Don’t miss the Henhouse Prowlers – Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Troy Elks Lodge $5

Tonight don’t miss the Henhouse Prowlers Live at the Troy Elks Lodge 11pm. They remind me a band from Columbus a while ago… well except that the fiddle player will agree to wear a tie like the rest of the band. This looks like the good stuff.

Young folks writing and performing new original traditional sounding Bluegrass. There was a time when it seemed like bands like these were popping up all over the place, and we were one of them. But now, the furry has died down a bit and I’m realizing just how rare the suit wearing, died in the wool, one microphone working, traditionalists are.

They even have the chicken thing working…

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Leftover x Breckenridge = Tasty Tunes & Brew

The original intersection of Fly FIshing and Bluegrass Leftover Salmon is collaborating with Breckenridge Brewery by releasing some new tunes in a 12 pack sampler with a collection of sweet  coasters to match. Talk about a cross promotional Gold Mine that I can get behind, yeah!

Sign me UP! Now the one thing I will  have to overcome, and believe me I will overcome it, is that those sampler packs tend to be a way to get rid of beers that didn’t sell all that well, at least that’s the way I view them. But I can get over that to support some good tunes and good beer.

Nice work Breckenridge and LOS!

There is a contest, but who needs contests, I’ll pay for the beer and the tunes, and call it good. Not sure where the 12 Packs will be sold, but I’m guessing anywhere you can find Breckenridge Beer. So go get you some.

HighCountry_GaryHouston

The new Leftover Salmon songs are all inspired by Fine Colorado Ales, the Colorado lifestyle, and the beauty that Colorado has to offer. It made perfect sense to package these songs with our beers and give folks the full Colorado experience.

Each song download is released alongside an Artist Series coaster that will come packaged inside our 12-pack Sampler Packs. The artists consist of four well-known artists from the “Rock Art” community, including Gary HoustonJeff Wood,Nate Duval, and Tyler Stout. In addition to the coasters, each artist is printing a limited run of posters.
The song download coasters will start shipping out with Breckenridge Brewery beers in July. Be sure to look for the specially marked 12-pack Sampler Packs.
Dear Bluegrass police, (I’m looking at you Terry 🙂 While Leftover Salmon is not “pure” old-school Flatt and Scruggs or Monroe, it’s close enough, so please do not revoke my membership card. I promise to repent, and for my penance do 20 rounds of Wheel Hoss, 20 rounds of Sally Goodin, and 20 Verses of Blue Moon of Kentucky (the slow part — it’s more meaningful.) 

Back by popular demand — Freaky Fiddle Friday Scotty Stoneman Edition.

The people have spoken, and we have listened. Back by popular demand is the Freaky Fiddle Friday!

We kick it back off with the man that Jerry Garcia called his inspiration for his endless jamming — Scotty Stoneman — the Jimi Hendrix of the Fiddle.

Man could that guy play the fiddle, great stuff here.

Jump to 2:10 for the fiddling fireworks!

Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Troy Ohio with Mumford and Sons — a preview.

Ok — so as most who read this blog with regularity know that I am generally a card carrying member of the BLUEGRASS POLICE. As such I have the right to preform citizens arrests for such offenses as: Playing Songs in the wrong Key, mis-use of a banjo, calling things bluegrass that clearly aren’t, and bluegrass style cover tunes that are just plain wrong-ditty.

As a member of the Bluegrass Police it has been my duty to call out anyone, who in conversation, calls the band Mumford and Sons Bluegrass. I have fulfilled my duty in this charge numerous times since this band came into the spotlight with banjos in tow. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them or their music. In fact I like their music and the band a great deal and think they have pushed the boundaries of traditional acoustic music in ways that are un-imaginable. They have had such a huge influence and have put the banjo and acoustic instruments on stages and in front of audiences that have largely ignored them for years, and for that fact alone, the Bluegrass world owes them an eternal debt of gratitude.

So with that in mind, I must say that I am totally fucking stoked that Mumford and Sons chose my sleepy little hamlet of Troy, Ohio to host a Gentlemen of the Road Stopover. FULL STOP. This is HUGE for Troy and hopefully will shake the town out of it’s stodgy ways for good! Let’s get some cool stuff going for little old troy again.

Here is a video primer on what to expect from the stop over. I can’t wait.

I just heard that another set of tickets are set to be released to the otherwise sold-out show this friday.

The only thing I’m bummed about is that they haven’t called me to sit in with them — yet. My agent is working on that though…

Here’s the line-up:

Stop_Over_LineUp_Troy

We Should Build Mandolins — a nice short documentary on Tom Ellis’s career as a mandolin builder.

The Fretboard Journal posts one new, short documentary a month. This month they featured a film entitled “We Should Build Mandolins.”

I love the part where he say he just likes to make things — a man after my own heart. ALthough building an airplane I don’t think I need to do, but boats, right on.

For the record, I have no financial interest, I play BRW #30. which you can hear blurbs of over on vine…

Vine is weird.

Speycasting and Fiddle Tunes

Midcurrent pointed us toward an interesting article today about Alexander Grant, one of the pioneers of  Speycasting.

Wouldn’t you know it, the man was a musician! And not just a musician he played the Fiddle! Yet another dot connecting the Fiddle and the Creel. Pertinent quotes below…

Born in 1856 at his family’s croft at Battangorm near Carrbridge in the Highlands of Scotland, Grant began his illustrious fishing career in the silvery waters of the River Spey system. As a young boy he was also exposed to his other great passion in life – playing the fiddle. So much was his early interest in the acoustic properties of these instruments that he once refused to attend fiddle lessons from the local school teacher because he disliked the tone of his tutor’s fiddle. This early appreciation of tone and vibration was something he used in later life to outstanding effect in the design of his famous ‘Grant’s Vibration’ range of fly rods.

Later in the article it gets to the heart of an issue I’ve been wanting to explore in more detail, the relationship between building acoustic instruments and building rods. I knew there was a connection, now I have PROOF! Well, if nothing else then at least it’s proof that someone else in human history was just as savagely deranged as I.

The real secret to success of the greenheart rod however, was the rod’s specific taper, which was worked out acoustically, rod by rod. As a talented musician, Grant also handcrafted his own fiddles and in doing so began experimenting with the principles of vibration frequencies. The information he learned was applied with great effect to his rod making room. He realised that as a natural product, the density of wood varied. This meant that two rods made to the same length, diameter and specifications different actions. Grant tuned each individual rod section as such that he could produce a rod that flexed in total unison. This meant that instead of each section ‘springing’ slower or quicker than the others, the rod’s action was totally married, resulting in a very powerful through-action.

Unbelievable! The connection between music and fly fishing is unmistakable!

Bill Evans’s new album in “In Good Company” is one of the best and most surprising albums I’ve heard in a long time.

Every once in a while I’m just totally blown away by an album. I’ve heard and played A LOT of bluegrass. It takes quite a bit to blow me away these days. I’m not saying I’m the Bluegrass Police or an old, grumpy picker who hates anything made after 1960, but I’m getting there.

That being said, this morning I was totally blown away when I popped in the new Bill Evans album “In Good Company” for the morning commute.

From the first note it manages to strike the perfect balance of new grass mellowness, taste and restraint with solid traditional  Bluegrass drive. It’s dry but with a hint of moistened reverb, clean with specks of dust, edgy when it needs to be but traditional in just the right spots without ever being cliché or ironic. (Thank the lord, because I’m really getting sick of ironic)

Honestly, I try to take an open minded approach to these things and listen without any pre-conceived notions, so going in to this I had no idea what this album was all about. But when I got to the office I opened up the liner notes to find out it’s a smorgasbord of bluegrass deliciousness. I then understood EXACTLY why I thought it was SOOO good. Check out the listing of contributors…

Bill Evans with The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, Joy Kills Sorrow, Darol Anger, Cindy Browne Rosefield, Tashina & Tristan Clarridge, Stuart Duncan, Corey Evans, Matt Flinner, David Grier, Rob Ickes, Dominic Leslie, Laurie Lewis, Ned Luberecki, Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips and Missy Raines. Produced by Bill Evans, Stephen Mougin, Darol Anger & Tom Size.

Good grief if you can’t make a killer album with that line up, you need think about doing something else. That being said it even exceeds the sum of it parts by an order of magnitude. Bill Evans really has put a good one together.

The first track called the “The Distance Between Two Points” starts it off perfectly and from there it was a joy to listen to all the way through. From the first note you can tell it’s a technical masterpiece where every note is placed with perfection and care. It’s not just the musicianship that stands out either.

The engineering and production values are off the chart AMAZING! The complexity and space surrounding the instruments is phenomenal. There is serious subtly in the bass tone.The woodyness of each instrument comes through in all it’s sparkling glory. It’s a rare beast indeed that brings this kind of complexity to the table without becoming too tedious, wonky, over-complicated or esoteric. This album has NONE of that, and for that, it’s a breath of fresh air to be sure.

It also manages to hang together as a cohesive idea too, which is rare on these all-star projects. Sometimes these kinds of albums can fall apart and turn into a few decent tracks with some filler. However “In Good Company” manages to maintain a solid feel and vibe that is consistent through out the entire length of the record. It has a nice change of pace and mix of feels but at the same a uniformity that seems to be elusive in today’s scatterbrained culture. I love that!

This is an album that should have a place in every Bluegrass fan’s shelf, it’s the work of a master and his good company.