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O’Carolan’s Welcome

I had the great opportunity to play a house concert outside of Seattle a few weeks ago. It was a split bill with Linda Waterfall, who has one of the most wonderful and unique guitar styles I have ever heard. Videographer Vaun Raymond setup a few cameras and captured some great footage. Here is the tune O’Carolan’s Welcome. I’ll be …

Castle Kelly – Clawhammer Banjo

I recently wrote an article for the Banjo Newsletter on arranging Castle Kelly for the Clawhammer Banjo. It appeared in the June issue. While Castle Kelly is normally played in irish music circles I thought the rhythm might work out well for clawhammer. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

New tracks with Tim Connell

I recently recorded a few demo tracks in my home studio with superb mandolin player Tim Connell. I hope you enjoy them.

WGBH Music: The Teetotallers | Live at The Burren

This video has been making the rounds on Facebook among all my irish music friends. The Teetotallers are the newest irish super group consisting of Kevin Crawford on flute, Martin Hayes on fiddle, and John Doyle on guitar. Hearing three of my favorite celtic musicians play together is a dream come true. I can’t wait till they release a cd and hopefully …

Fingerstyle Guitar Duets – Doug Young and Teja Gerken

My friend Doug Young, along with Teja Gerken, recently wrote a really cool article for Acoustic Guitar Magazine on fingerstyle guitar duets. They look at various ways to arrange for two guitars, and present a tasty version St Anne’s Reel for two guitars. Fingerstyle guitar duets are one of my favorite configurations. With two players who both have the ability …

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Fingerstyle Guitar – Nail Shape

I came across this great video of classical guitarist Scott Tennant talking about nail shape. I think it applies equally as well to steel string fingerpickers. There are alot of picking hand approaches to fingerstyle guitar. Folks pick with no nail, natural nails, artificial nails, or fingerpicks and all sound great. I think it comes down to personal preference and …

Tunes in the Gorge

Here I am having a few quick tunes with my friend David McPike during a hike in the Columbia River Gorge. I am fortunate that we have some spectacular trails only half an hour outside of town. Two flutes are alot of fun and we don’t get to play together as much as I would like, so we brought our …

Musical Activities

I have been spending some time lately on other musical activities and wanted to write about them a bit here. While arranging celtic music for solo guitar will always be my main thing, it is a relatively lonely pursuit and I enjoy playing music with others too. There is just a bigger energy and sound that comes with three or …

Breton tunes on the Brooks Banjo

Sometimes I will just hear a tune and know I have to try and arrange it. Such was the case this set of tunes, an unnamed Breton tune and the second, Scottish Du Stockfish. I learned them both from Bryan Owens, a Portland musician who plays a variety of music on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and fiddle. I initially intended to …

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Some concert footage

Hi folks, just a quick blog post with a few things. I forget if I have mentioned this before, but I am really enjoying the simple timer at http://e.ggtimer.com/ for monitoring my guitar practice. Like most of us that work a day job and have other responsibilities I often do not have as much time to play as I would …