Tag Archives: announce

Here comes Joshua Dukes

Joshua Dukes
One of my most talented and humble friends is about to release his first album. His name is Joshua Dukes and, man, let me tell you, this album is gonna rock. He occasionally sends me tracks as he is working on them and I occasionally quit playing music after listening to them.

Josh tells me the album will be ready in early July but you can email him now if you are interested in getting in line for a copy. I recommend it. His email address is joshuadukes@mac.com. He is also on facebook where you can hear a few of his newest tracks.

Josh had some help on the album from a variety of other talented musicians. Here is the run down:
Josh Dukes – Flute, Guitar, Bouzouki, Bodhran
Sean McComiskey – Accordion
Peter Brice -Accordion
Jim Eagan – Fiddle
Danny Noveck – Fiddle
Brendon Bell – Flute
Patrick Cavanagh – Banjo

Josh was kind enough to send along a finished track prior to the albums release so that I could share with you. This track is a real nice example of his great flute playing. Enjoy.

New way to email subscribe to baconworks.com

The tool I was using to manage my email subscriptions at baconworks.com was fraught with hassle. It was painful to set up and was unreliable. In fact, it stopped sending email altogether in the last couple of months. So, out with the old…in with the new.
I am switching over to a service provided by FeedBlitz. They will essentially suck in my RSS feed and send new articles as emails to anyone on the email subscribe list. The best part is that you don’t need to know any of that. All you need to do is fill out the form below and … shazam … you get email updates from baconworks.com. Cool!!!

So, try it out and subscribe now:

Enter your Email

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St. Patrick’s Day performances

Here is where I will be playing music at for all the St. Patrick’s Day festivities:

Pre St. Pat’s Concert

Saint Patrick’s day is coming up and here is your chance to hear some great traditional Irish music without getting pints of beer spilled on you. I, along with many musicians from the John Stone’s session in Ashland, MA, will be performing a free concert next Monday, March 10th at Framingham State College during the afternoon.
Gaelic Traditions Concert
The concert starts sharply at 1:30 pm and will end at 2:15 pm.

I am really excited about this as there will be some excellent musicians on a variety of instruments including the hammered dulcimer, Irish flute, fiddle, bouzouki, tenor banjo, accordion, bohdran and guitar. As a group the session players of John Stone’s have been informally playing music for a couple of years. While we are not technically a band, we have all found great pleasure in the quality music that we’ve played with each other. This is a real opportunity for us to share a bit of the fun and positive energy that we seek each Tuesday evening at Stone’s.

So, take a late lunch and come on over to the Heineman Ecumenical and Cultural Center at Framingham State College for a few tunes. Below is a map with the Ecumenical center circled?

If anyone is interested, please contact me as I may be able to provide you guest parking passes.

Stinson Davis in the News

I just received an email from Andy Revkin, who is an author for the New York Times blog, and apparently a fellow musician, regarding my great uncle Stinson Davis, whom I wrote about a while back. Mr. Revkin posted an interesting article today about a new line of freighters that are using sail to cut down on fuel consumption.

In his article, he makes mention of my uncle and that he was the ‘last living captain of a ship powered entirely by sail.’

In 1982 Mr. Revkin wrote an article for Offshore Magazine on my uncle most likely talking about the olden days of sail. I’m hoping he might post that article online somewhere soon. Who would have thought, back in 1982, that there might be a new generation of ships under sail? Apparently my uncle, given our ‘keen to be green’ sensibilities, was ahead of his time.

Contest: Results


Before I announce the winners of the Baconworks Tune-smithing Contest I wanted to say a few things.

First, the amount of participation in both submissions and voting was outstanding. Music was submitted by both male and female, by fifers, drummers and guitarists, by the young and the … experienced, from Massachusetts to Michigan. In some cases these tunes were the authors first attempts at writing. Everything that was submitted was of high quality and, consequently, I heard many complaints during the voting process that people had a very difficult time picking just one that they liked most. The challenge for the voters was considerable and the final results reflected a very balanced field of submissions. In fact, just about every entry received votes. Having said that, there were some clear front runners. So, without further adieu I would like to announce the three submissions with the most popular votes.

2nd Runner-Up:
Miss Potter’s Jigg by Jim Williams

1st Runner-Up:
Field Castle by Christopher Lussier

And the Winner of the 2008 Baconworks Tune-smithing Contest is:
Misty Morning by Donald Heminitz

Congratulations to Donald, Christopher and Jim! Also, congratulations to all the authors that took the time to submit their wonderful music.

After working with the editors of the Ancient Times, I have made arrangements to have all three pieces published in the Spring edition of the quarterly periodical.

In addition, The Company of Fifers and Drummers is interested in publishing a book of all twenty submissions. I will, therefore, be contacting all the authors regarding the details and requesting their permission for publication.

Over the course of the next few days I will be posting the biographies of all the authors. Until then, here is the complete list of tunes with the author names listed in no particular order:

  • Misty Morning: Donald Heminitz
  • The Insult: Katherine Bolcar
  • Royal Troubadours: Donald Heminitz
  • The Battle of Flamborough Bay: Jim Williams
  • The Festering Fish: Eric Chomka
  • Mustah Foot: Chris Myers
  • Kenilworth Castle: Christopher Szpara
  • Bernard’s Barn: Eric Chomka
  • Devitt’s Reel: Christopher Szpara
  • The Clueless Fifer: Dan Moylan
  • Hot Peppers at Midnight: Pat Arnow, Al Renzi, Mary Punch
  • Two Pints Past Dizzy: Emit Karakuls
  • Miss Potter’s Jigg: Jim Williams
  • Taking the Stroll: Dominick Cuccia
  • Night Creatures: John Ciaglia
  • Touch Your Toes: Casey Swanson
  • Field Castle: Christopher Lussier
  • Feast of the Geese Eaters: John Ciaglia
  • On the Streets of New Haven: John Ciaglia
  • The St. Albans Raid: Josiah Raiche

Lastly, I would like to share with you a snippet of an email that I received from one voter, which demonstrates the true thought that many voters devoted to the process. Having a hard time picking one entry, this voter felt compelled to submit her fun list of runner-ups:

The Insult (most catchy)
Festering Fish (most fun to play for fifers)
Devitt’s Reel (most cheerful)
Two Pints Past Dizzy (truly dizzying)
Kenilworth Castle (short and delightful)

So, thank you all, both authors and voters, for contributing and making this successful. And, once again, congratulations to the winners!

The Loss of a Friend


I found out today that my long time friend Sean ‘Biscuits McGillicudy’ Egan passed away after battling a variety of health problems.
Sean was one of those unique characters that comes along once in a lifetime. It is impossible to truly describe the person that he was, although I once tried.
Here are a few things I will remember about Sean:

  • He loved drumming…all the time.
  • He was the proudest member of the Ancient Mariners I’ve ever met. He would tell complete strangers about the Mariners and how cool he thought we were, as if they should already be aware of the group.
  • He was hilariously and indiscriminately off-color to everyone, including your mother if one dared to introduce the two of them. He had a floridly graphic way of describing the world that would make grown men blush, and people loved him for it because, oddly, it was a breath of fresh air in our everyone’s-a-winner world.
  • With women, he had the greatest opening lines. Most recently, a woman was introduced to him as a former school mate and he responded with with, ‘So, we went to high school together? Did we make out behind the gym?’
  • He would write me letters, not emails, letters.
  • He would ask about my family…everyone in my family, including my grandmother and grandfather.
  • He would always have a compliment for me.
  • He would listen.
  • He loved everyone in his family and always spoke highly of them.
  • He was a true friend.
Sean Drumming

I will miss him.
Sean at Cooperman’s

Tune-smithing Contest

There is nothing like competition to draw out the best in humans. The first nonstop flight from New York to Paris, for example, was achieved through the spurring of a competition called the Orteig Prize, which was won by Charles Lindbergh. The $25,000 dollar prize could not cover the true expenses that all incurred, including the lives of six men. The prize did serve, however, as a carrot that helped galvanize a fledgling aviation community into striving towards a common goal.

One goal that I have is to develop a stronger sense of community between musicians that are interested in writing music. In the spirit of that goal, I would like to present the Baconworks Tune-smithing Contest. Unfortunately there is no $25,000 prize and I expect that the risk to life and limb is substantially smaller than flying over the ocean for the first time. In any case, I am hoping that you will join the fun.

Here are the details:
The contest is for the authoring of an original tune that can be played on a traditional instrument (i.e. fife, fiddle, banjo, bouzouki, hurdy gurdy). It can include harmony. You may submit more than one tune.

The Grand Prize:

The winning piece of music, along with an author profile, will be published in the next edition of The Ancient Times, which is a quarterly newspaper that is created for the fife and drum community.
Ancient Times
Plus, you’ll get a great sense of self satisfaction, which we all know you can’t truly put a price on.

The Ground Rules:
All submissions must be emailed to contest@baconworks.com by noon on January 1st, 2008.

Each submission must include the following:

  1. The notation of the tune. You can send a Finale file or a scanned image of your tune written out on a napkin. I don’t care what it looks like as long as it is legible. If for some reason I can’t read your file format, I will let you know and give you an opportunity to resubmit assuming it is before the January 1st deadline.
  2. An audio version of the tune. Mp3, wav, and midi files are all acceptable. I am not looking for professionally quality recordings but instead just a way for people to hear your tune. Having said that, a better quality recording will likely sell your tune better.
  3. Author information:
    • Your First and Last name
    • The instrument you play
    • A blurb about who you are. Maybe something interesting about yourself that you would like people to know.
    • A link to your web site, myspace page or facebook page. This is optional but would be nice to include so that I can link back to you.
  4. A picture of yourself. You can be disguised if you like, but a picture nonetheless.

The Process:

  1. I will make an individual blog post for each piece of music including the notation and the audio file. This post will not include any author information.
  2. Separately, I will do a blog post on each author including all the Author information you send me. This post will not include a reference to the tune that was authored as I would like to keep the tune anonymous until the end of the competition.
  3. Public voting of the tunes will take place via email between Monday, January 7-11th. All votes must be in by 5pm on Friday, January 11th. Anyone with an email address is allowed one vote. All votes must be sent to contest@baconworks.com.
  4. The submission with the most votes will win. The winner will be announced on Monday January 14th on baconworks.com. I will only vote in the case that a tie breaker is needed.
  5. Following the winner announcement, I will write up another blog post connecting all the authors to their tunes.
  6. Lastly, the winning tune and a bit about the author will be published in the Ancient Times following the competition.

I encourage anyone that has even thought about writing a tune to participate. This contest is ultimately about getting involved with the community of tune writers. And, as you may know, if you had fun, you won.