American Tune for COVID-19 Social Distancing

Paul Simon sings American Tune for us all

The 78 year old American musical institution posted a solo performance of American Tune on his Facebook page.

Paul Simon American Tune COVID-19 onemanz

https://www.facebook.com/paulsimon/videos/2898856330168238/?__tn__=%2CdkCH-R&eid=ARBApPN6e9yzouJLizcgHTT8hpSKOJuRo0-ZKzq7y5IEm47NwPCmgiZw7j6KUpMpGFSElLvZNhBFtCod&hc_ref=ARTj-T66GQRQE2IvxzVjH1d5ptaiv0e6-PvZoYVi1bHrp73yZK34HkvHbLVPJtf6NN4&fref=nf

He recorded it on 3/19/2020 for the web “show” Til Further Notice, which takes place in Willie Neslson’s back yard. But this year is including Socially Distant performances.

For those who cannot access the performance,  a different performance of the same song appears below. He ended the Facebook performance with “Stay save everyone. Be well!”

I used to perform this every 4th of July, until I forgot how to play it. Since I may have some time on my hands, it is nice the composer provided this handy How-To video. 🙂

I had forgotten his Martin Paul Simon Limited Edition signature models have faux tortoise shell binding, ala Style 21. They also has a special fretboard width that has a 1-11/16″ width nut, at a time when Martin OMs all had 1-3/4″ width-at-nut. But the Simon models taper wider to almost the same width as a traditional OM once the fretboard reaches the 12th fret.

This particular guitar is the PS2 model released in 2000, signified by the inlaid image of Earth on the headstock. Unlike the original 1997 version, the OM-42 PS, the PS2 guitar does not have a traditional hand-fitted dovetail neck joint, but rather the Mortise & Tenon joint, and probably lower grade tonewoods, which allowed the price to be a lot lower.

Here is the maestro performing American Tune on his OM-42 PS, from 2015.

Moon River Mark by Dick Boak

A Life on Georgian Bay

A singer-songwriter expose

Dick Boak has created a video about a Martin-loving maverick named Mark Groulex, aka Moon River Mark of Ontario, Canada. Moon River runs through the forests near the eastern section of Lake Huron called Georgian Bay, about 200km north of Toronto. Boak first encountered Groulex at a local open mic when vacationing in Canada. The two have remained friend ever since.

Something Fine from Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne wrote Something Fine when he was 22

Or maybe he was even younger

While he was considered an “old soul” by his contemporaries, Jackson Browne turned 70 this past October and yet his songs are anything but dated.

When something written by a kid remains relevant, timeless even, and absolutely appropriate coming from the mouth of the same artist decades later, now that’s what I call a songwriter!

Performed on a vintage Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe.

Does Jason Verlinde of Fretboard Journal have the best job in America or what?

T Spoon Phillips New Album

Lost and Haunted Ways, the new album by T Spoon Phillips

Here at last, the original solo acoustic guitar compositions

Have you ever wanted to hear the pieces Spoon uses for his One Man’s Guitar video reviews in their entirety? Well now you can! Along with many others…

T Spoon Phillips - Album Cover Lost and Haunted Ways

Official Release, Thursday, August 9.

*Early Bird Special for Martinfest attendees*

Visit tspguitar.com for details!

Martin OMs Making Music

Marshall Fleisher’s Martin OM-42 and Maury Rutch’s OM-28V

Mates of mine meet up at Maury’s, where music magic is made

Check out this series of videos over at Maury’s Music’s blog

Maury's Music guitarist video

Two of my brothers-in-Martin make up the R and F in D.O.R.K.F., the classic rock cover band that perform in Pennsylvania, but once a year with a long list of special guests.

Marshall Fleisher has been journeyman musician since the Woodstock era and is one of those players with a built in encyclopedia of songs and his own arrangements of fingerstyle tunes, who I get to hear at Martinfest and occasionally elsewhere.

Maury Rutch made his living as a performing musician long before he started moonlighting as a dealer in fine Martin, Blue Ridge, Reverend, and Mesa/Boogie music-making machines. And when he’s not out gigging with one of his own bands, he is happy to serve as sideman for visiting musicians, wandering minstrels, or the occasional back alley tomcat.

I could listen to these guys all day long.

Visions of Johanna – 50 Years Ago Today

May 17, 1966 – Bob Dylan performs Visions of Johanna, solo acoustic

Try imagining someone hearing this song for the first time, rendered by Dylan in top form

Love songs have been a part of music since, well, forever. Many are light or even trite, while some others can be truly moving.

But when it came to popular music in modern times, there were songs about falling in love, falling out of love, being a teenager in love, or a teenager being dumped, occasionally letting someone down easy, or telling them to “hit the road, Jack.”

And then there came Visions of Johanna.

Read the full essay and hear the song HERE

Dylan 1966 Visions of Johanna concert

photo: Mark Makin who took the only photos from the concert, getting “about nine usable shots” from a roll of film, according to the BBC.

Neil Young: “Art is the dog on my porch”

I just found this tonight by accident. Neil Young’s Natural Beauty from 1992.

When everyone in the audience was hearing it for the very first time.

Countless people may strum guitar chords and sing a song and make enjoyable music, without the need for “fancy pickin.” But few perform it with so much infectious emotion as Neil Young, so that it moves the deepest wells of what the most optimistic among us call the soul.

Who make art right there in the invisible air.

“One more night of Love’s magic fire…”

 

Spoon Phillips Interview at Maury’s Music

Have you wondered who, what, and why is Spoon Phillips?

Taped earlier this week in Coaldale, Pennsylvania, home of Maury’s Music

Check out this video interview on Maury’s blog!

When I met Maury Rutch at Boro Park in Nazreth PA, at the first Martinfest, I knew immediately we would become fast friends. He had a Martin OM-28V with Jackson Browne’s autograph written with a Sharpie on the inside of the Indian rosewood back. And when he took his turn at the little open mic, he sang a lovely song written for his wife, who had given him the guitar as a present.

When he started his business a couple of years later, he asked me to perform at the grand opening of Maury’s Music, where I put on an unofficial clinic, demonstrating various Martin guitars and talking about how they differed. Afterwords I was approached and complimented by another future good friend, Tim Teel, Director of Instrument Design at C. F. Martin. And I have been paying visits to each of them ever since, grateful for the opportunity to try out so many new and delightful guitars, and share the results with all of you.

Spoon Phillips interview photo1

Tommy Emmanuel and Laurence Juber Geek Out on Django

Two of the greatest living guitarists, Laurence Juber and Tommy Emmanuel play Django Reinhardt

A couple of guitar players jamming on tunes they love

I cannot believe I have not seen this before

The Jazz trio I have been playing in the past couple of years has been thinking of doing some of Django Reinhardt tunes. And then I find THIS.

The same tunes we have been working on, casually thrown off by, arguably, the two greatest living acoustic guitarists currently gigging around the world.

Clearly we have our work cut out for us before we appear on the same stage as Laurence Juber at Martinfest 2016, in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where they make the Martin guitars LJ and we all play.

Geeking Out

What a joy it is to see two of the historic greats behind the scenes, and basically two guys jamming on tunes by a guitar player they admire and aspire toward.

As I try to say to every guitar player who ever acts sheepish around me: There isn’t a guitar player alive who doesn’t hear some other guitarist out there who makes them say, “How does he DO that?!”

But these guys are out of the stratosphere when it comes to technique, tempo, speed, and all-around chops. Just a delight to be that smart phone fly one the wall.

 

 

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