A lot of folks have been asking why I’ve not posted about Mariner Week. Well, I have, just not here. I’ve started and will continue to post over at themariners.org.
In short, the week was great. Here is a photo of me mugging with a Fasnacht mask after all the festivities and just before getting into my Jeep to leave the Deep River Muster. Although I was smiling, it really was a sad moment.
Just to whet your appetite about themariners.org I’ve included one recording here from my week with the Mariners. This is a set of two tunes called In the Back Seat and McGowan’s Motorcar. Both these tunes were written by the founder of the Mariners, Roy Watrous. Joe, myself and a few others had planned on performing it at the Mariner Muster, but when it came time to play it, the announcer skipped right past the piece. Oh well.
This recording is at Dan’s Firehouse late one evening. Joe and I played it for our Swiss friends since they never got to hear it during our concert.
A couple weeks back I went to a party at my buddy John’s house. My practice over the last year or so has been to record as much live music as I can. Consequently, I recorded most of John’s party.
With this post I’ve included a track that I’ve found myself listening to over and over during the last two weeks. I’m just intrigued by it. So much, in fact, that I’ve since tried, unsuccessfully of course, to reproduce the spirit of the track in the more controlled setting of my home studio. I never planned on posting the original track here. But I’m finding myself compelled.
The musicians at the party were all taking a beer break. After returning with my beer, I sat down and started strumming. I think I was trying to remember the words to Sam’s Gone Away (you can hear me humming during the first few chords). But I quickly gave up on that idea and just started experimenting, trying to find something interesting. I guess the first thing I like is that there is no plan and, initially, it feels rather lazy. Just about then my buddy Roger returns with a full beer and sits down, picks up his bodhran and leathers into it. Things start to take shape. Then my buddy Mark returns with his beer. He picks up his tenor banjo.
I immediately recognize a problem. I’ve capo’ed up my guitar and I know that he will not be able to easily play in my position. So, if you listen closely, you will hear me offer a capo. Quickly realizing how absurd of an idea that is on several levels I, instead, slide my capo down between strums to a more favorable key. I’m actually pretty excited about this part…and still perfecting it.
Let me stray from my story for a moment to tell you about this wicked awesome capo, which I’ve been meaning to do for some time now. Another friend of mine saw my post about a video where a guy used this sliding capo. I thought, wow, I need one. And this friend happened to find one in Baltimore, bought it for me and drove it all the way up to me. It is the coolest thing.
Anyhow, after capoing down, I tell my buddy Mark that I’m just noodling and ask if he has a song; it is always easier to talk while playing after a few pints. After a moment of thought he goes into a classic Planxty song called The Jolly Beggarman, which for me requires a bit of experimentation before settling on a comfortable way to back him.
Well, you take a listen and decide for yourself if it was worth posting.