Last Saturday was Derby Day. For Greenville that means it’s time for the annual Reedy River Duck Derby, where thousands of rubber duckies are set loose at the top of Reedy Falls downtown and prizes are awarded for the first ones through. I had never witnessed the event, but this year decided to join my friends Jeff and Lori Holland and Our World Festival to do some drumming as part of the festival.
Ever since I started playing djembe I’ve heard about the Asheville Drum Circle. By the time I was thinking about heading up there last fall, they were shutting down for the winter. With the coming of warmer weather the circle is now back in full swing. This past Friday evening I finally had a chance to take part.
New things on the horizon. I have accepted a position as music director for Hopewell Methodist Church in Simpsonville, SC. I start there the first of March.
The Christmas Dinosaurs have been put away and the trees taken down. We’ve been catching our breath before ramping up for the next round of madness. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. There were paddle trips, swamp outings, drum circles, and we even celebrate a major milestone. All of this, while wrapping up 2018 and seeing in 2019 in grand fashion. Over the next several posts I’m going to try to summarize the Winter Holiday happenings.
My brother Houston and I have been working on the song “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down.” As I was humming it I found that it fit nicely with the old song “I’m Just a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger.” The two match harmonically, melodically, and thematically. I tried to put them together as a medley at our last Pickens Flea Market gig, with varying degrees of success. The most striking aspect of these tunes is the opening phrase, where the melody seems to linger on the fifth of the scale tone. I’m calling this “The Hanging Fifth.”
It started with a casual comment by my friend Jeff Bannister on Facebook. He said that Grill Marks restaurant in downtown Greenville was now featuring bourbon flights. I thought it would be a great way to educate myself about bourbon, so I invited myself along. The day turned into a bourbon and music adventure, starting … Read More “Keyboards and Bourbon – Part 1, Keyboards” »
I have been pondering the problems with last Sunday’s Irish music session at Jack of the Wood. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about this in terms of some of the problems I encountered in Washington State. There is an issue specifically with Irish music, but the problems with the last session could happen with just about any non-concert corporate music-making session.
You would think that with all of the diverse music last week I’d have reached saturation point. Of course, that never happens. My fingers may get tired, but the need to participate never dies. So, when Laura said she wanted to have some “girl time” to go shopping, I took the opportunity to head up to Asheville to play in the Irish session at Jack of the Wood.
It’s been a crazy week of music. I’ve had sessions and rehearsals that have run the gamut from Handel’s Messiah to 80’s New Wave. I could have gone to even more sessions, if I’d wanted.
It had been awhile since I’d visited the Pickens Flea Market. I had visited once since returning from the west coast, and at that time I didn’t play with the musicians circle. I figured Halloween would be as good a day as any to pay another visit, and this time I was loaded with guitar, banjo, melodica, and tin whistles.