Playlist from December 21 RGC Meeting at Abilene

Thanks to Mark Grover for putting together this play list in my absence! I am sure you will enjoy his unique approach! —R. Taglieri

♫ The night started off with John Williamson announcing that he had brought a CD for sale or trade, and a stack of Guitar Player Magazines free for distribution among the club attendees. He then played a fingerstyle arrangement of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

♫ After John’s performance, we were treated to something new to the club; a slide guitar piece. First time club attendee Jason Gordon, with his resonator guitar tuned to an open D chord (DADF#AD), played a medley of traditional tunes with a couple of bluesy improv transitions.

♫ Our third performer of the night, Brian Gowey, played a tune quite by accident. He put his name on the playlist thinking it was a sort of guest book; simply noting that he had attended. He opted to sit out but, after some friendly prodding, agreed to play a tune. Jerry Carter told him that “You couldn’t possibly find a more friendly, forgiving, non-judgmental atmosphere to play in.” Brian was accompanied by Jason Gordon, who picked up the chord progression on the fly, playing “Billy In The Low Ground” duet style.

Vern Lindberg then played a fingerstyle arrangement of “God Bless The Child,” co-written by Billy Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. I was curious about the guitar he was playing that night; a Larrivee L-02. Vern generously allowed me to play with it for a moment, although I think I like the way he plays it better!

♫ I (Mark Grover) followed Vern and played two quasi-holiday themed tunes by Thomas Leeb; “Sleepless,” the title of which I likened to my children’s anticipation of Christmas (although that may not have been the artist’s intent), and “Akaskero,” which was written by Leeb on New Years Eve, 1998-1999. He said it was a very mellow holiday and that song came out of the cold and quiet with the wolves howling at night.

On a side note, I have asked Thomas Leeb if he would be willing to come and perform in Rochester and/or present a masterclass to the club. We are ironing out the details now so watch the club website for future news on that!

Chuck Dye was unsure what to play when he first got to the meeting. On the sign in sheet he put simply; “Something related to Jim Hall.” He did explain what he was going to play and even the title, but unfortunately, I was not able to write it down and it has since escaped my memory. I can tell you that it was a moderate tempo jazz piece, played with a very mid-rich tone that emanated from his seven-string Eastman archtop guitar.

Chuck’s clarification: The name of the song is “I Should Care” and what I was doing was trying
to play Jim Hall’s arrangement from his 1972 album (Milestone) called “Where Would I Be?”
I actually played two tunes. The second one was the old standard tune “Tenderly.” —just my arrangement of that.

Paul Schickling had been preparing a Halloween themed piece for October’s meeting but didn’t feel he was ready to play it when that meeting took place. He finally played “The Old Castle” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition,” citing that a holiday theme had been suggested, but which holiday was never specified. Paul also pointed out that he had invited a couple of friends from work to enjoy the music with us. They seemed to enjoy the evening as much, if not more, than some of the players.

Jerry Carter continued the string of holiday themed performances by playing a medley containing selections from “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “We Three Kings,” “What Child Is This,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “Deck The Halls,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Jerry said that he loves to play these songs but that he can only get away with playing them once a year.

Kinloch Nelson played a very musically complex and interesting medley of Christmas tunes based on a central theme of “The Little Drummer Boy.” Afterwards, some of the attendees had some questions about the guitar he was playing; a very tattered and worn Takamine classical guitar, strung up with steel strings. It had electronics missing where they once had been, as well as new electronics where there were none before. The general consensus was that it had a lot of character, and regardless of how it looked that it sure sounded great in his hands!

Von Martt played his own arrangement of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.” In casual conversation prior to his performance, he told me that he was particularly fond of Edward Gerhard’s arrangement. Von’s was a take on Gerhard’s, but arranged for standard tuning. He finished up his slot with a quick two-bar snippet of “Deck the Halls” to appease the festive folks who gave him a playful razz for not choosing a Christmas tune to play.

Bernie Lehmann, true to form, performed two short songs on one of his masterfully crafted hand-built guitars. Making a bold statement, he played a Lehmann parlor guitar (a small bodied style of guitar not typically known for its volume or projection) without amplification of any kind and still managed to fill the room with sound.

After everyone had completed their chosen selections, we were left with some extra time for the scheduled part of the meeting. So we opened up the stage to anyone who wanted to play another tune for the group as a whole. Chuck, Jerry and Kinloch all performed another song and we were still left with extra time. At that point, we called the formal meeting closed and proceeded to start the “after-hours-jam-session.” Unfortunately I was unable to stay for too long after the meeting ended, but if the past few months jams have been any indication, then a great deal of fun was had by all who attended; whether they participated or just listened.

—Mark Grover

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