Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Fiddler

Today was an official day off; not only did I not have to work, but I got to spend the afternoon actually playing music. Definitely a great case study for "time flies" and all that. There was a healthy mixture of tastes in the group, but basically everybody there knew more bluegrass than I did, and I knew more Scottish music than they did, and we all met in the middle when it came to country. You can all probably guess how this sort of thing would go, if you haven't attended a jam (or a thousand) already, but the musicians are set up in a circle, and each person, in turn, picks a tune, and then the living daylights is played out of said tune, with each musician taking a solo or two. We did a few old-timey pieces, like "Blackberry Blossom," (the dobro player had a neat lick for that, which I fully intend to steal) and "Nine-Pound Hammer," and a lot of old-timey country. One of the singer/guitar players caught my attention with a song called "Colleen Malone." He sang it slowly and sadly as behooved the subject matter. In this setting, the tune let me to believe it was a fairly old song (traditional, I mean), but the singer told me afterwards that it was written by Tim O'Brien. Here is the bluegrass group Hot Rize, of which the composer is a member (in fact, I believe that is him singing lead) with their rendition of the tune:

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