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To make music is the essential thing. To listen to it is accessory - Charles Seeger

Author Topic: Introductions: When the Roll is called...  (Read 148696 times)

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Offline MotMot

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2004, 09:34:20 PM »
Tom here, a few months shy of 47. (motmot's an old injoke by highschool would-be wits).

Found guitar in high school (after less enjoyable musical flings with instruments ranging from uke to clarinet to Sousaphone to piano), and've been hooked ever since.? Found my way into country blues fairly early: John Fahey to John Hurt, and then "second generation" types like Hot Tuna and Ry Cooder and David Bromberg led me to originals such as Gary Davis and Jos. Spence and Blind Willie McTell and Blind Blake, etc etc. John Estes/Yank Rachell records prompted me at one point to get a mandolin.

Tried to balance music with the procession of college, jobs, marriage, then law school and law practice, children, house projects, family hound dog, etc, and the music usually suffered.? I mostly played in the kitchen for the dog late at night.

In '95 my father gave me a fiddle he'd recently inherited, and I started sawing away on it. In a few years, I'd seen Bruce Molsky, and heard eclectic group called Cordelia's Dad play the oldtime tune "Abe's Retreat," and their liner notes led me to Dwight Diller, which inspired me to get an open-backed banjo to try and figure out "Abe's Retreat" for myself.? And I found a regular old-time jam session.? Played out a few times, and started, for the first time since high school choir, trying to sing again.

Just when I thought I'd moved from away from the blues, I stumbled onto a wierd, old, cheap resonator thing that let my slide playing sound somewhat acceptable.? Muddy Waters and Willie Johnson licks started working and making sense.? Then I picked up the trusty 00-18 and the old Stefan Grossman books (25 yrs old, some of them), and Blind Blake and Blind Lemon, etc seemed a bit more within reach, too.? Not that I've reached 'em yet ... but the blues had been reawakened.

I was never quite as satisfied with the oldtime session after that. Especially when I started accumulating CDs from Old Hat and those Yazoo series: Before the Blues, Hard Times, Ruckus Juice, etc.

I August 2003 I changed jobs and moved my family and the hound dog a couple hundred miles, and thus lost the regular session mates.? Not sure how, but I found this website in the winter of '03-'04 and lurked for a couple of months before hopping on the soapbox and holding forth.
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

M.Vidrine

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2004, 02:22:04 PM »
Never miss a chance to talk about myself!  :)

My name is Malcolm Vidrine, 32 years old, raised in Louisiana but now residing in semi-rural Georgia. Iím a reformed Noise/Math Rock bass player who now plays clawhammer banjo and bandoneon. Been trying to learn the fiddle, but I canít get over the hump. As soon as I start improving, I end up putting it down just long enough to forget everything I learned. It is easier learning it the second & third times, but at this rate I should be an intermediate player in 10 more years? I have my wife to thank for my love of Country Blues. When we met, I had the Old-Time Stringband bug, but hadnít really listened to much CB. Well, during our courtship she let me borrow this live CD of Mississippi Fred McDowell while simultaneously making me read the Lomax book Ė The Land Where Blues Began. Thatís all it took!!

About the same time we got married, I opened up an internet shop called Venerable Music Ė specializing in music of the 78rpm era. There is a local record shop that is known for its blues selection. I remember walking in the first time & seeing their selection of about 100 or so Document titles. I literally felt my heart skip a beat as I tried to figure which 2 I wanted to spend my money on. Anyway, my goal since then has been to open a specialty shop that gives me that same feeling every time I walk in!! I still get giddy when UPS shows up with a new shipment! If all goes well, Iíll have a storefront up in Athens GA in the next 5-6 years or so? Depends on how the business grows between now and then. Any of you with business degrees want to give a little advice on growing a retail shop or computer guys on increasing my google ranking  Ė Iím listening!

In my spare time (Iím also a stay at home dad with 2 little uns), I play in a band called Brodie Stove. Itís a rock band, with odd instrumentation Ė namely banjo, bandoneon, sax, therimen, guitar, upright bass & drums. Itís tough to explain the style Ė other than lots of 6/8 and minor keys. The best description Iíve heard is something youíd expect as a David Lynch soundtrack. We just finished our first record (mastering this weekend) & I am very excited with how it turned out! I even impressed myself with some slide banjola Ė I didnít think I was that good, must have faked myself out.

I have totally enjoyed this topic so far & I already feel like I know you better! I would love to attend this so-called Port Townsend Workshop one day Ė you guys let banjo pickers in?  :D

Malcolm

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2004, 03:53:23 PM »
Gary (Davis, yeah I know, you should have seen the reactions at PT).

46 in a couple of weeks, I joined the WC in April when someone from the AG Forum directed me here when I had questions about Centrum/PT. I work as a Journeyman/Trades for school district in Northern California and have been a Carpenter since 1976. Before I picked up music this time I did some IT, system building, html/xhtml hand coding and debugging as a side job.

I don't have a long history of blues- I'm a former punk, with some interesting blues experience. I played cello when I was in elementary/jr high. I was given a guitar when I was twelve and played it the best I could (I now realize it had a badly tweaked neck). In junior high school I started to suffer from containment syndrome, (I didn't like being contained inside sort of like cabin fever) and started participating in extreme sports which slowed my musical pursuits.
 
In the late seventies The Clash, Sex Pistols and Husker Du changed the way I listened to and played music, I played bass in some garage punk bands, and, did a gig for a friend as his substitute bass player in a blues band. Played a weekend at a bar in the Mission in San Francisco and had a great time (great end to the story too, the lead singer split?and bought drugs with our pay). Stopped playing again when I started racing bicycles full time.

In the summer of 2001 I had a serious ankle injury while skateboarding and after experiencing some extreme cabin fever decided to pull out my Fender Jazz Bass in the spring of 2002, after noodling for awhile I decided that I was going to learn acoustic guitar since I had a Yamaha FG that someone had given me. My wife likes the music hobby much better, she's the one that sent me to PT.

My interest in Country Blues came about in a roundabout way. After realizing that alternative music was actually mainstream pop (and the fact that it was all boring) I started listening to some of my favorite bands from the mid-seventies which included alot of Neil Young. While reading about some of his early influences I decided to try some Country Blues. The first thing I bought was a Son House CD that lead off with "Death Letter Blues", that one song was all it took. This music had darkness that made punk sound happy.

Now here I am, going to PT, trying to get that blues feel in my playing, listening to artists I never heard of six months ago and trying to live up to my given name. 8)
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2004, 01:29:54 PM »
I have totally enjoyed this topic so far & I already feel like I know you better! I would love to attend this so-called Port Townsend Workshop one day Ė you guys let banjo pickers in?  :D

Malcolm

"Ability to play the banjo soon places one in a social position to pick and choose from scores of social invitations. Everywhere, the banjoist is assured of a hearty welcome."
from THE BANJO, a 1927 pamphlet published by Gibson Inc


Offline ryan

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2004, 01:44:09 AM »
My name is Ryan Leaf (26 yrs. old) and I live in Seattle, WA with my beautiful fiance and our two hounds.? ?When I was very young I would sneak downstairs quietly and throw on my parents records which consisted of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway etc. while everyone was sleeping.? As I got older my mom would give me 12 dollars for lunch at the beginning of each week and I would secretly use that money to buy cds.? I started working in a cd store at the age of 17 in Spokane,WA my hometown and with an open mind I tried learning about as many different categories of music as I could. My life is a soundtrack.? ?I can always recall my friends/family coming over clowning on me because I would always be absorbing things that seemed strange to them.? Music was always my escape.? I started managing a different music store at the? age of 20 and transferred to the Seattle area to finish up a business degree.? I found myself leaving being around music and being sucked into the "career" vortex.? Money was great, I was miserable.? One night I was up late and I heard a john Fahey piece called "sunflower River Blues" on the credits of a movie.? I wrote down his name and bought a cd the next day.? Life changed!!!? Realized that I always wanted to make my own music so quit my job and started working at an independent cd store so that I could go back to school? (still figuring out if I'm crazy).? I just enrolled last spring in an audio engineering program and started teaching myself guitar.? One night in researching some other music I stumbled across John Miller's name.? For my birthday in April I bought myself his two instrucional dvd's of Mississippi John Hurt and looked into First Degree Blues.? Last week I finally had my first lesson by the man Himself.? It made me think what it might have been like for Stefan Grossman learning From Gary Davis. I also kind of felt like in a movie when a young martial arts student meets his Ninja master for the first time!!!? and that is the cliff notes version of my life up to this point.? Look forward to hearing the rest of your stories and hopefully see you at my first port townshend experience next year.? Take care, Ryan
« Last Edit: August 28, 2004, 01:49:39 AM by rleaf2003 »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2004, 04:18:51 AM »
Ryan;

You go for it, buddy.

But remember: Reality is more than just a concept. Making dough leads to great things (like Pt. Townsend).

Make a diference,
Alex

Offline ryan

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2004, 10:29:00 PM »
Hey Alex,  your job sounds really interesting!!  If you are ever researching minerals in the Northwest drop me a line and we can have lunch and talk da' blues.  I don't know if he resides near your neck of the woods, but there is a canadian guitar maker Michael Dunn that seems to make some impressive guitars....http://www.michaeldunnguitars.com/index.html
Good luck in your future travels and thanks for the reply
Ryan Leaf

Offline OMpicker

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2004, 03:50:56 PM »
Howdy all.  I'm Dennis, 52 (doesn't seem possible), live in upstate New York and make a living working in public health (sorry, no flu vaccine available).

I began playing guitar in high school, captivated by acoustic music (Dylan, CSNY, Hot Tuna, etc.).  In college we had a great coffeehouse nearby (Towne Crier) and lots of great folks came through (VanRonk, Block, Redbone, Traums, Rev.DanSmith, Grossman, Schoenberg, VanDuser, our own JohnM, Hammond, etc., etc.) and listening there led me to country blues, which I immersed myself in thanks to a record store also nearby that carried Yazoo, BlueGoose, etc., etc.  I played country blues intensely throughout college and for several years thereafter.  Then I took lessons with Eric Schoenberg and that began a pleasurable several year detour through classic rags, Travis, Atkins, Reed, etc. My guitar playing hiatus began when kids hit their stride and I was just an occasional picker until my son expressed an interest...so, like a few others here, that sparked a return -- the guitars came out of the closet and I began playing in earnest again.  I play a wide variety of stuff...whatever I like and happens to strike my fancy at the moment, but it is all rooted in country blues traditions.

My guitars are all out and accessible now and I play every day now.  My son and one daughter both play -- haven't been able to get them captivated by Blake or Davis yet...but I will!
Dennis

Offline a2tom

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2004, 06:06:17 PM »
Yes, hello indeed.   My brief bio:  By day I am a scientist at a large midwestern university.  By night I've been having these dreams...

I have a long-standing history as a wannabe musician, but  I haven't played guitar for too many of my ~40 years.  Started on jazz sax, but quit that since it was too hard to keep up playing when in school (too dependent on other people and too loud in the apt).  Drifted through various instruments and genres after that, including tin whistle/British isles and mandolin/bluegrass.

But I am also a hack amateur luthier and built my first guitar about a decade ago.  After picking up Stefan Grossman's Mississippi John Hurt cassette lessons to cut my teeth on, I was hooked on fingerpicking and the country blues and haven't looked back.

Didn't have much time to play in the 90's (graduate school and kids), but in the last 1-2 years really started playing more.  I like the comment in the last post - I decided to just have guitars out and about in the house as the kids got old enough not to drool on them, and now I have one in my hand most often.

tom

Offline Rivers

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2004, 02:00:54 AM »
Hi, I'm the uneeda biscuit guy. I'm pretty instrument-centric, just lately I've been revelling in my new HD-28V rediscovering bass and the dynamics of a serious dreadnought Martin after a years of OOO guitars, which I still love for different reasons. The HD also has the ebony fretboard I always craved, soapy and precise.

Merle Travis's playing, if not his politics, is my recurring study but I'm into all the same stuff everyone here is into. The line between really old jazz and blues is what gets me going right now along with Texas swing, Hot Club and Tin Pan Alley subverted to my own twisted purposes. Play slide pretty good, lap steel and 6 string banjo.

Been to Port Townsend twice and man I wish I could get back regularly. Liiving in New Zealand paying a mortgage makes that less than easy but you can't have everything right?

I could go on but to sum it up, been playing for 35 years, ain't dead yet!  8)

Offline Bluesygirl

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2004, 03:20:11 PM »
Hi all!? My name is Bluesygirl and I just joined the Weenie community today, thanks to my friend Waxwing (who I know from the Stefan Grossman Woodshed). I'm in the Los Angeles area and am a graduate student and research assistant in anthropology.? I love playing country blues guitar and am currently working on a few tunes from the Stefan Grossman workshop CDs and DVDs.? I'm an advanced beginner right now but I hope to build up a repertoire of fingerpicking tunes by next summer.? I hope to attend the Port Townsend fest next year as well.? This seems like a great community and I'm thrilled to have found it and all of you.? O0 Bg

Offline Slack

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2004, 03:30:56 PM »
Welcome Bluseygirl! 

We're glad you found us too!  Waxwing did not steer you wrong. ;)  Never too early to start planning for Port Townsend - it is a great workshop and not to be missed.

Cheers,
slack

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2004, 04:29:10 PM »
Hi Bluesygirl. Welcome! What tunes are you working on from Stefan's stuff?

uncle bud

Offline Bluesygirl

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2004, 07:33:11 PM »
Hi Uncle Bud,
Nice to meet you too!  At the moment I'm working on some tunes from his "Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques" CD and DVD, mostly beginner level tunes like "Death Come Creeping," "Oh Papa," "Shake That Thing" and "Buck Dancer's Choice."  I've also just started on a CD of his that is mostly fingerpicking exercises (e.g., single note runs, syncopated basslines, hammer ons, pull offs, counterpoint lines, and vibrato, etc).  He also uses a lot of RGD licks for demonstration and I really like his playing style.  I will definitely be picking up an RGD DVD when I get through the material I'm working on. In addition to country blues, I've discovered how much I like listening to and playing ragtime and hope to learn more in this style.
Bg

steveo

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Re: Introductions: When the Roll is called...
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2004, 09:53:31 PM »
Seeing as PT is not too far away and I will eventually get there, thought I'd better check in...just discovered this site about 10 min. ago.? Long time country blues fan.? Was hooked on John Hurt in 1967 when everyone else was getting into that electric stuff.? Have played Celtic for years, but am really starting to focus on blues--especially John Hurt, Gary Davis, Blind Blake and Big Bill.? Loads of fun playing that stuff.  I'm playing it on a Martin OM18V which I like alot.  Waiting for John Greven to finish my Prairie State.  Starting to noodle with a new National Polychrome.

This site looks like a great place to come back to.

steveo