Tag Archives: fast jam DVD

Fast Jam with Murphy and Casey cover

You all will be the first to know that our BRAND SPANKIN' NEW DVD is ready and waiting for you to order it: Fast Jam with Murphy and Casey.

We previously wrote about filming it here.

Here are the songs that are on it: John Hardy, Lonesome Road Blues, Mama Don’t Allow, Little Maggie, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, Salt Creek, Sally Goodwin, Uncloudy Day, Bill Cheatam, Cripple Creek, Whisky Before Breakfast, East Virginia Blues, Blackberry Blossom, I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes, Turkey in the Straw, The Crawdad Song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Slewfoot, In the Pines, Hazel Creek, Old Spinning Wheel

It's not available via download quite yet, but should be in about three weeks or so.

If you happen to be coming to Banjo Camp North this weekend you can get your copy in person from Casey, because she'll have them with her there!

Murphy Henry

Since Casey has already done such an excellent job telling you about the basics of the new Fast Jam DVD, I thought I’d give you some of the inside scoop.

First of all, I must say it was completely delightful to have Casey back at home for four days. I fixed us oatmeal and tea for breakfast every morning and was rewarded by her taking care of those little things that mean so much: bagging up the trash, cleaning up the kitchen, playing Scrabble with me. Beating me was going above and beyond the call of duty, but it did make for a most interesting game!

In true bluegrass fashion (or perhaps its just Murphy Method fashion!) there was no advance song list for the DVD, so Steve (bass) and Malia (fiddle) had no clue as to what we’d be doing except that I said, “It’s standard stuff. You’ll know it.” And they did. Except for my original tune Hazel Creek, which Steve had never heard. So we took a few extra minutes to teach it to him on the spot. No big deal, just the bluegrass way. (No, of course, we didn’t use chord charts! We are the Murphy Method and we practice what we preach!)

Friday morning, we were ready to roll a little after 9:30 a.m. Casey, Steve, and Malia were positioned in front of the backdrop, tuned and waiting and chatting amongst themselves. Where was I? I had decided, at that exact moment, that I need to clean my banjo head, so I was in the kitchen with the 409 and a paper towel trying to remove five or ten years worth of gunk that had accumulated around where I plant my fingers. Oh, and there was blood, too, from when I pricked my finger on a string end and then daubed it on the head. Why? I have no idea! It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Most of the gunk came off, but not all of the blood!

As I was doing my cleaning, I was imagining a blog that Casey might write:

[Imaginary blog by Casey]: There we were in the studio, all ready to go, and where was Mom? In the kitchen cleaning her banjo head! She never cleans her banjo head, as you can clearly see in the last jam DVD. So, why this moment? She had all week to clean it! She had all year! Could she be more of a prima donna? Sheesh. [Imaginary blog over.]

When I got to the studio, I told Casey about my imaginary blog but she didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

We started off with a couple of tunes that were easy for me to play on banjo because I’ve been playing them (and teaching them) so long: Sally Goodwin and Salt Creek. It’s always wise to start with something easy in hopes of getting a good recording vibe going. Those went well, and we were off and running.

Several vocal numbers were on the list and I assumed that Casey and I would do them as duets. But when Steve came in on a baritone part as we were rehearsing them I thought, “Wow! This is a bonus!” So we had trio harmony all the way through. Yes! We had to sing everything in very low keys (for me) because I still had the remnants of a cold. Casey served as my “stand-in” singer while we ran over the tunes, and then switched to tenor of the taping. We’d usually just try the tune once, or maybe twice, and then roll the tape. (Or whatever is the digital equivalent!)

We were hoping to get at least 20 songs down for the DVD, so we were looking at putting in some serious recording time. As it turned out, we got about 10 songs the first day and 10 the second day. And let me tell you, when we got done on each day I was a whipped puppy!

Saturday, after we’d wrapped up the DVD, Casey and I went to lunch with two of my fiddle sisters, Patty and Robyn. We thoroughly enjoyed a couple of hours of girl talk, the content of which I can in no way reveal in this (mostly) family-oriented blog. We, of course, capped off the meal with shared desserts. And then I came back home and took a long winter’s nap, preparatory to square dancing that night!

It was a good weekend. I think you’re gonna enjoy this DVD. I hope we can include some of the “bloopers” because I’m just remembering that when we started off on Sally Goodwin, our very first number, I messed up right from the start. And said a bad word. And then I messed up again and said that same bad word. Only a mild bad word. Worse than damn but not as a bad as most of the stuff you hear on  TV now. On second thought, I don’t think that would be appropriate material for bloopers. Or even You-Tube. But it was sure funny in the moment. A good time was definitely had while making this DVD and we think you’ll enjoy the end result. We’ll keep you posted on the release!

Casey Henry

Last Thursday and Friday Red and Murphy and I gathered in Winchester, Va. (Well, I gathered. They were already there.) to film our new jamming DVD. (That possibly had something to do with the profound lack of blogs that got posted last week!) Since our two slow jam DVDs are so popular, we wanted to offer students even more opportunity to practice jamming, but we also wanted to challenge you a little. So this time we did a fast jam DVD. There will be twenty-one songs on it--mostly new ones, but we also repeated a few classics: Lonesome Road Blues, Cripple Creek, John Hardy, and Mama Don't Allow.

Steve Spence, Casey Henry, Malia Furtado

Steve Spence, Casey Henry, Malia Furtado -- capoing up to play "Whiskey Before Breakfast"

The filming went great, although it didn't exactly follow our original plan. We were going to spend Thursday and Friday taping, with Saturday as a spare day just in case we needed it. Well, we woke up Thursday morning and Red was sick---unable to run the camera. So we had to scratch Thursday. (It wasn't a total loss though since Murphy and I played a great game of Scrabble and I beat her! I don't think that's ever happened before.) Scratching Thursday meant that we didn't get to use David McLaughlin, who was going to join us on mandolin that day. He was busy both Friday and Saturday, so as a result, there's no mandolin on this release.

But, you'll be happy to know, there IS bass this time. Our long-time friend Steve Spence joined us playing bass, and we were grateful that his flexible schedule allowed him to come Saturday on such short notice. On fiddle you'll recognize Malia Furtado who played some great, bluegrassy breaks with little advance warning and NO practice!

Steve Spence, Malia Furtado, Murphy and Casey Henry

Steve Spence, Malia Furtado, Murphy and Casey Henry practicing for the next tune, which is clearly a singing song, though I don't remember which one.

We ask more of you, the student, on this fast jam disc. The tempos are close to what you'll find in a regular jam session. In the intros to the songs we give you a heads up as to what chords we'll be using in the song, but the guitar left hand will not be in a box on screen. To be sure you can see the guitar player's left hand on the screen the whole time (usually me, sometimes Murphy), but it's part of the wide shot. And we've included the Murphy Method theme song Hazel Creek, which is in the key of G minor, yes, that's right, minor. That will probably be a new vamp chord for just about everybody!

We will have the DVD out by the beginning of June for sure (in time for Kaufman Kamp!), but we're still trying to think of a title. Suggestions?