The Hanging Fifth

My brother Houston and I have been working on the song “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down.” As I was humming it I found that it fit nicely with the old song “I’m Just a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger.” The two match harmonically, melodically, and thematically. I tried to put them together as a medley at our last Pickens Flea Market gig, with varying degrees of success. The most striking aspect of these tunes is the opening phrase, where the melody seems to linger on the fifth of the scale tone. I’m calling this “The Hanging Fifth.” Continue reading The Hanging Fifth

Irish Music Conundrum

I have been pondering the problems with last Sunday’s Irish music session at Jack of the Wood. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about this in terms of some of the problems I encountered in Washington State. There is an issue specifically with Irish music, but the problems with the last session could happen with just about any non-concert corporate music-making session. Continue reading Irish Music Conundrum

Playing Irish Music at Jack of the Wood

You would think that with all of the diverse music last week I’d have reached saturation point. Of course, that never happens. My fingers may get tired, but the need to participate never dies. So, when Laura said she wanted to have some “girl time” to go shopping, I took the opportunity to head up to Asheville to play in the Irish session at Jack of the Wood. Continue reading Playing Irish Music at Jack of the Wood

And Even More Music – Establishing a Routine

There was a time when I was directing the music for two different churches. I was rehearsing with several choral groups and finishing up my Masters degree, and singing the title role of The Mikado with the Greenville Savoyards. I had some sort of rehearsal three or four nights a week. Laura complained about being a “Choral Widow.” She had a point. This past week I had just about as many musical events and she once again felt like a music widow. However, I do have a strategy. Continue reading And Even More Music – Establishing a Routine

Finding Irish Music in South Carolina

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I left a rich musical environment in the Pacific Northwest, wondering if I could find something analogous back home. All I’d been able to find before I left for Washington were song circles like the Pickens Flea Market, featuring old country and gospel, or bluegrass at the Oolenoy School. That’s OK in small doses, but not really what I was after.

When I got back to SC I started searching for music groups that might work and I found several events of interest. This week I tried out two different Irish music sessions – one at Ftizpatrick’s Pub in Greenville and one at The Stomping Grounds in Greer. Continue reading “Finding Irish Music in South Carolina”