Saturday, September 14, 2013

Clayville Fall Festival / upcoming events / John Stinson's No. 2 in DAD-for-dulcimer / some thoughts on community

Hi everybody --

One of the best things we do in the dulcimer community in this part of Illinois is coming up next weekend. It's the Clayville Fall Festival, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Clayville Historic Site on Ill. 125 at Pleasant Plains. We hope to have people there both days playing and spreading the word about the Prairieland Strings and the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music jam sessions. If you can come, please let me know, and I'll try to coordinate a rough schedule. Or just come on out and plop down under a tree whenever you find us!

In addition to music, the festival will feature artisans, craftspeople and artists, re-enactors, kids' activities, and brats, burgers and sodas sold by civic groups in Pleasant Plains. It's a nice village festival, and it's getting more and more like the old festivals at Clayville during Sandman State University days. More details at ...

A couple of other things coming up:

-- Our "third Thursday" session of the Prairieland Strings is from 7 to 9 p.m. this coming Thursday, Sept. 19, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson in Springfield. I'll send out more details directly.

-- Deanna and Pete Langheim will play for the mature mob show called "Road Show USA" Sept. 20, at 6 p.m., Sept. 21, at 1 p.m., and Sept. 22 at 1:00 p.m. At the Sacred Heart Griffin Theater, 1200 W. Washington St., Springfield. Admission is $15, and proceeds go to the Senior Center of Illinois.

-- No firm dates yet, but my presentation "Swing Low: Dwight Moody, an Original Crossover Music Artist" has been accepted for the 2013-2014 roster of the Illinois Humanities Council's Road Scholars speakers bureau. It's about spirituals, folk hymns and the beginnings of gospel music. Details at ...


With an eye to the autumn fair and festival season now upon us, we've made an effort to get more fun, lively tunes that are easy to pick up at jam sessions into our repertory (or nudge them back into it if we haven't been playing them much lately). Here's a couple you can find sheet music for on line at ...

-- "Walking in the Parlor". -- trad. Appalachian --

-- "Nutfactory Shuffle". -- by Gil Anderson --

-- "John Stinson's No. 2". -- trad. Irish, reinvented as a mountain dulcimer jam tune in DAD! --

I'll copy this email message to my blog Hogfiddle at and put in hypertext links to background.


Like other people who write and do public relations for a living, I've been known to throw around words like "community" without giving it much thought. But now and then comes a reminder there *is* a community of people who choose to make their own music on folk instruments hardly anybody else has ever heard of, and it's a nationwide community, no less.

The other day I got an email message from Nancy G. of Flat Mountain Dulcimers in eastern North Carolina, who said she was "shocked and honored" I had linked their version of "John Stinson's No. 2" to Hogfiddle a couple of years ago. Then she added, "I scrolled to the bottom of the blog to see who had written it. When I saw [the byline] 'Pete', I realized that I know who you are from attending workshops at WCU [Wesstern Carolina University]."

Which got me to thinking ...

I first heard "John Stinson's" in a jam session at Western Carolina, where I learned it from members of a dulcimer club out of Georgia -- either Macon or the North Georgia foothills, I forget which -- and some of my very best moments playing the dulcimer have been in jam sessions at Western, the annual "Dulcimerville" workshops in Black Mountain, the Indiana Dulcimer Festival, Gateway and Mike Anderson's winter weekend in Chillicothe, Ill. I even sat in once with a dulcimer club from Crossville, Tenn., when I pulled off at a rest area on Interstate 40 between Knoxville and Nashville on the Fourth of July weekend.

If that's not being part of a far-flung community, I don't know what it is!

So here's a link to the the Flat Mountain Dulcimers of Kinston, N.C., playing "John Stinson's No. 2" ...

No comments: