Last weekend we filmed the majority of the new Slow Jam DVD (to be titled Picking Up The Pace: More Slow Jamming with Murphy and Casey) in Winchester. Over the course of two days we recorded eighteen or so songs at tempos ranging from slowish to mediumish (those are the technical terms...). We always mean to prepare more in advance, but the night before found Murphy finalizing the song list, and the morning of the taping found us donning different outfits to see which ones looked best in front of the camera.
David McLaughlin joined us for the first day of taping. The first song always goes the slowest as we try to work out lights, sound, and camera shots. We were rolling along, knocking out song after song in G. When we decided to move to A we ran into a host of equipment problems, which I'm sure Murphy will tell you about tomorrow.
David McLaughlin, Murphy Henry, and Casey Henry on the first day of filming. Photo by Red Henry.
As we worked out each song, the process went something like this: First we'd play the song through a couple of times to make sure we were all on the same page. Then we'd do the arrangement, which was usually banjo kick, verse/chorus, mandolin, verse/chorus, hole for the student to play their break in, verse/chorus, another hole, chorus and out. Or if there were enough verses we'd have two banjo and mandolin breaks as well. We played the arrangement correctly on all but one song, and I'll let you try and figure out which one that is!
On the second day of taping we were joined by Malia Furtado on fiddle, who also played on our first Slow Jam DVD. She was fresh from winning third place in the fiddle contest at the Galax Fiddler's Convention. With Malia we did mostly instrumentals: "Liberty," "Soldier's Joy," "Amazing Grace," "Arkansas Traveler." She has amazing tone and played wonderful simple arrangements of the tunes that will be easy to pick-up even if you haven't learned the songs off of our fiddle videos.
The first song of the day, true to form, was the hardest to get. When we were in the middle of the first take I realized that I had propped my feet on a higher rung of my stool than the day before and that you could now see my bare feet on camera. Murphy thought it was okay, but Red ardently disagreed, so we re-shot the song, with mes pieds again out of the frame.
There are still some things left to shoot, like the introduction for the beginning of the DVD and the guitar left hand, which Murphy will do, for the picture-in-picture, but we got the majority of it done. Red will edit and assemble the footage and we will have them available in time for Christmas!