Category Archives: Bluegrass

A circle of hell appears at Turner field

I came across this somehow

A Guinness World Record-Setting Event for Banjo Players!

We plan to bring together the most number of banjo players assembled at one location to play the same song at the same time.

All banjo players are welcome to attend. Only those who can demonstrate the ability to play the song Foggy Mountain Breakdown for 5 minutes will be counted toward the Guinness World Record. The tempo will be 120 beats per minute, and we’ll play in the key of G.

We’ll stand together on the field in small teams, according to the type of instrument played and the style of play.

That’s a whole lot of banjo. I have all the usual bluegrass prejudices against the banjo I suppose.

Last night’s open mic

It went very well. I didn’t win, but everything was well received, and the playing and singing were good. For some reason the bass drops out in the monitors, but other than that, it was good fun. I did Magnolia Wind, Left Alone, Waitin’ Round to Die, Red Clay Halo and Walkin’ Cane.

Victory was mine (somehow)

I did the open mic last night at Limerick. I played a rather weak set of Walkin’ Cane, my Tom Waits’ song, the new one (Left Alone) and Raining this Morning. Somehow I won.

I’m going to be practicing the songs instead of the flatpicking all week now.

Recording attempts

Last night I attempted to record four flatpick tunes, and eventually to create a Steve French, Musician site on MySpace. I was unable to get the recording levels right on three of them (I blame the Samson digital pre-amp) and I can’t seem to get the musician page set up right on MySpace.

In any case, one of them did turn out okay; the volume level is very low (just like me!) but it’s not terrible.

I played Cooley’s Reel, which is an old Irish fiddle tune in E-Minor. I do it a bit faster than it’s normally done, but I think it turned out okay. I originally heard this song done by Steve Kaufman, but the actual music I got from I do both lead and rhythm on the song.

You can download it here (right click and choose “Save As” (Command-Click on the Mac)).


UPDATE: Eric remixed it for me, which helped the volume levels a lot. The file is updated.

Another open mic night done

Due to the small number of entrants, I wound up doing six songs. They were “Walkin’ Cane”, It’s Raining Here This Morning”, “Red Clay Halo”, “Ruby Ridge”, “Blackjack County Chain” and “Tin Foil and Stone”. Tin Foil and Stone was the new song for the week. I think I’m going to work in a Guy Clark song for next week.

The Toadpickers rise again!

Last night was the return of bluegrass to Jake’s Roadhouse. The usual crowd was there, only now it would appear that we are the house band. Halloween is when the bluegrass is going to be advertised again.

Jake’s was pretty much the same. The usual crowd was there. We played on the stage which is something we seldom did before. The low ceiling has been removed which makes sound a bit more lost than it was before. Also the entire place is much cleaner and better lit.