Kickstart Your Jamming: The Third Day

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

We resumed shooting our new DVD, Kickstart Your Jamming, on Friday after a two-day hiatus. On one of those days Casey and I took her son Dalton to the Shenadoah County Fair. I could write a whole blog about that but will settle for letting you see a picture of our lunch, since I seem to be really into food pictures right now:

Schaffer's BBQ!

Schaffer's BBQ!

Friday morning we were back in the saddle again with me playing the Roly Poly versions of the songs I'd previously taught, but this time with Casey accompanying me on guitar. On this DVD, for the first time ever, we are including some songs that I don't teach breaks to. These songs (Worried Gal, I'll Fly Away, Foggy Mountain Top, to mention three) are so similar to the songs I DID teach that I decided to let you, the students, make up your own Roly Poly breaks. To aid and abet, I vamp and sing the song while Casey plays guitar. Then we leave a space for you to play (with me still vamping, but not singing) and at the end I play my version of the Roly Poly break. I think you'll really like this and it's all done super-slow.

In addition to this, we also recorded the instrumental Daybreak In Dixie. The Tip Jar Jammers have been having loads of fun with this one. I NEVER EVER thought of anyone doing a Roly Poly break to this, but Tim, and Pam, and Kathy all showed me otherwise! Then when I started teaching the songs on the DVD, I discovered that there was no understandable way for me to teach a Roly Poly break to this tune without the guitar being present. I also thought the students would benefit greatly if they would hear the mandolin play it since it's a mandolin tune. So I asked Red if he would help, and he said yes. So, today we recorded him playing the mandolin off camera while Casey and I provided the rhythm on camera so you all could get familiar with the chords.

I expected us to sail through this song since we played it so often. Alas! I forgot about the capos!

Since Daybreak In Dixie is a mandolin tune, it has a specific key, which is A. To play in A, Casey and I needed capos, an item I had forgotten to check on. (Yes, Casey could have played the guitar in open A, as she suggested, but we thought that might be confusing for the students.) I found a banjo capo pretty quickly in the pocket of  one of my other banjo cases. Casey, however, was not so lucky. We couldn't find a good guitar capo anywhere! (All of the good capos were at my teaching place, twenty minutes away.) We weren't entirely without options, though. After asssiduous digging we finally uncovered four old Hamilton capos.

One was the "squeeze" type:


Two were the "screw" type:


The fourth was one of Lester Flatt's old capos!

Lester Flatt's old capo

Lester Flatt's old capo

Why do I have one of Lester's old capos? It was given to me long ago by Joe Forrester when I was doing research on Sally Ann Forrester, his sister-in-law, for my book! Joe played bass in the first of Bill Monroe's band to include Lester and Earl. When I got the capo it had black electrical tape wrapped around the flat part. It was sticky and coming apart, so I pulled it off.

As you will see on the DVD, Casey chose one of the screw-type Hamiltons. They actually work fine, they just require a lot of tuning, once you put them on. Once everyone had a capo, the recording of the song (several times) was, indeed, a piece of cake. But good-capo-hunting had eaten up all our remaining time and we had to quit so Casey could get back to Dalton.

We will resume shooting on Monday. That's Labor Day, and we will be laboring! I hope we finish recording everything then. Then it will be time for editing and that, thank goodness, is Red's job!

Time now for my post-DVD lunch! Perhaps I'll include a picture.....!!! No, no more pictures. Besides, my lunch was WAY too healthy to be interesting. Broiled fish, quinoa, avacado, grapefruit juice. It was good, though. (Apologies to Utah Phillips for that line....) With plenty of salt, mayonnaise, and butter how could it not be good????

Remember: No jams next week, September 2nd or 3rd.

2 thoughts on “Kickstart Your Jamming: The Third Day

  1. Linda Cranford

    Red, Murphy and Casey:

    Dalton is gorgeous, and, I’m sure, brilliant. Thanks for including his photo in this blog. Murphy – my favorite blog entry was your story of taking Dalton to Walmart for markers, when Casey was out of town. Ha.

    I have been meaning to send this following word to you guys. Probably a Gamble Rogers worthy word.
    \hem-ee-dem-ee-SEM-ee-kwey-ver\ , noun;
    Music. Chiefly British. a sixty-fourth note.
    Definition of hemidemisemiquaver|See synonyms|Comment on today’s word|Suggest tomorrow’s word

    Their gaiety consisted of ruling staves and copying a borrowed duet filled with hemidemisemiquavers.
    — Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander, 1969
    Anything could follow, a hemidemisemiquaver or a whole note; and the translator was charged with interpreting the score.
    — Ward Just, The Translator, 1991
    Hemidemisemiquaver entered English in the mid-1800s, as an extension of demisemiquave, a thirty-second note. A quaver is chiefly British word for an eighth note.

    Best to all of you.

  2. Diana MacKenzie

    Sure wish the “Kickstart Your Jamming” DVD was in my hands and I new the Roly Poly Lick….I’m headed to the American Banjo Camp in Ft. Flagler, Washington in the morning. Oh well, I’m sure it’s gonna be a fun time discovering the things I don’t know and making new friends.
    I hope it won’t take long for Red to complete the editing job….I can hardly wait!

    I so look forward to reading your Blog….thank you so much! Diana

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