Norman Blake, Doc Watson, Dan Crary, Tim Stafford, Jim Hurst, Clarence White, Mark O'Connor, David Grier, Robert Shafer
Favorite Flatpicking Tunes
Growlin Old Man & Cacklin Old Woman, Jerusalem Ridge, Cattle in the Cane, Soldier's Joy, Blackberry Blossom, Billy in the Lowground, Big Sciota and slew of other ones learned and otherwise!
A 40 year old D-28 I use at home, and a 76 Mossman mahogany I just had reset. Bunch of others. Have chronic GAS. I really have to say I like playing my CA Legacy and Bluegrass perfomer models- they travel well and sound consistently great with the system I use. Not giving up my wood instruments, but these are amazing.
Tell us more about yourself (place a Bio here if you wish)
Born and raised in the citrus ridge country of Florida, my ancestors came from Scotland/Great Britain & France to Nova Scotia in the 1620’s, emigrated to the American Colonies in New England & VA mtns in the 1800's with a branch making it to Florida. As a child, I listened to my grandfather play stage tunes from the 1890’s and my Dad singing Acadian and Depression/Vaudeville era songs. Grew up a half mile from the Seaboard Coast Line's Orange Blossom rail line in the last days of fruit shipping by Railway Express. Began formal musical training at age 8, with lessons from country/blues/jazz guitarist Roger Soule & classical guitar for 2 years with a Segovia School Master, performing my first recital at 9, a Villa Lobos piece I can't remember anymore. Turned to steel string guitar after hearing Merle Travis on Mom’s phonograph and began a lifelong love and study of traditional bluegrass, country blues & mountain string music in flatpick and fingerpicking style.
Slipping underage into local venues, I played in pickup bands from country/folk to blues, jazz and rock, with a first paid gig at 13. My major influences at that time were Florida banjoist Paul Champion, and the bluegrass fiddler Chubby Wise whom I used to hear play his classic, "Orange Blossom Special" at folk and bluegrass shows- great memories. The great troubadour Gamble Rogers became my mentor and friend of more than 15 years before his selfless death trying to rescue a drowning man in the ocean.
In 1970 I trekked to Nashville & made a musical discovery which indelibly changed my life- I stumbled onto a small show of Norman Blake, Tut Taylor and John Hartford (the soon-to-be Dobrolic Plectral Society & future Aereoplain Band) at the Old Time Picking Parlor and GTR store. Later, I listened to Norman pick solo in a little green neon bar for three nights in a row, playing whatever he felt like. Picking in two of the legendary “watering holes” in Nashville, I tried my hands at this great music, and chanced to meet Bill Monroe at an after hours set . I've never forgotten how Monroe encouraged me, in that brief encounter, as he had done for so many- telling me " you have it,... keep at it, son". I learned every tune on Norman's first solo album, and perform those songs to this day, true to Norman’s style of playing. There isn't a day goes by I don't reflect on those days and try to learn something new.
My sets include many different styles- flatpicking, fingerstyle, Travis picking, Celtic cross tunings and slide. I left school to take music on the road in the late 70’s, and took several breaks along the way for commitments to my family, and vagaries of business.
Thanks to Dan Miller for putting together this wonderful resource, and inviting me to join.
Dan Miller, thanks for inviting me. Don't know the rules, but I'm looking to work as a sideman along with my solo and duet dates. Can travel. Based in NC. Bluegrass, acoustic jazz, country, and I Travis style and other fingerpick (Celtic cross tunings, bottleneck, dobro)
"I recently came across a steel string parlor guitar made by P. Benson, in Minneapolis. It's really a nice little instrument--well built, comfortable, very much like an old Martin 00-18 (mahogany, slotted headstock, pyramid bridge, ladder…"
"My gear is much better than my skill - for straight flatpickin', I play a Martin D-18 Authentic 1937. My go-to guitar for just about everything else (and it flatpicks just fine, thank you) is my Huss & Dalton D-RH with a Red Spruce top.…"
"Hey Craig. Thanks for the kind comment. The credit for this version should really go To Steve Kaufman who's arrangement it is. Good luck with your bluegrass studies, it's wonderful music and great fun to play. I look forward to…"
"Thanks Mike. I have to prove to myself that I can play the material as written but once I've done that I start to allow myself some leeway to have fun and drop in my own bits. There's not too much space to do that in SK's version of…"