Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Music Issue

People get ready.  On this trip, the #1 consideration for every planning decision we make is going to be creating as much opportunity as possible for making music.  It's something we've talked about doing before but we're going to follow through on the threat this Fall.  If you want to get any sleep you better set up at the other end of the gravel bar.   

Here are some of the steps we've taken to prepare so far:

1.  We have procured heavy duty "Conductor" music stands, replacing those flimsy wire ones that collapse if you look at them wrong.  We also got heavy duty music stand lights.   No more headlamps blinding the washtub bass player when you cue him up for a solo. 

2.  All of the chords and tabs will be printed up in nice, neat three-ring binders.  We'll avoid using that tiny todger font that is so hard to read at 2:00 in the morning.

3.  We're keeping the mileage short to ensure maximum daylight and merrymaking on the gravel bar.  Of course we'll be at Vernon's all Friday afternoon and night which will be prime jug band time as well.

4.   Rob is so committed to this cause that he is taking a sabbatical from kitchen duty to concentrate on drinking, smoking and guitar picking.

5.  Mr. Mister has been invited.

6.  Bob is always invited, but this time he's bought a tent AND a boat so it's looking good this year.  Dr. Sands is coming with his mandolin.

7.  We actually practiced once - and might do it again, although it does require planning around a two day hangover.

What you can do to help:
  • Join in - flex your golden pipes.  We will have all the lyrics printed up for you.
  • If you see a player with an empty cup, refill him.
  • Learn an instrument yourself:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYmK2EAVV5U
P.S.  We will start populating the songbook link in the upper right corner again.   Next new song is "Atlantic City" by Bruce Springsteen.  Eddie Vedder played it with him this weekend and we were watching his hands while he was watching The Boss's hands, so we think it's Em, G, C, G mostly.   They both had a capo at 2 so make that F#m, A, D, A, if you're on accordion, harp or bass.


A radio was shrieking out that synthesis of the old simple Anglo-Saxon music with Tin Pan Alley and electric amplification that is usually called hillbilly, but not around there.  There it's just "music," and the neon-glaring tonks near the cities seem its most appropriate setting.  If you're from that country, you usually have an unwilling affection for it, having listened to its evolution.  Even twenty years ago it still retained a little of the old directness and innocence, but now the directness and the innocence have passed to not very direct and not very innocent people with guitars around places like Greenwich Village, and the country people take their music with heavier seasoning. 

Goodbye to a River, p. 71.

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