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 - 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. 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: 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!

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