Some real fun times playing with friends lately. The best part is that the ol’ singing voice is coming back after quite a bit of neglect and misuse. When I’m teaching I tend to sing at a very low volume to not overpower the guitar, which I want to be the primary sound in the practice recordings I make. Now, I know better, back in the day when I took voice lessons in college my teacher emphasized the importance to relaxed singing and breathing. I’ve been trying to remember those things and it seems to be paying off; even got a nice compliment about my singing from a couple of young ladies at the Daily Brew last weekend. As an old fishing buddy once said, “Even an old dog likes to have his head scratched once in a while!”
Today at the Daily Brew two guys who were students of mine way back in early 1980s showed up, Don Newton and Marc Larrey. Don has an amazing collection of Martin guitars and he brought a few of them for me to try: M-38, D-76, D-45, J-40. Marc brought along his Martin D-18GE and his well-loved and battle-scarred Fender Strat that I sold to him back in the late 1970s or early 80s. He said he has done well over 1000 gigs with that guitar and it shows! Don’s Martins were all great and apparently he has quite a few more at home. Wow.
Marc sat in with me for a couple songs, a blues tune and an old country-ish tune by The Band. He sounded absolutely fantastic and I sincerely hope we’ll get to play together again in the near future. He teaches at a private school and has made a successful career in music and I am so very proud to have at least in some small way set him on that course back when he was in high school. Plus, both Marc and Don are great people and we had a wonderful time discussing guitar geek stuff and reminiscing about gigs and times past. Times like these are one of the reasons I love teaching the guitar.
The week before I went over to another former student’s house for the first of his summer jam sessions. Another great, fun time and I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.
Before Don and Marc arrived today I had a wonderful conversation with two other local musicians, Matt Beninghof and his brother John. These guys are absolutely superb musicians, both individually and when they play together. More guitar geek talk, gossip and laughs. Matt is going to sit in with me on mandolin two weeks from today and I am SO psyched! I am going to dig deep and have some tunes prepared that I know he’ll rip up. So – if possible, be there: Daily Brew Café, Rt. 28A, Cataumet, MA. Ten till noon or beyond, June 23. I hope I can keep up with Matt!
Another thing I’m psyched about: I finally bit the bullet and bought a new IPad (128gb), downloaded the OnSong app and spent a couple days loading in the lyrics to about 120 songs. On a few I uploaded copies that had chord changes and I’m pretty sure I can remember the changes for most of the rest. I’m a bit unclear about how or even if I can edit the songs as they were uploaded (as per what was advised in the app directions) as pdf’s. But for now, no more lugging around a big binder filled with paper copies. Also bought an Air Turn Bluetooth pedal that I synced successfully for hands-free page turns. Really looking forward to putting this outfit into operation at the Brew next weekend.
Apparently there is a new album coming out along with a movie to commemorate the historic Rolling Thunder Review tour with Bob Dylan and many others that took place in the mid 1970s. I heard one cut and it featured the absolute best, strongest singing I’ve ever heard from him, and here’s the kicker: That cut was one of a bunch that were recorded in a room at the Sea Crest Resort, which is about a mile from my home. I remember when Rolling Thunder was rehearsing there before the tour began. It was a poorly kept secret around town but I’m embarrassed to say I did not sneak around down there trying to hear some of the music. Although I am not what you’d call a big fan of Dylan, except when his tunes are covered by others, I think I will have to buy this album based on how great that one song sounds.
Another poorly kept secret of right now is that Dave Matthews will be playing at a private party in the nearby area called Grey Gables, which is part of the town of Bourne. Apparently this is the yearly event that is at the home of some record or radio person from Boston. Previous “secret” shows have featured Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and others. I am not a big fan of Matthews although I respect his musicianship and especially that of his band so I doubt I’ll try to hear it but I know many in the area will. He is scheduled to play a big show at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on June 21 so my guess is that it will be the day before or after that.
If anyone reading this has experience with using an IPad and the OnSong app I’d love to hear it, by the way.
Peace & good music,