The READIN Family Album
Tyndareus Crushed, by Igor Mitoraj (taken August 2005)


Jeremy's journal

Somehow, Cleveland has survived, with her gray banner unfurled -- the banner of Archangelsk and Detroit, of Kharkov and Liverpool -- the banner of men and women who would settle the most ignominious parts of the earth, and there, with the hubris born neither of faith nor ideology but biology and longing, bring into the world their whimpering replacements.

Gary Shteyngart

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

🦋 A track (or two)

Here is a song John and I recorded last night, a medley of "Drowsy Maggie" and "Dancing Barefoot" -- we've been working on this for a few weeks and played it last week at the Menzel Violins open mic. I'm pretty happy with the way we've integrated the vocal melody with the fiddle melody.

Oh and here is another song I recorded recently that I'm pretty happy with:

This is a Leadbelly song also performed by Hazel Dickens (and many other artists), but the version I learned it from and which I always think of when I hear it, is my friends' band Other People's Children, Liam and Malcolm.

posted evening of May 13th, 2010: Respond
➳ More posts about Jamming with friends

Monday, June 14th, 2010

🦋 What does that song sound like?...

John and I had a great practice session last night, recorded a bunch of practice takes of tunes -- including a new take of "The Ballad of Hollis Brown", which I have put into the Hitchcock-heavy mix in place of the messy old take of that song. (And the mix is no longer "random"... oh well...)

Big news is, our band has a name now! We are Mountain Station, named after the train station near my house. (As John said, cool -- now all we need is a banjo player and a bass...) Here are some other cuts from the practice last night:

posted morning of June 14th, 2010: 2 responses
➳ More posts about Music

Monday, September 6th, 2010

🦋 Mountain Station on the radio

John and I have our first track playing on the radio! Tune in to Henry Musikar's always-great music rotation at KCUF and you will (every so often) hear our cover of Gillian Welch's "Revelator." Here is the track if you don't want to wait:

posted afternoon of September 6th, 2010: Respond

Saturday, April second, 2011

🦋 Mountain Station

photo by Sylvia

Well out of a year and a bit of jamming together, John and I have put together something worth listening to (IMO obviously). You can download our demo tape from if you'd like to check it out. (Click the "Download Folder" button to get the tape as one big .zip file.) Streaming here:

Track list

  1. "Highway 61 Revisited" by Bob Dylan (with a bit of fooling around with the lyrics from yours truly)
  2. "NJ Transit" by Jeremy
  3. "Dancing Barefoot" by Patti Smith
  4. "Revelator" by Gillian Welch
  5. "Shady Grove," traditional
  6. "California Stars" by Woody Guthrie and Wilco
  7. "St. James Infirmary," traditional
Mountain Station is John Hicks on guitar and vocals, Jeremy Osner on Stroh fiddle and vocals. Follow us on Facebook to see new songs when we record them, and works in progress...

Update -- I am thinking with this post I'll be taking a brief hiatus, a couple of weeks. Thanks for reading, those of you who stop by regularly -- I'll be back, just want a little time off.

Please help us find our audience! If you are reading this post and you like the music, I would greatly appreciate links back, from your blog or your rss reader or Facebook, whatever. Help get the word out...

posted evening of April second, 2011: 4 responses
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

🦋 Praying Mantis

John and I have been tossing around Don Dixon's "Praying Mantis," playing it now and then for most of the time we've been jamming together. We're thinking of it now as one of the songs to play at the next open mic we play -- here's a version of it we recorded tonight:

posted evening of June 4th, 2011: Respond

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

🦋 Songwriters' Circle: Mountain Station debuts

Me and John played our first show this afternoon! We were one of the featured groups at Michael Locker's Songwriters' Circle, at the Crossroads in Garwood -- there were five acts playing rotating sets of three songs apiece, we were on stage three times for a total of about 40 minutes of music -- way more than we've played before for an audience. (Sparse to be sure, but still.) Our set list:

  1. "Red Red Overalls" by Jeremy -- this song gets a little better and a little faster every time we play it.
  2. Praying Mantis by Don Dixon
  3. "Japanese Radio" by John and Jeremy -- we were extremely loose on this song and having a great time. We had never really worked out the arrangement with any precision and ended up not being sure, at a lot of points, whether we were going to go into a verse or a chorus or an instrumental -- but somehow it worked really well.
  4. NJ Transit by Jeremy
  5. Walk Right In by Cannon's Jug Stompers
  6. "Killer Diller Smile" by John
  7. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan -- this was an encore in our second set when a guy in the audience asked us to play another song.
  8. Revelator by Gillian Welch
  9. "Meet Me in the Morning" by Bob Dylan
It was a great time. Also had a blast meeting and listening to the other musicians on the bill, including Christa Orefice and Anthony Rocha.

posted evening of July 10th, 2011: Respond

Monday, July 11th, 2011

🦋 Mountain Station on stage

Ellen got some nice photos of us at the show last night -- click through for the slide show.

posted morning of July 11th, 2011: Respond
➳ More posts about the Family Album

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

🦋 Waiting for the hurricane to hit New York City

Many thanks to Holly Hughes for introducing me to The Kinks' song "Lost and Found" -- I had never heard it before today, and boy is it a beautiful song. So John came over this afternoon and of course we had to try and work out a cover version of it... It is as John says "a little too perfect" for today.

How did we do? Well... I am by no means any Ray Davies. But I think what we came up with after a couple of takes is starting to sound pretty good. See what you think:

Notes: I need to sing it a step lower I think, or something. It was very happy-making, successfully to modulate to a new key at the end of the song though -- I don't think we've ever actually done that before.

posted evening of August 27th, 2011: 1 response
➳ More posts about The Kinks

Sunday, October second, 2011

🦋 Jamming

John came over tonight and we had some fun playing songs we did not know... It was a change from our practice routine because John had left our songbook in Andrea's car, so we did not have words and music written out, so we just jammed on a bunch of songs that we have not played before. Highlights included "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" (which I find incredibly fun to sing but do not have much of a fiddle part to), "Harvest Moon" (which turns out to be really easy to come up with a fiddle part for), "When the Ship Comes In" (fast, with lots of instrumentals -- not sure what song the instrumentals were from but they seemed to fit ok), "Banks of the Ohio" (dedicated to Martha -- again, a lot of fun to sing, not sure what I should do instrumentally), "Rolling in my Sweet Baby's Arms," "Frankie and Johnny." Also, "Long Black Veil," and a medley of "Odds and Ends" into "Johnny 99."

The fixed fiddle sounded all right. It was going out of tune more than usual, which I put down to the new strings; the tone is clear and even and the volume is there. An irritating buzz I had noticed in recent weeks is gone -- not sure if that had anything to do with the bridge.

posted evening of October second, 2011: Respond
➳ More posts about Fiddling

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

🦋 A nice open mic

The Studio 12 open mic at Tapastry restaurant in Montclair is a great scene -- based on my and John's experience there tonight it is one of the few open mics I've ever been to that I would invite non-musician friends to... A really friendly crowd and a lot of good-to-great music. We played a 15-minute set, a pretty satisfying length of time to be on stage -- our set list:

  1. Running to Stand Still, medley into Arms of Love
  2. Meet Me in the Morning
  3. Drowsy Maggie, medley into Dancing Barefoot
It sounded from on stage like we were doing very well. John taped it on his Zoom, so we'll see how that comes out -- maybe we'll post some clips.

posted evening of October 5th, 2011: Respond

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