We just received word that the video of our first concert in Budapest has been posted! Once you’re on the page, use the small black scrollbar to scroll down, and click on the line that has my name on it… and then wait a while… It took quite a long time for the video to load for me, but it’s some mighty fine video work, so it’s worth it in my opinion.
This was from January 15th, 2008, at the Slovakian Institute in Budapest, Hungary.
Another record we listened to at my Victrola party was Arkansas Traveler (as a fox trot)! It’s been one of my favorite old time tunes ever since I heard Rayna Gellert’s rendition. Most people think of Looney Toons or “Picking up my baby bumble bee” when they hear this tune, but I think it can be pretty edgy if you do it right, or just pretty.
So here’s the version recorded from the Victrola machine:
Rayna Gellert’s version:
And my version on solo dulcimer, just quickly recorded in my living room for the heck of it:
Going a bit out of chronological order here, and stepping back to Saturday night, 2/9/2008. This was one of the hot numbers in the No Strings Attached set, where they invited up Guy George, Karen Mueller, and Butch Ross for a little “Lady Be Good.” That’s Wes Chappell on mandolin, Randy Marchany on hammered dulcimer, and Bob Thomas on bass. These guys have been rockin’ the dulcimer world since before I was born.
This is a video of Samantha Oberkfell (known for her hammered dulcimer prowess, and quite the fiddler as well!) and three of the four famous Wrights of Kenard, Texas. The missing Wright is Lloyd Wright, who’s in my mountain dulcimer top 10. We stayed up late at the Super 8 playing all kinds of choice tunes. This one’s being led by Samantha, and it’s called “Roscoe”.
In October, 2006, Butch and I had yet another chance (lucky us!) to spend a little time in England. One night, our dear friends Christine and Pete drove us out into the middle of nowhere for a good ol’ American old time music session. The venue was a pub called the Cock and Pullet, which gave us the giggles for far too long. The place really should’ve been called the “Clock and Pullet” since every inch of the walls was covered in clocks, which once again left us giggling uncontrollably every hour when they’d all start chiming. Anyway, it was a super fun night, and none of us wanted to leave, but as it is with so many of our wonderful nights out, we were having to catch a plane early the next morning. Some of these folks (including the very kind Steve Wise) I’d met a few years prior, at that festival in Gainsborough, the one where I captured that unofficial history of Scotland posted earlier.
Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss, American old time music as played by Brits and Yanks together at the Cock and Pullet pub, England, 2006.
I hestitated to post this one, because it’s farrrrr from perfect. This is a recording of Butch and I capturing Little Billy Wilson for the first time. You can hear how he was just riffin’ on something on his guitar, and I kinda bumbled in with some dulcimer notes.. And somewhere in there I must’ve gotten the idea to try an A-tune over what he was doing, so Little Billy it was. I’d had Little Billy Wilson in my head since September, 2003, when we heard it at Carp Camp (the biggest, loudest, craziest jam ever) in Winfield, Kansas.
So this recording was done in our living room in Bowling Green, KY, sometime in 2005 I’m guessing. It was our first major clue that it would soon be time to make a proper CD of our music. I guess it showed us that we had something unique to bring to the old time music community–or a unique way to transport old time music out into the rest of the world. So far that’s been working pretty well… Or at least we’ve had some success at dazzling the dulcimer players we meet. Little Billy Wilson has been pointed out to me numerous times as a “favorite” track on our CD. And although I’ve started taking that CD for granted, I was filled with pride and happiness this morning when I went into Niedlov’s for some coffee and was greeted with hugs all because they love the music. Awesome. Makes me wanna do it again.
So this is basically the sound of Butch and I having a meeting of the minds over this tune. As far as I recall, we have never discussed anything about arrangement or mood when it comes to this one. What a happy accident!
Little Billy Wilson, Butch and Christie’s living room, sometime in 2005, probably.
Obviously, this photo was taken at a completely different time, but in the same house…so maybe it has some of the same vibe. I like how it looks like I have glowing devil horns. Goes nicely with the banjo.
This is another recording made at my home at the Red Abbey in Cork City. I think it was recorded on the R.L. Tack dulcimer I brought home from Winfield in 2003. Such a beautiful sound, and I loved it a lot, but I regrettably sold it for rent money… Someday I hope to find that dulcimer again.
Yet another meditation on Amazing Grace: