Monday, October 17, 2011

I unpacked the old Kasuga Tenor Banjo . . .

John Mollet, our senior pastor here at FUMC-Grapevine, gave me a Bela Fleck and Flecktones CD yesterday. He saw Bela and friends in concert this past weekend.

Seriously, what is there not to like about John!!!!

What ever style music Bela and the band plays, bluegrass-fusion-jazz . . . it's just awesome. The Flecktones are an incredible band. Each musician is as skilled on their instruments as Bela is on the banjo.

Now I am inspired!!!!

Mercy, when I have said that before, it always tends to cost me money.

So, I dug around my office here at the church and pulled out my old Kasuga 4-string tenor banjo. Needs a little bit of neck work, and I need to spring for new tuners.

Truth is, I haven't played my banjo here at FUMC-Grapevine, ever if I recall. I used to play this a lot back in the 1990's when I was the senior associate at FUMC-Waco. Played it every Sunday as a matter of fact. Moved to Godley, and then to Hewitt, and started playing more guitar.

A tenor banjo, at least the way I play it (Chicago style tuning / D-G-B-E) the strings are tuned to the bottom four strings of a guitar. Same with the bariton ukulele.

So, I am pretty much fingering guitar chords on all the instruments I play. Does tend to make things easier.

Guess I am going to take the old Kasuga over to Bill White at Grapevine Guitar Works for a once over.

The story . . . will continue . . . somehow, somewhere.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thank you Joshua Ingram . . .

I had the honor of taking friend and fellow singer/songwriter/guitarist Joshua Ingram to lunch today, accompanied by his beautiful little 3 year old daughter.

Yep folks, if you know or have known Josh . . . he is an accomplished singer, guitarist and band leader, in addition to be being a pretty good dad!

The occasion of our lunch today was that I wanted to thank Josh for something. Several years ago, it was Josh who came by my office at the church and told me about the Theraputic Music Entertainment apprenticeship that Hugworks was starting up.

Having just completed the apprenticeship, and received my certification as a theraputic music entertainer, I thought an appropriate thank you to Josh was in order.

In other words . . . chicken fried steak at Old West Cafe here in Grapevine!!!

For more info on Josh's upcoming performance schedule, click here.>

He is a very good local home grown talent. He has an incredible number of songs memorized, and his vocals and guitar playing just get better and better.

Thanks again, Josh!

God's grace still amazes me . . .

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back to Philmont in 2012

This past Thursday, I received the official invite to return to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Northeast New Mexico as the chaplain for the Fall Training Event at the Philmont Training Center in September, 2012.

Outstanding! I will be looking forward to this all year!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grapevine Guitar Works to carry Takamine . . .

I got a message from Sean Simon at Grapevine Guitar Works, that Takamine acoustic guitars will be in the showroom soon!

Advertised as the "Hardest working guitar" in showbiz, it will be a welcome addition to the Cordoba, Ramirez, Eastman and Taylor lines that Sean already has in stock.

Yamaha acoustics may also be in the works soon. More on that later.

My sincerest thanks to Sean's support of my theraputic music entertainment ministry. He has helped open some doors along the way. I am extremely grateful for his help, counsel and friendship.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A man and his guitar . . .

Here is a Baxter Black video of a poem he wrote about his Martin Guitar. I think it is a J-40.

Pretty good!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

TME certification presentation . . .

Yesterday in worship at the First United Methodist Church of Grapevine, TX . . . Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill, our special musical guests from Hugworks.org, presented me with a certificate signifying the completion of my theraputic music entertainment apprenticeship.

As of yesterday, I am an official "certified" theraputic music entertainer.

I appreciate the work that Jim and Paul put in to helping me through the process. Both have become cherished friends and fellow music makers.

Another great day!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Philmont Report . . .

Well, we are back from Philmont and vacation. Awesome weather. Awesome country. I understand now why North East New Mexico is called "God's Country."

My Philmont Experience was a great success, if I say so myself. I played guitar, sang, and gave the message at 3 chapel services, 2 of which were at 6:30 AM. Yes, my friends, there is nothing like a chapel service facing the New Mexico sunrise with elk bugling out in the distance!

I also played guitar and sang at two evening sing-a-longs. It is hard to play guitar and sing when homemade dutch-oven cobblers are cooking on coals less than 20 feet away!

I also provided a bit of a back porch concert with the help of several other BSA execs, as they hosted several reps from various corporate groups who were at Philmont to explore future partnerships with BSA.

The highlight for me, was getting to sing 4 songs at the closing program on Friday night, outside in the Philmont Training Center Program Bowl ampitheater, in the 40's temperature wise. Frank Riegleman, friend and BSA executive played with me on two of the songs. I later sang "Bullfrogs and Butterflys" and "Friends of the Family" as solos. I left my first major regional music performance with the opinion that I could not have done much better. It was in exhilirating feeling.

I hope to return to Philmont in the summer of 2013 as a chaplain during the summer. That's a ways off, but we will see. I need to start now with planning if it will happen at all.

As far as guitars, I took both the Guild jumbo's, but relied mostly on the F50R 6 string, mostly because we were playing in the cold of the morning or evening. I was able to get it just a few days before leaving, thanks to the help (once again!) of Sean Simon at Grapevine Guitar Works. It is a workhorse, and I fell in deep love with it. Guild's are good "money" guitars. And they stand up to adverse conditions I would not put other guitars through.

Just an awesome experience.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>