Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account

Thread September 26, 2015 editorial: comments

  • 8 replies
  • 6 participants
  • 1,099 views
  • 6 followers
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
First post
1 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 10:00:05

Never Say Never

I had the good fortune to see two memorable concerts in the last week or so, both featuring amazing musicians. First, it was the Earls of Leicester, which is the band formed by Dobro great Jerry Douglas as a tribute to the legendary bluegrass duo of Flatt and Scruggs. I was at the show with my wife, who is not a bluegrass fan, and even she was blown away by the musicianship. It wasn’t just Douglas — although he was his usual virtuoso self — every single one of the band members was a world-class player.

Then, this past Thursday, I saw acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel perform, and once again, I was astounded. I’d heard him on recordings, and I expected him to be good, but live he was at an even higher level. He has unbelievable chops, both finger style and with a pick, and an equally impressive knowledge of the fretboard.

When you’re a musician and you see such overwhelming talent, there are a couple of different ways you can react. Some people get so overwhelmed by the abilities of the performers that it makes them feel inadequate as players, and they leave the concert depressed. Others, get inspired, and want to run home after the show and start playing.

Fortunately for me, I fall in the latter category. I consider it a learning experience to watch such masters in action. As someone who plays both Dobro and guitar, it would have been easy to be intimidated watching musical wizards like Douglas and Emmanuel, but I think it’s always better to look at it from a positive perspective. Try to emulate some of what you saw at the show and integrate it into your playing, rather than brooding about how you’ll never get there. Never say never!

Although I would have liked to have spent the entire week watching concerts, I was also busy editing Audiofanzine’s latest video, “Inside the Gibson Guitar Factory,” which we posted on the site a few days ago. Over the summer, we were given the opportunity to tour the Gibson factory in Nashville, TN to shoot video of how they make solidbody electric guitars. The process was much more hands-on and less automated than I expected. It was a fascinating to see the progression that started with piles of lumber and finished with gleaming new Les Pauls and SGs. Even if you’re not a guitar player, I think you’ll really enjoy the video.

claytonian@sbcglobal.net

claytonian@sbcglobal.net

11 posts
New AFfiliate
2 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 13:34:28
Love both those guys, Jerry Douglass and Tommy... I've had much the same kind of week here in Paradise seeing some spectacular Nashville studio players unite into the group "Mountain Heart" at the Sierra Nevada Big Room where they blew the roof off the place in their first California concert. Then a small intimate home salon concert with Jenna Mammina and her foil Rolf Sturm on acoustic guitar playing their arrangements of some old classic crooner songs and also some original material. I'm a music professional and recording engineer who's been immersed in it since I was quite young. These acts were both new to me and I'm delighted to say the young-ins are out there getting it done... We have much to look forward to...
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
3 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 15:21:58
Quote:
I've had much the same kind of week here in Paradise seeing some spectacular Nashville studio players unite into the group "Mountain Heart" at the Sierra Nevada Big Room where they blew the roof off the place in their first California concert.

Cool. I haven't heard Mountain Heart, but I'll look for them.
Quote:
These acts were both new to me and I'm delighted to say the young-ins are out there getting it done... We have much to look forward to...

Definitely!
NYCGRIFF

NYCGRIFF

43 posts
New AFfiliate
4 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 15:57:39
Hmmnn... As a "Jazz" pianist/composer, I have rarely (at least until very recently) ventured outside of my "comfort zone" (musically speaking). Even though I've (occasionally) listened to Flatt & Scruggs at various points over the years, I'm not at all familiar with the other musicians you referenced. I 'will' say one thing however, after watching Jerry Douglas perform solo on a Youtube video, I can hear and see where you're coming from. Musically gifted, talented. etc.; all of those accolades fit Jerry and the Dobro group to a (well-deserved) tea. Thanks for "pulling my coat". As Miles Davis (I think) once said, "It ain't all about just one kind of music, man!"

All of that prattle being said, Mike. It was your comments about (paraphrasing here) listening to another artist playing 'your' instrument with such a high level of expertise, that really piqued my interest. To make a long story short, I was playing piano (between regular sets) at a relatively known, but "less-frequented" club in NYC back in the late'80's, when in walked Billy Taylor and another member of his trio (they were not on the card). They performed an impromptu session of Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight. Suffice it to say, I was blown away -- completely! (Especially, by Taylor's complete mastery of improvisational chords). A thing of absolute beauty... It is well known that the great "Jazz" pianist, Oscar Peterson, was so intimidated by a record he had listened to by the immortal "Jazz" pianist, Art Tatum, became so disillusioned about his own playing, he refused to play the piano (at all) for several weeks. But, like yourself, I went back to my "crib" and 'attacked' my Steinway like a man possessed! Lesson learned? "Simply, absorb and apply". And, screw the tin-eared neighbors! <lol>

[ Post last edited on 09/26/2015 at 16:32:48 ]

Eric Levin

Eric Levin

10 posts
New AFfiliate
5 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 17:55:32
Great point, Mike. So easy to feel overwhelmed and underequipped. Same with me reading great nonfiction. But to turn this feeling into fuel, to see what you can learn, what you can digest and interpret and make your own, that, as you said, is the road out of the dumps.
John Kelly

John Kelly

7 posts
New AFfiliate
6 Posted on 09/26/2015 at 21:37:02
I enjoyed reading your comments about performers whose live playing
is awe inspiring. Like yourself, I'm inspired to play more after hearing these
virtuosos!
Thanks for your articles. Always a good read and thought-provoking.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
7 Posted on 09/28/2015 at 11:28:19
Quote:
Great point, Mike. So easy to feel overwhelmed and underequipped. Same with me reading great nonfiction. But to turn this feeling into fuel, to see what you can learn, what you can digest and interpret and make your own, that, as you said, is the road out of the dumps.

Very well put!
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
8 Posted on 09/28/2015 at 11:29:13
Quote:
Thanks for your articles. Always a good read and thought-provoking.

Thanks, John, I appreciate that!
Psycom

Psycom

87 posts
Honorific member
9 Posted on 09/30/2015 at 09:23:08

Quote from: Mike Levine

(...) get inspired, and want to run home after the show and start playing.

I like your philosophy Mike ! :) 

 

cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.