16 April 2015

Detached notes

This disturbing 'face' is part of the body of a three-stringed halam from Senegal, a relative of the banjo. It appears in the latest e-newsletter from banjo virtuoso Michael J. Miles. Among his many other active projects, Michael will be playing a classical concert in Chicago next week, which will be filmed live for his 'Existential banjo' YouTube series. His fellow teachers at Midwest Banjo Camp in June will include Tony Trischka, Greg Cahill, Bill Evans, and Ken Perlman - all of whom, like himself, have played in Ireland. All this, and much more, can be read here.
Thanks to the Prescription Bluegrass Blog for the news that the National Fiddler Hall of Fame will hold its 2015 Inductee Gala on 28 May at the Broken Arrow PAC, 701 S. Main St., Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Those honoured are drawn from a wide range of styles - Bob Wills was the first in 2007 - and this year's inductees are Charlie Daniels, Stuart Duncan, Howdy Forrester, Jana Jae, and Jay Ungar. A full list to 2014 is here.
Many mandolinists will already know about this record, as it's been out for some time: Rags, breakdowns, stomps and blues: vintage mandolin music 1927-1946. The music presented in the twenty-four tracks comes from a range of blues, jug-band, and string-band numbers by black and white artists - including, of course, 'Hawkins Rag', led by Ted Hawkins of Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers. This is a field that Mike Compton has been exploring for some years. Mike's 2015 Monroe Mandolin Camp will be held in early September in Kingston Springs, TN.
Finally, for anyone in the Dublin area who enjoys classic country music, Gerry Fitzpatrick, dobroist and impresario of the Cabin Sessions in Dundrum, writes:

Many of you will have enjoyed Alan Begley, Joe Ryan, and Mick O'Doherty perform at the Cabin Sessions. Well, here's a chance to spend a late Sunday afternoon listening to their full band - Spirit Riders - on 10 May in Toners [Baggot St., Dublin 2].

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