Saturday, June 19, 2010

Well well well...back here again. I see my computer is low on power (so perhaps this won't be as long as I had hoped) Also, I think I will go pour a short whiskey and grab some right back.

Ok, I am back with all the supplies etc. Yes, yes. Lots to say but where to start. Often with excuses for not writing recently; it is the internet I swear. I mean; Facebook alone can drain ones will to write. NO? Also, since I got an ipod touch and my partner Julie became a freelancer she is often on the computer while I just try not to get too far behind using my little ipod touch. (not too inspiring for writing)

So, I am listening to the newly released (I was at the show tonight) Oliver Schroer CD and it is great. Anyone that knows him or his music misses him in a big way.I am sort of coming into his music in a late way through the side window or something. Let me explain; I am playing with a young fiddler named Jaron Freeman-Fox who was a great friend and student of Olivers. I am realizing already just four tracks into this CD how literal and wonderful Oliver's influence has been on Jaron.

That brings us to this other weird topic that I feel I need to mention, my fiddle obsession. Actually, I don't really like the word obsession as it implies something is wrong. I have been playing the fiddle for about half a year and most days I would rather do that than anything. Although, as I like to say "my work is my banjo practicing and my hobby is the fiddle" Life is okay.

It is fun, exciting yet weird playing all these new instruments over the last few years but I must say somedays the unknown-ness of the future can be a little much. I mean, how the heck did a jazz guitarist end up playing the fiddle? I guess I sort of know the answer and I am not sure it is interesting enough to go into details here (for you or me). It might be true to say that it is all connected somehow to bluegrass music but the strange thing about that is that I really don't think of myself as much of a bluegrass player. That music is so demanding one must be somewhat dedicated to it and have been playing it for long unless things come to you really easy. (I have never been one of those folks)

I do remember going to the Regina Folk Festival when I was on tour with my trio with ilios and dane and thinking that I was in love with something about that world but couldn't put my finger on it. Since then I have had some amazing experiences at festivals you might call folk festivals like the Vancouver Island Music Festival (I do like to think Doug Cox is quite responsible for my recent "new" directions) and many more.

Back to today, Oliver, Hughs Room, Jaron...David Woodhead...I have found great friends in this music and find there to be something very open, honest and understated about the people in this community. There is also something about the music I have been making as of late that seems more social. People seem to want to play it or listen to it in the park, at parties or wherever. I like that. I think I would be remiss if I didn't mention my good pal Rob Clutton who has always been listening to a lot of bluegrass and diverse music along our music journeys that has had great effect on me. (he even played fiddle as a kid!)

Trying to figure out how it all fits together (jazz and roots music that is) is a bit tricky sometimes. One thing I have noticed is that most of the people I play music with are very open to anything that is good. I remember watching the Del McCoury band with Lina and Quinsin when we were on the road and they loved it.

One topic I wish to address later on down the road is tradition. It is a tough one for eveyone in any kind of music. Learning a tradition, performing it, changing it, adding to it (?) Another night, I am out of snacks and want another taste.

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing.


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous David Woodhead said...

Hey, you put your finger on it, - the reason I've stayed so long in the folk festival community is that openness. It really is very broad and embraces world music, traditionalists and originals, and lots of outside-the-box individuals. Recently jazz festivals also seem more inclusive and things no longer have to only sound like 1957, and that is exciting, too. Being between the cracks has the downside of being hard to market (as you no doubt know!) but the payoff in community and stimulation of brain cells is great!


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