On my way home, I listened to a CD I just bought: American Electric by Michael Juan Nunez. I’ve only listened to half of it, but that’s enough for a hearty endorsement. Here’s a taste of it: Coming Home.
Here’s a piece I’ve been working on for months, and will probably work on for years: Matteo Carcassi’s Etude No. 7. I’m slow reading sheet music, so my guitar tutor, Vincent Marini, worked up a tablature, which I transcribed. Right now, I sort of stumble through it. If I play slowly enough, I can hit all the notes, but my phrasing is awful. Maybe in a few years, when I can play something listenable, I’ll make a video. Meanwhile, here’s Andrew Schiller’s version.
P.S. (29 July 2010): After reading this item on the Huffington Post, I’m not so sure about this video. I tend to trust many of the celebrities in the video because they showed their care for and commitment to New Orleans before the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The same goes for Women of the Storm. I still say watch the video. But read the Huffington Post piece too—and the comments challenging it.
It wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, but it wasn’t a disaster. At church this evening, I made it through my first public solo on guitar—one verse of Sanctuary, by John Thompson and Randy Scruggs. With nervousness taking over my hands, I hit one or two wrong notes, but no one seemed to notice.
For anyone who’s interested, here’s my tablature. Nothing fancy—just playing the melody off the chords. Mostly I played two notes at a time: the melody note and whichever note in the chord was closest to the melody note.
By my definition, the dog days of summer are here. Some define the dog days as when the dog star, Sirius, makes its appearance. Me, I define the onset of the dog days as the first day I take a shower without touching the hot-water knob. The so-called cold water is lukewarm and, in this heat, provides a comfortable shower.
I was hoping that Bonnie would be a dud but would at least bring us some breezes, cloud cover, and rain. So far, she’s been a dud but has not delivered on the other items. Outside, the sun is shining, the air is still, and the temperature is about what you’d expect in July.
(Photo credit: Culture Grrl.)
The hat tip for this post goes to Karl Werne, who is one fine singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Thanks to Karl, I present for this week’s installment of Saturday Evening Blues the one, the only, the Godfather of Soul—James Brown. Yes, Mr. Brown, I’d very much like some rhythm with my blues; thank you.
If you’re in the mood for some spiritual reading, then you’ll want to peruse Plough Publishing’s selection of free articles and e-books. The e-book that caught my eye is The Gospel in Dostoyevsky. I haven’t read it yet, but the title sounds promising. And you can’t beat the price.
This one is for Orleanians: Suspect Device was my favorite feature in the Gambit weekly newspaper. Not so long ago, Gambit’s publishers decided to discontinue Suspect Device. Gambit is now conducting its annual Best of New Orleans poll. One entry under the Media category is “Best reason to pick up Gambit.” I know not what course others take, but as for me and my household, we are voting for “was Suspect Device.”
My next guitar-playing project is a blues classic, Sitting on Top of the World, first recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks and, since then, covered by dozens. I’ll be meditating on two versions: the Mississippi Sheiks’ and Howlin’ Wolf’s.