I’m always happy to contribute something for the yearly Dead Covers Project.This year’s theme is Europe ’72, in celebration of the 50 year anniversary of that tour…I’d already been learning “Ramble On Rose”, one of my favorite Dead tunes, so was happy to make a recording of it.
With the football season fast approaching, I thought I’d work up an arrangement of my favorite team’s fight song. Here’s a fingerstyle arrangement of “Bear Down, Chicago Bears”…what are some other good fight songs?
I’ve always wanted to analyze Steve Goodman’s interpretation of this tune and frankly, a day off from school on Opening Day seemed like my best chance to do so. Not sure I’d get around to it any time else. It’s way cooler in 4 than in 3 and although I’m sure he was wearing a Cubs hat when he did it, here’s my take on “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Go White Sox.
It was a real thrill to do the live sound mix and the audio mix/master for the video of this performance that Lisa Bella Donna gave at Western Carolina University on February 20th of last year. Looking back on it now, it was one of the very last gatherings that I was a part of before the pandemic set in…it was also snowing that day, which is not a regular occurrence in North Carolina. Lisa spent the day working with students in the WCU CMAP program. She brought an impressive collection of Moog instruments with her. Since we’re located very close to the Moog factory in Asheville, Moog even brought an M1 for her to play. I enjoyed Lisa’s performance so much that I was inspired to pick up my own Moog Grandmother synthesizer and have been using it to create music all year.
I made this video of a road trip I took from North Carolina to Seattle a few summers ago to record some music with Seedsquatch at my buddy Kevin Bressler’s Whiney Cat Audio Studio. I loved the way the video came out and I put some acoustic guitar music that I recorded underneath it…since I released the acoustic guitar album through CD Baby, youtube’s algorithms put a copyright claim on the music and wouldn’t let me share the video…so I had to appeal the copyright dispute to CD Baby, since I own the copyright…and they recently released the claim, so here it is…ah the fun of the legal side of music distribution.
2020 – 2021 has been a year of new and exciting ways to make music, collaborating over distances. The WCU CMAP faculty have been working on a few and we’re excited to share the first with you. Here’s a composition by CMAP Voice Instructor Wendy Jones – “Choosing Joy”.
This performance features several Western Carolina University School of Music CMAP faculty: Wendy Jones, vocals – CMAP Voice Instructor Micah Thomas, drums – CMAP Percussion Instructor Jim Elenteny, bass – Recording Engineer, CMAP Program Coordinator Chris Beyt, guitar – Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar and Recording Arts Pavel Wlosok, piano – Professor of Jazz
Working up another of my favorite Leo Kottke tunes..again, one that will be a decades long pursuit….”Airproofing”…I’m just through the very first bit of it, the easiest part, it goes all sorts of different ways after this…I must have listened to the “Leo Live” recording of this a zillion times…it’s just cooking, but my favorite part is that about 3/4 of the way through, you can hear somebody in the audience scream “Aaahhh!”…as if their head just exploded from what they’re witnessing him do….gets me every time. I’m working from the Stropes transcription.
I’ve been working on this tune, off and on, for twenty years. Seemed like a good time to document my progress. Hopefully I’ll have it right where I want it in another twenty years. It blew me away when I first heard it…the energy and joy…and the fact that it was only one person playing. I suppose it was appropriate that I busted a string practicing it the morning that I filmed this, this guitar is in drastic need of new strings anyway so the intonation is a little questionable. I think Leo used finger picks on the original recording then ditched them soon after. I never could stand them. I’d be shocked if this was anywhere near the actual arrangement as originally recorded, but here’s Leo Kottke’s “Busted Bicycle”.