This morning I listened to the newest Canda Live podcast with Lake of Stew, a six-piece acoustic string band from Montreal, Quebec.
On the band homepage you can find the following text about the band and it’s music, a definition that fits very well to what I have heard from the podcast and the videos:
They sing all original, new songs, featuring great big vocal harmonies. Lots of people call their sound old-timey, but it ain’t, it’s new-timey, though it does recall a lot of old traditions all blended together. If you need a name to put to their sound, you wouldn’t go wrong with “good-timey”. Their live shows are energetic and fun, inspiring audiences of all ages to sing and clap and wiggle along.
I have found many youtube videos of this creative and interesting band. Here is a short video which was made when Lake of Stew presented their first album:
“AIN’T TIRED OF LOVIN’” (CD) – first album, released May 2008 by us. Recorded live off the floor at home.
Lake of Stew – Playlist
Lake of Stew can also be heard in three songs of another CBC concert with singer/songwriter Annabelle Chvostek, including the following beautiful song:
Annabelle Chvostek with The Lake Of Stew – The Sioux
Lake of Stew (Sweet Little Sara)
If you like this fresh, old-timey, folky sound you can find more examples in the podcast, the CBC concert on demand, in my playlist and many more youtube videos.
Band Homepage: Lake of Stew
CBC – concerts on demand: Lake of Stew and Annabelle Chvostek
CBC – Canda Live podcast
My youtube playlist: Bluegrass – Lake of Stew
Recommended for tuning your guitar or mandolin (Amazon partnerlink)
Korg PITCHCLIP Low-Profile Clip-On Tuner
When I heard Bluegrass Special for the first time, I was immediately fascinated by this tune. This tune is contained on the CD 16 Gems with 16 early recordings by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.
I have learned this tune from the CD and wrote it down for me, and soon we started playing this tune in our bluegrass band, and we still like to play it today. This tune is very good to improvise, because its based on a simple blues harmony scheme in A.
Bill Monroes recording – mainly the guitar accompanyment – remembers me very much to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt, I wonder if Bill Monroe listened to this kind of music when he composed Bluegrass Special. Anyway – this tune has much power, and when you play it a little bit harder it almost sounds like a rock and roll tune.
One special thing in Bill Monroes version is the use of an accordion at the end of the tune.
I have found a great live version played by Bill Monroe in the following youtube video:
Bill Monroe Blue Grass Special
A biography of Bill Monroe in German can be found in the German wikipedia: Bill Monroe
A biography in English can be found at ask.com: http://www.ask.com/music/artist/Monroe/663
I have found another video of this tune that is interesting. Frank Wakefield and some friends play this tune spontaneously and with much energy and interesting improvisations. This was recorded at a mandolin camp, where Frank Wakefield was teaching.
Frank Wakefield ran into some old friends who were playing at Bill Monroe’s childhood home in Rosine, Kentucky and decided to join them. Frank, Campbell Mercer and Skip Gorman on mandolin, Wayne Lewis and Joe Isaacs on guitar. Josh Jonston on guitar, Mike Fulkerson on banjo and Mark Hargis on bass. This was part of the weekend activities for the Monroe style mandolin camp put on by The International Bluegrass Music museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. Frank was a teacher at the mandolin camp.
CD Tip: 16 Gems – Bill Monroe (Amazon partnerlink)