of sums up the past few weeks. We've been riding the whirlwind.