Thursday, August 28, 2014

Never Swat a Fly

Our band manager, Pamela Bowen, almost never makes pronouncements about the music we choose to play, but last night she made an exception. After hearing us play the following bit of fluff at the end of our 90-minute rehearsal session, she ruled that we may never play that song that late ever again. The reason? Well, it's something of an ear worm, a melody that you can't get out of your head, and not surprisingly, Pamela doesn't like to wake up throughout the night still hearing that damned song. So here it is: "Never Swat a Fly" from a highly forgettable 1930s movie called "Just Imagine." But remember Pamela's warning: Don't listen to it after dark or you may be just imagining it all night long.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Blues that Makes Doug Chaffin Smile

Doug Chaffin is the most even-tempered musician you'll ever meet. Day in and day out, he just delivered solid solos, and never complains, even when sometimes the rest of us -- beginning to feel the effects of those cups of strong black coffee -- start running away with the rhythm. But if you want to see Doug smile when the subject is the blues, keep that tempo down to a nice, steady heartbeat speed. Listen here to how Doug and his guitar just OWN this improvised blues we used to warm up at last night's rehearsal.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

All of Me ... and then some...

One of the good things about rehearsing each week is that ensemble work gets tighter and fresher all the time. For instance, on this track from last night's practice session, listen to Joe's intricate, imaginative fills behind Michelle's vocal on this 1930's jazz standard. It's no wonder that for decades now, singers have wanted Joe Dobbs to back them up -- his fiddle is like a second voice! Then listen to how the whole mood and color of the tune changes as the ensemble brings it down to back up Doug's sweet mandolin solo in the middle of things. Then after that, the dynamic changes again as Charlie and Randy kick it up a notch to support Michelle's rousing final chorus.