Tag Archive | Jefferson Heights

Working Hands

Here’s a little gospely number I wrote in the shower the other day.  Seems like something that could’ve come out of the Unitarian hymn book, and no surprise there.  This song has some of my favorite things in it– playing the piano, lots of fifth intervals, and invented words (“feelya”, “walkya”, “growya”, and “giveya”).  I’m not that crazy about the quality of the recording… Still on a search for a good digital recorder, I suppose.  This one makes the piano sound muffled, my voice sound unreasonably clear, and is overall too quiet or something.  It could just be that I need a good microphone.

Anyway, all technological critiques aside, I’m pretty happy with the song… It sounds to me like a conversation between a person (ok, me) and the universe.  Just some happy thoughts passed back and forth, you know, a little small talk, me and the universe.

“Working Hands” recorded at 524 East 18th St., Chattanooga, June 8, 2009:

Working Hands, by Christie Burns

More Irish Music on 18th St.

I’m so lucky to have friends like these!!

Short notice session, Rick Davis’s house, Chattanooga, TN, August 12, 2008:

Casey Phillips on tenor banjo, Ken Doyle on flute, and Rick Davis rockin’ the bodhran.


Tunes tunes tunes!! This weekend I was paid a visit by the fabulous Helen Gubbins, a very dear close friend of mine from my Cork days. She primarily plays accordion, but whipped out a fantastic tune on my piano, which promptly became my favorite tune…

…Or at least it was my favorite tune for an hour or two before I got to the session at the Tremont Tavern and heard this new tune by Casey Phillips. Casey is a rock solid player and all-around terrific guy, and he knows approximately 3,424,502 tunes– and as if that’s not enough, he’s writing more! This one in particular completely won me over. I’ll be working on this one for the next few days.

Cockeyed Hen, by Casey Phillips, performed on tenor guitar at the Tremont Tavern, July 27, 2008:

Blue Skies

I was too busy making mojitos to fuss with the camera (or a fiddle, or a dulcimer) while the big part of the party went on. But when it all died down, I found myself in a fairly odd–but totally fun–jam session with Ken Doyle on Irish flute and Ken Harrison on saw. This is our rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”. A rather soulful ensemble, don’t you think?

18th Street “surprise” party for Rick Davis, July 5th, 2008:

Old Chattanooga

Due to a scheduling/weather snafu, we got bumped out of our usual spot at the Market Street Tavern tonight just after we started our old time jam.  Luckily, the house isn’t too far away, and miraculously, it was even clean enough for guests, so we negotiated with the kind tavern for a case of beer to go, and transported the whole jam to 18th Street.  Now I generally look forward to Monday nights as my fiddle practice night, but given that there were already one-hundred-and-eleventy-seven fiddles, I went for the more diverse option, the dulcimer.  Of course, I was also able to pull out the banjo on a tune, and even spun around on my stool and banged one out on the piano.  It turned out to be a really fun evening with some great tunes!  Thanks to all of you who came, for being so flexible.  Looking forward to next week’s jam, back at the Market Street Tavern, 6-9.  For anyone who has just happened upon this post, the weekly old time jam on Monday nights is open to any musicians who want to play old time tunes–no experience necessary!  Beginners welcome!

Here’s the tune, Old Chattanooga, being played in my living room, Monday, May 26, 2008:

Got a Bose Stick Today

Weee! I just got my brand new Bose stick sound system (L1 model II), set it all up, plugged in my dulcimer (the Masterworks) and took off on some kind of improvisation using the delay effect. Ain’t ya proud, Dan? Ok, so this is like way a lot of fun… I’ll keep this post short and go back to playing with my new toy! Good times to come! And sweet sounding music.

“Stick Today”, recorded by Christie Burns on 18th Street, May 18, 2008:

Valentine’s Day, Southside.

Tonight was pretty cool. It wasn’t the ultimate best party I’ve ever been to at Terry Cannon’s place, but I do have to admit that it’s mighty cool to be able to walk approximately 56 yards to the hippest most happenin’ place in my neighborhood. I really really dig that there’s live music within earshot (if it weren’t for the walls and all the other noise out there) of my house… Tonight’s band impressed me for its sense of tradition, but also its grip on the under-28 age group. And then I also got to wondering if maybe this band had a certain “in” with the Covenant College crowd, which might explain the enthusiasm all around. Nobody ever gets this excited about Valentine’s Day. Do they?

Adrian Kosky

I’m feeling like a doofus tonight for forgetting to set up my recorder at our house concert in Memphis.  It’s not that I necessarily wanted to capture me and Butch, but we did something very special at the end with our Australian friend, Adrian Kosky.  He had played a few of his own songs at the beginning of the concert, and then we brought him up for the closing number, where we played a  super groovy version of “Arkansas Traveler” (there were actually two people there who had traveled from Arkansas to come to our concert!) and then Adrian took it straight into a super soulful rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”  That’s a bit of a sentimental one for me, since that’s how we used to end our concerts back in the days of Trailerpark McShank (more on that later).  Anyway…. I’m a doof because I failed to record the magic– the whole room was singing along together.  We had dulcimer, dulcimer, guitar, and some of the sweetest harmony I’ve heard in a while.  Ah!  The best musical moments seem to occur when there’s no microphone on.

Well as a consolation prize, I’ve decided to re-share this video Philip made of Adrian last summer on the mound behind our house.  So just imagine this very same guy, but instead of a mountain dulcimer he’s playing a guitar, and instead of sitting on a dirt mound in Chattanooga he’s standing in a living room in Memphis, and instead of having the pixie-like Jasmine floating around behind him he’s playing to about a dozen sweet folks who all came out for our house concert tonight and sang along like it was their job.

Not like the marching band from my hometown.

I love marching bands. Even small ones. Even in the dark, which is the only way you get them around here. We had a Lundi Gras parade in our neighborhood yesterday, a wonderful excuse to stand out on the sidewalk with the neighbors and take in the sights and sounds of the Howard High School marching band. These kids ROCK! I was especially impressed by the chicks leading the pack. They marched like horses, and their feet even sounded like horses too. But my favorite part of it is the sound of the bass drum echoing off of every building around us. I walked alongside them for a few minutes to capture this audio, and thought to myself, “This is way cool. Our neighborhood has its very own marching band.” I hope they never stop doing what they do, and never stop showing up for these community events. This is seriously fun music!