Thursday, February 26, 2009

quicklink: youtube stuff



Friday, February 20, 2009

Quicklink: Dix Bruce Massive PDF Linkspam of Death

Dumping all the Dix Bruce tab I can find.

UPDATE- fixing my list

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/19/09 at 5th Quarter Pizza

Bluegrass and Old Time Jam
5th Quarter Pizza
Redwood City, CA

In attendance:
5 guitar (Vincent, Troy, Jerry L, a new female guitarist, myself)
1 double bass (Lou)
3 banjo (Jerry, Robert, new banjo player)
2 mandolin (Patrick, Dan)
1 dobro (a young lady with an excellent voice. Didn't get her name. Sorry!)
1 fiddle (Brian)

Quick summary (my own):
The BOB Festival Kick-Off Jam, and the first jam with the new start time (7pm). The circle started out small, but more folks showed up as we got warmed up. Circle size was much more reasonable than last week's, in my opinion. New faces included Vincent, Jerry L, and a powerful mother/daughter singing duo who were real easy on the ears. My personal hightlight was singing Dim Lights; my learning moment was when Lou ever-so-gently informed me that I was 'pushing the beat' on Red Haired Boy. Live and learn...

Next jam is 2/26/09, but may end up being sparsely attended. If you don't come to the jam, go see the Stoney Mountain Ramblers at Angelica's Bistro instead!

Jam setlist (partial):
Orphan Girl
The Flame in My Heart
She's No Angel
Maiden's Prayer
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
June Apple
Bill Cheatem
Cherokee Shuffle
Blackberry Blossom
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Colombus Stockade Blues
New River Train
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
I Saw the Light
Remington Ride
Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms
Angelina Baker
Red Haired Boy
Little Annie
Down Yonder
Step Stone

PS: Big thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the room!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fandango Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/18/2009

Bluegrass Jam
Fandango Pizza
Palo Alto, CA

In attendance:
4 banjo (Clark, Bob, Robert, Jerry)
2 guitar (Mike B, myself)

Little Annie
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
Blackberry Blossom
Katy Daley
Earl's Breakdown
Bonaparte's Retreat
Foggy Mountain Special
Mountain Dew
Old Home Place

I think I'm missing both Mike and Robert's first tunes in there, but
that's most of 'em.

9:15 quitting time? ouch.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quicklink: Mandozine's TablEdit FAQ

Useful. I am particularly interested in the section about converting from one instrument type to another. Quite often there are tunes transcribed for mando but not for guitar.

Since I'm doing the linkspam thing, I might as well add this, too: Lessons and informational exercises from

Here's a random take on Cripple Creek in A that I found while thrashing wildly about the net.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: Thursday 2/12/2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam
Thursday 2/12/2009
5th Quarter Pizza

Short summary:
The big news of the jam was the guest appearance of 4/6 of the Stoney Mountain Ramblers. Those boys sure do know how to pick! We were thrilled and honored to have them. Go see them during the BOB festival at Angelica's Bistro on the 26th!

Jam logistics were a bit rocky at first, we competed for space with a girl's soccer team meeting. Eventually we drove them out with the most sure fire anti-teenager power known to man: Bluegrass Music!

I must admit, it is a struggle to fit almost 20 jammers into the back room at 5th quarter. I think we all managed pretty well considering. The jam was engaged in a cold war with the folks watching the NBA in the front room; I think we won.

Tons of fun tunes, lots of hot picking, and old friendships being renewed. I can't ask for more.

In attendance:
2 double bass (Bill H, Lou M)
5 fiddle (Steve J, a new female fiddler (welcome! c'mon back, y'hear?), and 3 fiddlers whose names I -should- know by now but don't. Bad brain, no biscuit!)
3 mando (Mando Mike, Mason, John W)
5 guitar (Troy, Robert Z, Linda G, myself, and someone new to the jam)
1 dobro (Virgil S)
3 banjo (Scott D, Robert, Jerry)

Partial jam 'setlist':
Will You Be Loving Another Man
Sitting Alone in the Moonlight
Cherokee Shuffle (trad)
Billy in the Lowground (trad)
Blue Night (Monroe)
Foggy Mountain Top (AP Carter)
Rich Gal
White Freightliner Blues (Towns Van Zandt)
Love Please Come Home
I'm Using My Bible For a Roadmap (Don Reno)
Little Cabin Home on the Hill (Monroe and Flatt)
Whiskey Before Breakfast
One More Dollar (Gillian Welch)
Arkansas Traveller
Fisher's Hornpipe
Gold Rush
Sitting On Top of the World
Ragtime Annie (trad)
Going Downtown (?)
Catfish John
Fireball Mail

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5th Quarter Jam FAQ

Here is a draft of the FAQ I'll start distributing at the jam.

Quick FAQ:

*Q: Who the heck are you people?

A: We are a group of bluegrass and old-time enthusiasts who regularly get together to jam. Our circle ranges in size from a low of about 6 folks to a high of about 20. We don't have rabies, but we do have banjos. Consider yourselves warned.

*Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: If Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley or Lester Flatt sang/played it, so do we (but perhaps not quite as well). If the New Lost City Ramblers played it, we'll be likely to take a whack at it. Yes, we have heard the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, but no, we don't sing I'll Fly Away in the key of D. Key of G? No problem.

*Q: Is this a (folk circle / singing circle / blues jam / klezmer jam / Irish seisun / Sea Shanty sing)?

A: Sadly, no. This is a bluegrass and old time music jam. There are certainly some bluesy bluegrass songs out there, and there are certainly some folky old-time songs (Carter family) out there, but by and large we like to play the bluegrass and the old-time. Sorry.

*Q: Can I sing/play my favorite (John Denver / Eric Clapton / SRV / Iron Maiden) tune at this jam?

A: We don't own the building, and we're non-confrontational folks as a rule, so you'll likely be able to get away with it. But have I mentioned that we like playing bluegrass and old time yet? If not, let me go ahead and give up the secret: We like the bluegrass and the old-time. Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest.

*Q: I've got this totally awesome Fender and three effects pedals and an amp that goes to 11 and...

A: Whoa there, buddy. Acoustic instruments only, please. Thanks.

*Q: I've been playing my instrument for only six (hours/days/weeks/months). Should I come to the jam?
A: Sure! Y'all come on out! But be ready to pick a tune when your turn comes up.

*Q: Pick a tune? What the heck does that mean?

A: It means you should have a couple of bluegrass or old time songs picked out that you'd like to attempt to play. Don't freak out; everyone has to do it. If you're completely new, may I suggest one or more of the following: {Cripple Creek, Sitting On Top of the World, Old Joe Clark, Angelina Baker}

*Q: OK, I think I've picked a good tune, now what do I do?

A: Raise your voice, and tell everyone in the circle: 1) What the name of the tune is, 2) What key it is in, and 3) Anything else we absolutely need to know to swim instead of sink. Describe the chord progressions, if they are nonstandard. Sing or hum the melody once, if people aren't familiar with the song. Once everybody is ready, kick it off!

*Q: Kick it off? Huh?

A: Kicking it off means starting the tune. You can either count into it (one, two, one two three four) or play a lead-in break, or jump straight into the first verse, depending on what is appropriate. Once you're done with the kick off, look to your left - it is your neighbor's tune to take a break.

*Q: Wait, am *I* supposed to take a break?

A: Yep. We will expect you to try, or to indicate to the person leading the song that you're not interested in taking a break. The person leading the song will either call out your name (if they know you), what instrument you're playing (if they don't), nod at you, make eye contact, or any variant of the above. That means you're up! If you don't want it, shake your head, say 'skip me', or tell your neighbor to take it.

*Q: OK, we've gone all the way around. I think the tune is done, but nobody is stopping! Help!

A: Don't panic! Wait till the person who is currently playing is nearing the end of their break, then raise your foot up in the air. This means 'we're done!'. Everyone will get it, and the song will end.

Q: This all seems like a bit much. Can I just come and watch?
A: Absolutely! There is plenty of room for folks to hang out and listen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/5/09 at 5th Quarter

Here is an abbreviated jam report for last week's jam. Forgive me for not having all the information that I usually do -- it has been quite a week.

If you're considering coming out to the jam at all, consider coming out this month -- we're part of the NCBS Bluegrass on Broadway festival, which is a real treat. Rumour has it that Sid Lewis (, will be in attendance either on the 19th or the 26th. I'll pass along more info as I receive it.

Jam participants will also receive a 20% discount off the 5th quarter menu, which is nice in these tough times.

Do you have a bluegrass or old timey band? Would you like easy exposure and 'face time' with like-minded folks within the scene? Consider coming out to the Thursday jam. Contact me individually if you're interested.

Anyway, on with the jam report:

In attendance
4 fiddle - Mostly new folks who were old-timey players.
5 guitar - Linda, George, myself, and two new gentlemen, both of whom were quite hot on the improv.
2 banjo - Robert and Jerry holding it down for a grand total of 10 strings between them.
1 hammer dulcimer / saw / dobro - Patrick the multi-instrumentalist! Believe it or not, the dulcimer can overpower both banjos and fiddles without even trying.
0 mandolin - but who is counting?

Some tunes played -- more incomplete than usual. I blame work.
June Apple
Sitting on Top of the World
Turkey in the Straw (aka 'do your ears hang low')
Angelina Baker
Red Haired Boy
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
I'll Fly Away
Katy Daley
Ragtime Annie
Cherokee Shuffle

NEW FEATURE: Practice Tunes!!!

If you are wondering what to practice between now and Thursday evening, here are two tunes I am guaranteed to call Thursday night. If you have any practice tunes that you would like featured for next week, email me and I will add them.

Practice Tunes for 2/12/09:
* Forked Deer (traditional, key of D)
- guitar :
- mandolin :
- banjo : (tabledit)
Sorry, I couldn't find fiddle tab.

* Nine Pound Hammer (C. Bowman, key of G)
- guitar :
- banjo :
- mandolin :
No fiddle tab. What is it with the bluegrass fiddle online?

Quicklink: New Promo on Craigslist || Soldiers Joy Tab

New promotional ad for the jam on craigslist: clicky

Soldier's joy for guitar [warning pdf]: clicky

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jam Report: Wednesday 2/4/2009 Fandango Pizza Bluegrass Jam

Bluegrass Jam
Fandango Pizza
Palo Alto, CA

In attendence:
3 banjo (Robert, Bob, Jerry)
2 guitar (a gentleman whose name I'm failing to recall, myself)

Some songs played:
I'll Fly Away
Foggy Mountain Top
Cherokee Shuffle
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
Earl's Breakdown
Grandfather's Clock
Cripple Creek
Old Home Place
Lay Down My Old Guitar

Small group, but good jamming nonetheless. We got a pretty late start (~8:30pm). Boy, Fandango's sure closes up early in the winter!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quicklink: Ain't No Bugs On Me

Here's a easy and fun little tune. Made famous (as famous as any oldtime song may be in these days) by Garcia and Grisman's "Not for Kids Only".

I'll learn it to sing with the kid, if nothing else. I might make the jammers endure it, too.

TOTALLY IRRELEVANT UPDATE: Here is a great russian folktale that is very appropriate for the transition from the depths of winter into spring. For a good fifteen minutes of family time, tell the Snow Maiden story and THEN play Ain't No Bugs on Me for a mood-lifter.

UPDATEx2 NOW WITH EVEN MORE IRRELEVANT: I'm going to use this blag as my own bookmarking thing, because I can. Check out 'song of the day'. Teh funay.