History of My Music
So here are explanations of each of
the fifteen songs. I started writing when I was fifteen. In 1961,
I was playing in a folk music group called The Minutemen in Kansas
City with Dick Dickinson and John Carmichael. Dick's parents went
up in their attic and brought out what I believe was a Gibson L-5
(wow!) and a spruce top Gibson mandolin with an oval hole. These
were vintage family heirlooms, and they said we could use them if
we wanted. We liked the mandolin, but the guitar looked funny to
us in the sixties, so we didn't use it. If only we knew then what
we know now.
The process of writing for me has mostly been impulsive,
meaning I would get an idea, write down words that rhymed or not
and then see how a melody went with them. Later I began to think
of the words as beads or jewels on a string, the string being time.
Along the way I learned that sometimes the music is the space between
the notes and I began to use syncopation and other rhythmic devices.
The idea I am presenting and the way the words fall sometimes determines
the tempo. I have sometimes written the music first, sometimes the
phrases and the music occur together, but mostly I write, then lay
the words on a rhythmic matrix.
I play an Epiphone Texan (cir. 1955)
that I bought in 1964 at the Denver Folklore Center with two months'
Army pay. I rescued a Takamine Jasmine 12-string in 1997, but the
neck is a little narrow. I play it in open G with a drop C. I always
use the Dunlop .0225 fingerpicks and National medium thumbpick.
I use a Shubb capo, but try not to capo at all, I use my voice in
different keys. I nurture my traditional and folk roots, but the
tree is not all roots. The branches show different life experiences,
and...and...growth. For me this is a living process. My music