Catching up, May 2017

Here’s a problem with a blog-type website: I get so busy making music with all the wonderful people who come through my studio doors that I have no time to chronicle it all.  I promise I’ll catch up soon with more formal postings with pics and clips, but here’s a brief look at what’s been happening:

Carrigan and Blair are back with a very enjoyable project, a maritime folk music collection with a distinctly American flavor (as opposed to Celtic).  The lads are singing in beautiful harmony, and I’m accompanying them with Travis-style finger picking guitar, some 20s/30s arch-top chomping, tenor banjo and mandolin.  I’m always hesitant to let rough mixes out (no harmony vocals yet on this) but I just love the feel of this one, so here goes:

Local songwriter Dick Gsottschneider has started working with me on getting his backlog of charming material recorded.  Once again, I’m being entrusted with production chores and grateful for it-what a joy to set these stories into a musical frame. Here’s one on which I played all the instruments except for my long-time Nashville colleague Jeff Taylor‘s piano part:

And here’s Matt Combs and Jeff going Cajun:

My long-time buddy Jim Hoke added clarinet to my banjo, guitar, bass and drums on this cute thing:
Sarah Jane Nelson has been in the studio completing her tribute to the music collected in the Ozarks by Max Hunter, with fiddler Ellen Carlson and Bob Phillips joining his guitar with hers.

There have been more voice-over recordings, for Irving Oil, Matlab, Peter Worrell and others.

Leslie and Peter Van Berkum have added a few nice new things to their ongoing project with vocals, guitar and concertina.  I love their version of Besame Mucho.

Mandolinist Alan Epstein has completed a mesmerizing CD of mellow instrumentals featuring his mandolin and my accompaniment on DADGAD guitar.  We’ll be celebrating the disc’s release on June 17th in Colebrook NH at the Tillotson Center for the Arts.  Here is the title track, Alan’s beautiful composition Sunset on Meriden Hill.  I can totally hear this on a movie soundtrack:

World-renowned clawhammer banjo specialist Ken Perlman is almost finished with his unique take on the fiddle music of Prince Edward Island.  Banjo playing fiddle tunes? It can be done, and is marvelously here with Janine Randall’s piano on some cuts and my guitar on others.

Skip Gorman is known all over the world as a Cowboy singer with a deep repertoire and whose instrumental skills on Bill Monroe-style mandolin and vintage Jimmie Rodgers-style guitar are major league.  His Celtic fiddle playing is equally remarkable, and the work goes on with a sprawling foray into the Irish, Scottish and Canadian repertoire. Pianist Gordon Peery, guitar/bouzouki wizard, my pal David Surette and I are Skip’s partners in this adventure and I’ve had to buy a few extra hard-drives to accommodate all these bytes of great music!

Tere Kipp is a singer-songwriter, story-teller and educator who is producing a fabulous children-oriented video series. We’ve cut a bunch of tracks with Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki’s stellar young trio supporting some fun material. Here’s one-sooo scary!!

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