What we're up to!
Hey folks! We've been really busy lately. We spent the weekend out at Sugar Hill in Bloomington mostly. We played a show at a Jennings County herb garden and winery on Saturday, then we shot back to Bloomington to jam with old friends and play the midnight set at Sugar Hill. The venue is amazing; it's the oldest herb garden in Indiana. They have ton's of lil shops, a great restaurant, and a great winery. They have Lemon Verbena Lemonade that's probably one of my favorites.
We finally got back the first run of CD's for our album, The River is Whiskey, and I put the first teaser track up on our Bandcamp for anyone to download. We're so excited to share this album with everyone and get it out there. It's so close to time!
What we've been listening to!
I've been on a huge Edden Hammons kick this week. I love his weird and windy tunes and can't stop playing the ones that I know. I've been playing Fine Times at Our House, Greasy Coat, and Sandy Boys lately.
I've also been listening to some of my buddies a lot lately, Roy Pilgrim and Aviva Steigmeyer. Their band, The Ozark Highballers, is easily one of my favorites. They do such an amazing job at Old Time that they wouldn't be at all out of place on an anthology of old 78's, yet they'd still stand out as a really unique and wonderfully skilled group of musicians.
They really are what a modern string band should want to be, I think. Their treatment of these tunes gives them such amazing energy. I love hearing them and every time I see them out somewhere it makes me excited for the music I'm about to get to observe.
Another modern player I've been watching a lot of lately is Henry Barnes from Columbus OH. He's the best player of Ed Haley tunes there is right now, in my humble opinion. He somehow get's the intricacies and feel of Ed's playing in a way that I wish I could. And it doesn't hurt that he's great at hitting high notes; something I should work on much, much more.
That's all I'm gonna say for now so I don't run out of stuff to talk about so soon.
We're gonna have another go at the blog here. This time we'll try to have more focus and put a post out weekly if we're able to. The overall theme will be what we, The Broadcasters, are listening to; probably Old Time, but it may be something else. We will also try to give some updates as to what we've been up to lately, so let's start there.
What We're Up To!
So this past weekend we finished recording our first full length album! We did it a Jefferson Street Music Studios and Andy Beargie did everything for us; recording, mixing, mastering, etc. He's phenomenal. It was a really long weekend, but we practiced all day Saturday then went in Sunday and knocked the whole dang thing out. Hopefully we'll get it done and available in a few weeks.
This upcoming weekend we will be heading to Washington DC to play the Great American Square Dance Revival! We're picking T Claw up in Glenville then heading over and will turn around and head back the next morning. Hopefully they'll get a good turnout, but it should be fun either way.
What We're Listening To!
So what have we been digging into this week? I've (Ben) have been trying to find footage of Dock Boggs playing to work on his banjo style. I've watched this video of him playing "Country Blues" a dozen times.
I've also been listening to a lot of Byrd Moore and Clarence Ashley. I got into both through my current obsession with Leonard Rutherford, whom I've also been listening to a lot of, but that's not a new thing. Byrd Moore played with Richard Burnett and Leonard Rutherford, and possibly Leonard on a few more if "Dick Taylor" is a pseudonym of his, on several sides. Byrd also played with Clarence Ashley in a couple of bands. I think, as much as anything, putting together the puzzle of who played with whom is one of the reasons I love this stuff.
There's three versions of one of my all time favorite songs. I first heard Burnett and Rutherford play it before I even knew what Old Time really was and I've been obsessed with it ever since. Byrd Moore's version is the least in sync here, and an argument could easily be made this is just 'Mary had a little lamb,' and not 'All night long,' but I love it nonetheless and there it is. To round it out is the Blue Ridge Entertainers featuring Clarence Ashley on guitar, Clarence Greene on fiddle, and Gwin Foster on guitar. Both Clarences played with Byrd Moore regularly and from the sound of it, Mr. Greene encountered or was at least listening to Leonard Rutherford for this take. I love how it all comes together. Through these recordings you can start to piece together the community these folks were coming from.