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Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)

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Sunday, January 17th, 2010

If you want to lose your mind

John and I played this 80-year-old song yesterday -- I thought I would link to a couple of source versions.

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (1977) rock right out. This might be my favorite version of the song, certainly the first one I think of when I think of this song. (Even though the version I first heard, I'm pretty sure, is that of The Rooftop Singers (1963) -- which I now find comparatively bland.) The original is Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers (1929) -- fantastically good, maybe more inventive play with the lyrics than in any of the covers I've heard. And the version that brought this song back into my conscious mind recently, off of a mix tape my brother made for me, is by Corey Harris and Cassie Taylor (2008), off of the record Recapturing the Banjo.

And suddenly the scales fall from my eyes! Practicing the tune this morning I realize it's another variation on the melody from "They're Red Hot!"

posted evening of January 17th, 2010: Respond
➳ More posts about Cover Versions

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Walk Right In

This is encouraging! I went to sleep last night thinking about "Walk Right In", with the different versions running through my head; and I woke up this morning with some ideas for my own version running through my head. So far today I have recorded three versions of it, each one sounding progressively better -- takes 2 and 3 even being music that I would play for somebody else without feeling embarrassed! It still needs guitar in it to sound like a complete song -- if you'd like to hear what I'm working on you can download take 3 from my box.net account.

This seems like a good place for a note about my current recording setup, which has gotten a lot more hi-tech in the last couple of weeks. I am recording into condenser mics which are going to a Behringer Xenyx 1204 mixing console, then a Behringer UCA-200 analog-to-digital converter, into my USB port, and REAPER is storing the sound and turning it into .WAV and .MP3 files. This seems to work pretty well -- I am happy about the sound quality of the recordings -- I need to spend some time on learning the ins and outs of the software, which is a good deal more complex than Audacity but also works better. John and I are working towards the goal of recording both of us together; to do this properly we mainly need another mic stand or two and possibly another mic.

posted afternoon of January 18th, 2010: Respond
➳ More posts about Fiddling

Friday, January 29th, 2010

First cut

John and I had a good time practicing tonight -- we will be playing at the open mic at Menzel Violins on Thursday, the songs we play will most likely be "Man of Constant Sorrow", "Meet Me in the Morning", and "Walk Right In" -- here is a recording we cut of "Walk Right In". Sound quality is still pretty ragged but it is nonetheless, I think, a fun song to listen to. (And to play, of course.)

Another song we played that was a lot of fun, was "The Battleship of Maine," by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers. Same tune as "Up on Blueridge Mountain," this is an anti-war song from the '20's.

posted evening of January 29th, 2010: Respond
➳ More posts about Jamming with friends

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Music in the fiddle

A mix with some of my favorite fiddle music, and a couple of my own performances... link and notes below the fold.

read the rest...

posted evening of June 5th, 2010: 2 responses
➳ More posts about Music

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Walk Right In Again (without Finneganagainagain)

We got video!

videography: Sylvia

OK, this is bugging me: where is the "Finneganagainagain" thing from? Some kind of children's song about Jim Finnegan? Aha! No, "Michael" Finnegan.

posted evening of January 15th, 2011: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Saturday, December third, 2011

Walk Right In

Let's listen to The Modesto Kid play his Stroh fiddle:

New and improved bowing technique courtesy of gifted teacher Lisa Gutkin -- thanks Lisa!

read the rest...

posted evening of December third, 2011: Respond

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