What I'm Listening to – September, 2009

Vo-Do-Do-De-O Blues – Cynthia Sayer
I got a couple of Cynthia Sayers’ great CDs a while back and have been listening to them, especially this infectious and quite funny tune. But it’s also a great bit of jazz, with great musicianship by all. In addition, to me it’s an excellent lesson in how to play counterpoint; a jazz technique I want to introduce into a bluegrass context.

Ed Teague & Friends.
Ed Teague is from the country. No, keep going. I mean way back there in the country – keep going. Waaaay back there! All the way back to somewhere in Georgia where they know the value of old-time music and old-time ways; where the two blend together as they always have and always should. To listen to Ed Teague play the banjo two-finger style is to catch a glimpse into our own past roots and realize that we can indeed recapture the significance of where we came from, no matter where that may be. His music is really inspiring to me because of its honesty to roots and sincerity to form. I especially like ‘Dreams of Kentucky’; it seems to exemplify all that I find good in Ed’s playing.

Deputy Dawg Theme and Other Tunes – Phil Scheib
Can someone find good music in a 60s TV show theme song? “It’s possibullll!” to quote Musky Muskrat. I used to love watching this when I was little. Now my little ones watch it with me! It’s easy to find onYouTube nowadays. If you’ll listen closely, you’ll find that there are actually about 6 or 7 different musical tracks within these old cartoons. I’d like to learn them all and make a CD of them one day.

St John’s Fire – Tony Furtado
Tony Furtado is from the same ‘new acoustic’ banjo camp as Tony Trischka and Alison Brown. And I like that, in case you’re wondering where I stand. It’s progressive, in a way, but it’s also respectful of tradition in that it’s not trying to remake bluegrass. I see new acoustic music as a natural extension of existing music, just as traditional bluegrass grew out of existing musical styles within blues, ragtime and country with some new twists thrown in. So also new acoustic music builds upon bluegrass and jazz foundations to produce some great ‘modern roots’ music.

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About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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2 Responses to What I'm Listening to – September, 2009

  1. Jami Blakeley says:

    Where did you get a recording of Ed Teague? I’m a 2 finger banjo picker, and that 37 second clip of Ed on youtube has left me wanting to hear more of him for a while.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Jami,
    I first heard Ed Teague via one of my students. Ed has several CDs available. I’ll email you the details offline.
    Yes, that YouTube video is nice, huh?

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