Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Winter Creek Reunion Festival

Some remarkable talent- the best of the best- have accepted our invitation to come and teach and entertain us!! Plan on joining us for a great weekend of fun, wonderful classes and awesome music!!

Harvest Music Jam

Monday, September 28, 2009

October 9th - Opening For Sam & Ruby

If you're in the central Florida region, this is going to be a fun show. Sam & Ruby are currently touring in support of their debut release "The Here and The Now". The duo combines sweet harmonies, acoustic folk and R&B into a mesmerizing mix. Ruby co-wrote the tune "Heaven's My Home", which was nominated for a Grammy and featured in the motion picture "The Secret Life Of Bees" starring Queen Latifah.

Friday, October 9th - doors open at 8 pm with the show beginning at 9 pm. Admission is $10. The Cameo Theater is one of Orlando's legendary art-deco venues and has recently re-opened to showcase music and art of all kinds. I'm honored to be the opening act for Sam & Ruby on the Orlando stop of their current tour!


Kristine Campbell Blog

Kristine Campbell: Musing Music Monday
At this years Kentucky Music Week Bing Futch offered a class in blues on the MD. Then at Midland I heard he is working on a book of blues tab for the MD. Very cool for all of us who would like to whet our whistle on something other than old time and bluegrass tunes.

Seriously considering offering workshops in rock mountain dulcimer technique.

Sonnystone Acres Blog

Sonnystone Acres » september 14, 2009
the dude below is bing futch (not a typo) and he intrigued me from the beginning because he does not look the part of a dulcimer player. he also plays a dulcimer that is specially made with two stringboards tuned in two keys and he makes it sound like a full-bodied guitar

Stuff like this blog post make me blush. : )

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dive! - Plow-Through

After getting "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band (Book 4)" published and shipped, and with the pressing deadlines of holiday releases now past, I settled back in to continue work on "Dive!" with a renewed vigor and different approach. Prior to this, I had settled on a basic list of tracks and was pretty close to finished with the selection. However, I'm now just bashing out tunes and will pick the best of the bunch after it seems that these pipes have been cleaned.

"Dive!" has always been planned as a personal record, one that plunges beneath the surface and works some exorcism magic. It's not looking to be a bummer or too serious; everything has been couched in imaginative arrangements and dances with the lyrical content in poetic fashion. There are some heavy themes, plain-spoken and cryptically suggested, that have already been demoed here and there are more to come.

Yesterday's offering came quickly and I'm honestly not sure if it will make the cut, but I'm going to work on making it as good as it can be. The tune, "I'll Be Alright On Payday", is a short and sweet little rocker with a Louisiana Southern rock shuffle beat, distorted dulcimer, rolling bass and one catchy chorus. This one might be more along the lines of something I perform live - but who knows, it may end up on the CD.

Part of this renewed recording push comes thanks to the arrival of Garageband '09, a huge upgrade to my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that contains some brilliant improvements (like region guides, song arranging for regions, guitar stomp boxes and frequency spectrum analyzer) along with a radically redesigned interface. It all works pretty great; except for the fact that my firewire interface, the PreSonus Firebox, has sort of turned out to be a piece of crap. Sound glitches, muted audio and general freakiness that requires me to toggle with settings in the Audio/Midi Set-up application has added hours to my recording time and removed years from my life. Okay, perhaps not that drastic, but I've been muttering lots of colorful evaluations at the screen this week.

There will probably not be a lot of demo recordings here as I plan to move forward at a pretty brisk clip, hoping to get this finalized before the end of the year. As I get into final selection and mixing, I'll post some of the best of the best.

Hope to see some of you at Dicey Reilly's on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the Halfway To St. Patty's Day event featuring a car show, live music, Irish dancers and the usual great food and drink. Next week, I head to Bennington, Oklahoma for the Winter Creek Reunion Dulcimer Festival.

Have a great weekend, whatever you may do. Me ke aloha and mahalo nui loa!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Groovin' Into The Fall

Well, it's been a whirlwind this past week. Just got back from the Bluegrass Creek Dulcimer Festival in Evansville, Indiana and had a beautiful time in a wonderful setting (which could also be a wonderful time in a beautiful setting.) Had a great time meeting new friends and hanging out with some old ones, including some nice jams with Kendra Ward and Bob Bence. There's plenty of video to sift through and it will be appearing in a little while. If you've noticed, I've staggered the Dulcimerica videos this year so as not to show what just recently happened. It gives me some time to, well, have more things happen, so I don't run out of material. Sure, I could always knock off a couple of workshop videos if someone would invent five more hours in the day. And actually, we're working on making that happen, so stay tuned.

Got back into town in time to wish my lovely Jae a Happy Birthday - we had a house and yard full of family and friends right when I got in from the airport; a nice homecoming.

Then Monday, I had a recording session with the great Kaleo, formerly of the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. I'd been asked by Scott May, keyboardist from The Ides of March, to produce a track with some Hawaiian flava and knew exactly the cat I needed to get. Kaleo laid down some awesome steel guitar and ukelele and I hope to share the track with you once it is approved and finalized up north. I used Garageband '09, which just shipped to me (I know, halfway through the year, punctual already) and is an amazing program. Kaleo was so impressed that he suggested I record his long-awaited follow-up to "Welcome To My Island" here at the studio. I told him, "brudda, no problem - I just need a few more pieces of gear." LOL!

What else is new? "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band 4: Christmas Edition" ships on Saturday! Those of you who have already pre-ordered will get your signed copy next week. If you haven't ordered yet, there's still time before the first shipment.

Like the other books in the series, this one comes with two CDs: one with dulcimer and backing tracks and one with just backing tracks so you can take center-stage with the band and, in this case, the orchestra and symphony!

Songs included are:

8 Joy To The World*
12 The First Noel
16 St. Day Carol
18 Hark The Herald Angels Sing*
20 Silent Night*
24 Deck The Halls
26 O Tannenbaum
28 Away In A Manger*
30 Jingle Bells
34 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings
38 What Child Is This
40 Go Tell It On The Mountain
42 Up On The House Top
46 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
50 O Holy Night
54 When Christmas Is Over

The numbers indicate pages - as you can see, this is the largest of all the MDITB books, more structured arrangements along with more chances to cut loose and improvise. There are samples of two tracks on my website; "Joy To The World" and "Away In A Manger." You'll get to swing to "Up On The House Top", make like Johnny Cash with "Jingle Bells", leap into the silver screen with "O Holy Night", "Silent Night" and "What Child Is This?" and take the lead in Bonnie Raitt's band with the bluesy "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (a foreshadowing of a future edition of MDITB featuring all blues styles.)

With plenty of time to work on these arrangements over the next several weeks, you and/or your club will be ready to perform during the Christmas season like never before!

The 58-page book and 2 CD set is $24.99 and available at http://www.darkstudios.com/bfstore.html - orders received by Saturday morning will go out First Class that day!

This Weekend At Dicey Reilly's

This Friday and Saturday (September 18th and 19th) are my regular weekend slot at Dicey Reilly's Irish Pub in St. Cloud, Florida. It's always a good time at Dicey's with fantastic food, great service, lots of parking, no cover, kid-friendly atmosphere and awesome brews on tap! I'll be performing both nights from 7 to 11 pm - lots of traditional, modern, original and cover tunes on the mountain dulcimer. If you haven't been - come on out and see what the ever-growing audience is on about! I'll also be at Dicey's on September 26th from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as part of their Halfway to St. Patty's Day Celebration.

http://odohertypub.com for more info

Busy Fall

It is looking to be quite a busy fall season, beginning with three Dicey's shows this month and then a crazy couple of months after that, including:

October 3rd and 4th - Winter Creek Reunion - Bennington, Oklahoma
October 9th - Cameo Theater - Orlando, Florida
October 10th - Harvest Music Jam - Holopaw, Florida
October 16th-18th - Chautaqua on the Wabash - New Harmony, Indiana
October 23rd-24th - Dicey Reilly's - St. Cloud, Florida

November is going to be even more nuts, if you can believe that. My schedule for the next year or so can be found online at:


Key West Dulcimer Fest

Registration slots are still available for the 1st Annual Key West Dulcimer Fest! If you're on the fence about attending, don't wait until the last minute or you'll miss out for sure! Workshop descriptions for some of the offerings are beginning to surface on the website at: http://KeyWestDulcimerFest.com and it gives you just a little idea of what to expect from this wonderful weekend featuring David Beede, Robert Force, GuY George, Tull Glazener, Jeff Hames, Lois Hornbostel, Dan Landrum, Karen Mueller, Aaron O'Rourke, Butch Ross, Gary Sager, Stephen Seifert, Rick Thum, Susan Trump and yours truly! We're just 132 days away from the world's first tropical dulcimer fest!

Hope you are ready for a fantastic weekend of cooler temperatures, no matter what you do. Blessings to you from Orlando, Florida!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Today on Art Beat (and in other news)

ArtBeat - WUCF-FM Podcasts
Dulcimer innovator and ambassador Bing Futch finds himself on a surprising creative path. Signs point to “Yes” as this musician follows his bliss. Tune in to 89.9 on Monday, September 7th at 12:01pm and again at 4:30pm, or listen online to http://podcasts.wucf.org/artbeat after the noon episode.

Had a fun interview with Katie Ball, host of Art Beat, last week which is airing twice today and living for awhile on the WUCF-FM podcast web-site. Katie's awesome and has been a creative mover and shaker in the Orlando arts scene for many years. She's also interested in interviewing Jae, who (and you may not know this) is president of the Orange Blossom Blues Society.

This Week's Show

I'm traveling to Evansville, Indiana for the Bluegrass Creek Dulcimer Festival. Looking forward to some excellent music, great jams and fine folks! Later in the month, I'm back at Dicey Reilly's, not once, not twice, but three times: September 18th, 19th and 26th. That last show isn't at the usual 7 pm - rather, it's from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is Dicey's Annual "Halfway To St. Patty's Day" celebration - 'tis an honor to be a part of the fun!

Pre-Order "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band (Book 4): Christmas Edition" today!

Two song and tablature samples from the fourth in the MDITB series is now available on my website: an orchestral arrangement of "Joy To The World" and a low-key treatment of "Away In A Manger." Pre-ordered books are personally signed and shipped on the day of release, so you'll have plenty of time to work the tunes before the Christmas season starts (which is, apparently now October 15th.)

Happy Labor Day - watch for a new episode of "Dulcimerica" this week! Aloha!