Monday, September 02, 2013

"Nutfactory Shuffle," a cool jam tune to inspire us for Prairieland Strings and the New Salem trad music festival

Blast email sent to Prairieland Strings and Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music lists a couple of minutes ago ...

Hi everybody --

A reminder -- we have two events this week: Our regular "first Tuesday" session of the Prairieland Strings dulcimer club and the Traditional Music Festival all day Saturday in the historic village at New Salem. Instead of holding our Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music teaching-and-learning jam Saturday in the barn at Clayville, we're encouraging all our Clayville folks to join us at New Salem. Here are the 4-W's on both:

-- Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7-9 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield. Prairieland Strings "First Tuesday." We'll look at more Christmas music, and easy, fun tunes we can play at New Salem.

-- Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, off Ill. 97, Petersburg. Traditional music festival.

And Deanna and Pete Langheim will play in a benefit show for the Senior Center of Illinois at Sacred Heart Griffin at the end of the month. Details below.


At Tuesday's meeting, I plan to bring an old-fashioned boom box and play Jean Ritchie's "Aunt Rhodie R.I.P.," a sort of a virtuoso requiem for a gray goose that incorporates a little bit of everything from "Jesus Loves Me" to the fourth movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, to inspire us all. And we'll choose a Christmas ensemble from Steve Eulberg's collection "Deck the Halls" for our annual Advent performance. So check out Steve's website at

But mostly we'll focus on getting ready for New Salem by identifying fun tunes that are easy to play. To help us get in the mood, I'm sending around a link to a video clip of one we haven't played too much lately. It's "Nutfactory Shuffle" by Gil Anderson, and we don't want it do drop out of our repertory! Here's the video, uploaded by YouTube user Dustin Mathieu ...

"Nutfactory Shuffle" dates from the early 1980s, and it's become a great favorite at dulcimer jams all over. Sue Carpenter tells the story on her website at

"Gil built dulcimers and sold his instruments at craft fairs. At one of those fairs at a mall, Gil’s booth was in front of the Nut Factory. Few people paid him much attention, being more concerned with designer labels than with traditional instruments, so he took out his dulcimer, and as he played, he came up with this piece. Not sure just what to call it, he had a stroke of genius as he watched people shuffling out of the Nut Factory across the way, popping peanuts and cashews in their mouths; he decided to dedicate it to all those shoppers who rush about their business with no heed for the pleasures and beauty of dulcimer music."

Get her tab, listen to a MIDI file, download a instruction sheet with "Tips for Playing and Smoothing Out Your Strums" or do all three from Carpenter's directory at


Since our first-Saturday monthly learning jam session at Clayville conflicts with the New Salem Traditional Music Festival this year on Saturday, Sept. 7, we're especially inviting the Clayville folks to join the Prairieland Strings at New Salem. It lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we'll gather somewhere at the lower end of the historic village between the Lukas-Ferguson house and Dr. Allen's. Here's the Illinois Times blurb on the festival (which also includes a Friday night concert):


Deanna Langheim announces she and Pete will play the song "Illinois" 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. Admission is $15.00 at door and proceeds go to the Senior Center of Illinois.

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