Skip to main content

Basement Bower

Family life is starting to settle into a routine. Last week, my wife and I swapped feeding shifts, allowing me some extra time in the morning before work. It's not much, but the half hour I get to play fiddle in the basement has been rejuvenating.

The attic is my preferred practice space. The finished room has a corner dedicated to my music, including a stereo, LPs and CDs, bookshelves, a music stand, extra chairs in case of musical visitors, and a table for appropriate beverages. The basement, however, puts an extra floor between my making noise and my sleeping family.

Not as cozy as the attic.

In the last four days, I've managed to practice three times. Those sessions have mostly been focused on knocking off the rust accumulated over the past month since our son was born. My main goal for now is to just focus on bowing and maintaining the few tunes I've learned so far. If I can get a few steps closer to mastering the bow, I'll call this year's progress a success.

While I'm still learning to manage the challenges of parenthood, this new arrangement provides me some personal time without sacrificing family time. Still, I need to make sure I'm helping my wife find some time for herself as well. It's all a balancing act.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Highwoods Documentary Not a Lost Cause After All

So, once upon a time, I tried to drum up support for a crowdfunded documentary project about the Highwoods Stringband. I donated money to help out, and more than a year later I provided an update on the slow progress. Last I heard, there was some old footage of the Highwoods they were trying to acquire. It's been three and a half years now that I first heard about the project, and I still haven't received my DVD.

I figured that's the risk you take with these crowdfunded, Kickstarter-type projects. I had all but given up the documentary as a lost cause. Until today. If I managed to convince any of you to help fund the project, I felt it my duty to pass along this update directly from Highwoods mainstay Walt Koken.
"After several delays and setbacks, we, the members of the Highwoods Stringband and Mudthumper Music have procured the vintage footage and photos in cooperation with the original producers and put them into the hands of another videographer, Larry Edelman, in …

Master and Apprentice: Banjo Builder Workshop in Historic Peninsula, Ohio

The 191-year-old Peninsula, Ohio, provided the backdrop to a parade of pedestrians making their way from station to station across the bucolic village for Music on the Porches on Saturday.

Inside the close confines of Bronson Church, founded in 1835, a master and apprentice presented a free workshop on the art of instrument building. That master being the renowned banjo builder and artist Doug Unger and his former apprentice Mark Ward.

Unger and Ward began the workshop by playing several old-time tunes, discussing their work and the music, and taking questions from the audience. Unger then invited the spectators to step up to the front to see the instruments.

Postcards: Vinyl Hunting Tour

Tuesday was a perfect day for a short driving tour to scour record stores for some vinyl. At my third stop, The Vinyl Groove in Bedford, Ohio, I came upon these two albums. The top one is Ed Haley, "Parkersburg Landing" (Rounder 1010), a selection of home recordings made in 1946 and released in 1976. The other is "Galax Va. Old Fiddlers' Convention" (Folkways FA 2435), released in 1964. Together they set me back $11 plus tax. It was a good day.