Old Time, Celtic, Maritime Music, Gardening and Small Scale Farming

I didn't know I was a musician gardener.
All my life I've loved getting my hands dirty gardening, keeping small livestock, and playing traditional music, but I always thought that was just a peculiar combination that occurs in a completely random fashion. But one day my wife Sara and I were talking with a neighbor who ran a one acre educational garden down the street from us. He mentioned that as soon as the growing season was over he was going to hit the road with a bluegrass band he played with. He smiled and said that he felt really blessed to live the life he had- getting to play in the dirt and play on the stage. I had no idea he played in a bluegrass band so we talked shop about music, gardening, and travelling for a bit. After we said goodbye and started walking away Sara turned to me and said "oh I know what you guys are, you're Musician Gardeners."
Suddenly it clicked, all my life I've known and met people who combine their lives like that. friends, neighbors and other folks who combine their love of the land with a love of music, often the very music that grew and still grows out of that land.
This blog hopes to explore that relationship and to let other Musician Gardeners out there know that we're actually a demographic!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A New Album

Last night I spent six hours at Cut the Mustard Recording Studio here in Moscow, ID.  Brad Crooks the owner and engineer spent a bit of time working out the kinks in his new equipment but after we got rolling we cranked out 11 tracks.  What a surprise, I had only come in to record maybe 3 or 4 tunes but things were progressing so fast we decided- what the hey?  Why not just go for it. 
This album will be a bit of a departure for me since it is composed entirely of clawhammer banjo and harmomica.  We will also be adding some drums and maybe bass and organ.  Usually I like to mix as many instruments as I can in a recording but since I've been focusing so much on the banjo recently I thought a banjo album would be appropriate.
here's the tune list
-red rocking chair
    good old timey hard times tune
-once more a lumbering go
    logging song from northern new york that travelled to the midwest
-out on the ocean a-sailing
    great piedmont blues tune from Reverend Gary Davis
-sandy river belle/ john brown's dream
    old timey fiddle tunes
-don't let your deal go down (little girl)
    more of an old timey archaic version of the ragtime tune
-rueben's train
    bluegrass classic, learned from Doc Watson's recording
-the invisible american
   original, about a guy I met in cincinnati, a homeless veteran who could hardly speak from having a stroke, who had no coat, no money, and no one who gave a damn.  These folks need care, but they alway end up getting forgotton about and thrown away by our heartless society.
-hook 'n line/the bucket of the mountain dew
  the first is a foxtrot I hear off a "mammals" CD, and the second in an irish tune that crosses over into   old time style nicely
-whiskey in the jar
   classic irish bar song
-wild bill jones
  good wild west tune I learned from Charlie Parr in Duluth, MN
-lochaber no more
  Scottish aire I listened to a lot as a kid

We'll upload some sample tracks as soon as we have some finished product done.  This promises to be something of a richer sounding and slightly more modern album, a new kind of thing for me but exciting!  Stay tuned.