Winter tidings! I write this letter from my old rocker beside the wood stove that crackles, hisses and pops! I am grateful for the warmth and for many other reasons. There is just so much to be thankful for, a roof over our heads, good friends nearby and the ability to make and share traditional music!
Lots is going on around here as of late. I’m happy to announce that my new CD, Tune Tramp, is finally finished and was official released on New Years Day, 2013. It was a long time in the making and I'm so glad it's complete and has been getting lots of airplay in North America, Europe and Australia. Tune Tramp features 20 tunes and songs recorded in 13 studios by 45 traditional musicians from across North America. My concept for the album was the great distances we travel to play the music we love, with the musicians we love to play music with. Travel and play we did! It was recorded in six states and two provinces.
Musicians on this album with me are: Skip Gorman, Kenny Jackson, Carl Jones, Josh Wanstreet, Paul Brown, Terri McMurray, Ira Bernstein, The Canote Brothers, Candy Goldman, Jason & Pharis Romero, Caleb Klauder, Sammy Lind, Nadine Landry, Kirk Sutphin, Snake Smith, Kyle-Dean Smith, Billy McCumbers, Kim Johnson, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, Jesse & Jamie Wells, John Harrod, Gerry & Jesse Milnes, Arnie Naiman, Chris Coole, Chris Whiteley, Ken Whiteley, Rafe Stefanini, Clelia Stefanini, Eddie Bond, Josh Ellis, Mac Snow, Donna Correll, Joel Savoy, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Bruce Greene, and Don Pedi. This truly was a joy project and I hope everyone who hears it enjoys the music as much as we all did making it! Thanks to all the musicians, engineers and friends who helped make this CD become a reality. I’m proud of what this turned out to be. It was worth the wait. If anyone would like to order a copy you can on my website www.hickoryjack.com, or through CD Baby, Elderly, Cleff'd Ear, Bandcamp (digital downloads), or County Sales. Thank you for supporting old-time music!
In late October/early November Carl Jones and I made a trip to Louisiana and Alabama. We visited family, went to the Blackpot Festival in Lafayette, did two recording sessions (Carl is also recording a CD of all original songs & tunes!), and we taught fiddle and mandolin at the Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell, (this is a wonderful camp in a gorgeous spot! – highly recommended!). Also while in Louisiana, with the help of Wilson Savoy who runs Almena pictures, I did a film shoot for my first, instructional fiddle DVD (Intermediate level) that will be released in March, 2013. The lesson will be over an hour and feature many of my favorite tunes from WV and KY. Each tunes is broken down slowly, line-by-line and played at regular speed with Carl providing guitar accompaniment. Stay tuned – more news on this project soon!
Back in Virginia, I am very happy and honored to report I get to carry on as music program manager at the Blue Ridge Music Center in January working for non-profit organization - the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation! They are a dedicated group of fine folks who do wonderful work for the Blue Ridge Parkway, Kids in Parks and now the Music Center. They are very community minded. I know the 2013 concert season at the Blue Ridge Music Center will be extra good as a result!
Lastly, for any who have not heard the news. Carl Jones and I are engaged to be married in October 2013. We are both very happy and thankful to all our friends who have wished us well! Life is quite a journey and it is sure nice to have company along the rambling road. We wish you all a very happy year ahead as well. Here in mid February - with buds on the bushes and the first greenery of flower bulbs starting to poke out of the soil, we know that spring is just around the corner!
John Gent Says:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @10:34:05 AM
... and an awesome CD it is. I know you put a lot of your heart in this - which makes it all the more wonderful.
If you're ever out in the Southern Willamette Valley here in Oregon, give me a shout. I'll arrange an 'emergency jam' and try and get a gig or two set up for you.
Carl is a lucky man. When you two are much older and those rockers occupy more and more of your day, still making music with someone as warm and beautiful as you.
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