If you've been following my "album of original fiddle tunes" project, you'll know that I've only got one tune left to record on the original list (here). This tune is called "Cheese and Krackers" - rather than finishing my album, I thought I'd add another "bonus track." This week's offering is called "Skipping Stones:"
"Skipping Stones" - an original fiddle tune by Jeff Norman (me). Played twice through by me on my Buckeye tuned to aEAC#E; guitar accompaniment the second time through using a 12-fret Epiphone Masterbilt in standard guitar tuning capped at the 2nd fret. Tune and recording Copyright 2017 - Jeff Norman.
This tune has taken shape over the last few weeks - its what I find myself playing every time I pick up my couch-plunking Buckbee banjo (here). Its a squared-off A mixolydian tune that I play in open A tuning - it would likely be a lot of fun at a dance or in a jam. I'll admit that I kind of stole the idea for the beginning of the B part from the fantastic Garry Harrison tune "Red Prairie Dawn." The B part of that tune starts with 4 really great half-notes that make the whole tune in my opinion - the ones Mr Harrison picked were absolutely perfect...the ones I picked are just okay in comparison : ) Note that, since I can't really "hold" notes on a banjo, I played them as quarter notes followed each time by open 3rd string A's; A fiddler would be encouraged to leave the A's out in favor of holding the half notes.
As for the name - my wife picked it. She just said it made her think of skipping stones - who am I to argue? Hope you enjoyed that one - I hope to finish the album next week with "Cheese and Krackers!" This monday/tuesday posting is getting to be a pattern - hopefully I'll post on time next week....
...okay not the whole microphone, but the cord:
My broken mic cord - yeah its not supposed to veer right like that.
To backtrack: this past weekend my parents came to town and we spent the whole weekend eating, drinking good wine, reading (yup, we had a Sunday book club of sorts...) and smoking a practice Thanksgiving turkey, which came out great! I therefore knew I was going to post a bit late this week and had planned to add another track to my album (here) Monday or Tuesday....
However, I went to pull the mic out tonight and found the above monstrosity. Usually I wrap the mic cord gently around the base of my mic, but I guess I got a bit overzealous this last go-round and right-angle-ified the business end : ) I'll have to order a replacement before I can move forward - the mac is great overall but the built-in microphone makes my banjo sound like its underwater (and not in the cool Kyle Creed way).
Therefore, the fates have conspired to give me a night off - see you next week!
So I may be posting a day late...but at least I'm not showing up empty handed! After just over a month off from recording tracks for my album of original fiddle tunes (here) I've finally recorded the penultimate track (at least in the order that they're being recorded...)! Today I present "Catawba," a tune I wrote several years back (maybe 2012 or so?). Here you go:
"Catawba" - an original fiddle tune by Jeff Norman (me). Played twice through by me on my Buckeye tuned to aEAC#E; guitar accompaniment the 2nd time through using a 12-fret Epiphone Masterbilt in standard tuning with a capo on the 2nd fret. Tune and recording Copyright 2017 - Jeff Norman.
"Catawba" is a pretty straightforward A major tune that I play in - surprise! - A major tuning (i.e. aEAC#E). It came out of a noodling session one afternoon...this wasn't unguided noodling, however: I had a specific goal in mind. While it seemed to me that many A major tunes were meant to be barnburners (e.g. "Hangman's Reel"), I wanted to come up with something that sounded good, even "pretty," at a moderate pace...like an A major version of "Coleman's March." In this recording I put a bit of bounce in it - but trust me that it can sound damn near pretty in the right hands. While I wont say that I've hit my goal of writing the next "Coleman's March," I like the tune none-the-less : )
As for the name: I've heard of tunes named after other VA towns (e.g. "Newcastle" and "Richmond"), so I figured I could name a tune after one too. Since I frequently played gigs at the Catawba Farmer's Market, "Catawba" came to mind. Wikipedia tells me that Catawba VA is actually an unincorporated community....close enough I guess : ) Anyways, hope you liked it - see you next week! Since there's only one more tune to go, I'll likely finish this project then!
About this blog
I have lots of ideas about banjo playing and music in general - this blog allows me to get them all out of my head and see what you think.