"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Monday, April 30, 2012

One of the reasons I sing . . .

I had  a meeting this morning with Jim Newton of Hugworks, and Eston Williams, a fellows UMC pastor.  The topic was a new method of ministry to senior adults called "Saging."   The concept is based on the book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller

Part of our discussion was about a YouTube video clip from the movie, Alive Inside. 

Here is the video.  This is one of  the main reasons I think I sing.   What is interesting in all of this is that I took a break from singing over 10 weeks ago, to work on some Lent/Easter related programming here at the church, and to think some things through.

Today was the "first day" of my return to singing as part of my ministry, and in that day, I have a great meeting about singing in nursing homes, and then Eston shares that I need to see the video below.

This is one of the main reasons that I sing, not for profit, but for others.

Enjoy . . . and it you can keep from crying, I guess you are stronger than I am.

God's grace, and music, still amaze me . . . ><>

http://youtu.be/NKDXuCE7LeQ

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I start singing again in May!

Yep, I have things pretty  much finalized.  I will be providing therapeutic music entertainment (aka. concerts") at 3 area nursing homes (1st, 2nd and 3rd Mondays), and also singing for children in hospitals a couple of times a month on Wednesday mornings.  I will sing in Ft. Worth on the occasional Friday.  Some solo, some with the guys from Hugworks, or with guys from our church guitar group.

My initial 6 week break during Lent ended up lasting about 10 weeks . . . all good. I am ready to get back into singing, playing guitar, and using music to help heal people's hearts, souls, lives and relationships.

Truth be told . . . I missed singing.  But then you knew that.

Thank you to all who have been encouraging me and asking when I would be singing again.  I would more than anything appreciate your prayers, as my work at the church has to come first, although singing in the nursing homes is actually part of my church ministry. 

On May 3rd, I am singing for the 3rd graders at a school in Grapevine, TX during a Career Day event.  That night I am singing for a bunch of retired former Boy Scout Executives at their annual gathering.

Should be fun . . . better change the strings on the guitars, get a new amp cord and get new songs memorized.  

Guess I am back in the saddle again???

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

Roger McGuinn's Folk Den

Just found Roger McGuinn's folk music site here.  I wasn't aware, which in and of itself is nothing new, that Roger was involved in this kind of project . . . but much to my personal delight he is!

There are several other Folk Den pages related to this site, and I believe they are clearly linked.

Roger has done a 4 CD set of 100 folk songs, and I am going to give that a good look.

God's grace, and a good folk song, still amaze me . . . ><>

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sinker Redwood

The woods being used today to make guitars . . . fascinating, just fascinating.

If you want a very mellow, well blending sound with full body, then check out what Taylor Guitar is doing with their use of "Sinker Redwood."

My Guild Jumbo's are spruce and rosewood.  Both are canons!

My Martin is a spruce top with mahogany back and sides.  When you play it and hear it, you know it is a Martin.

My Taylor NS-74 nylon string is Western Red Cedar and rosewood.   Ohhhhh, so warm and mellow.

Sinker Redwood, however, has gotten my attention.   I am going to learn more about it . . . and perhaps one day in the future, make the move to get a guitar with this wonderful wood.

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

New singing schedule

Some have recently asked about my return to a regular schedule of singing.

Beginning in May, it looks like I will again be singing at several area nursing homes on the 1st and 3rd Mondays.

And it looks like, as my schedule permits, I will be singing again with the Hugworks guys (Jim Newton, Paul Hill and Larry Dykstra) at several area children's hospitals on some Wednesdays and/or Fridays.

I will also be accepting a few other singing opportunities in the community, as well as with the Boy Scouts and other civic groups.  Again, as my schedule allows.

It's all about balance.  But I'm not balanced in mind, heart or soul unless I'm doing some singing and guitar playing.

God's grace, and making a joyful noise, still amaze me . . . ><>

Taylor Road Show at Grapevine Guitar Works

Although I did not get to attend, I was able to spend the afternoon over at the Grapevine Guitar Works showroom helping Sean and guys set up for the Road Show, and getting to visit again with our area Taylor Rep, J.R., and with Cory from the Road Show staff.

Awesome people.  Hard working, and man do they know their stuff!

I got to play one of the most awesome Taylor 6 strings, a GS Custom BTO (one-of-a-kind) full bodied with s sinker redwood top and mahogany back and sides.

Mercy . . . what a guitar!

Just the most incredible Taylor I have ever played, and truly, the only 6 string Taylor I would have purchased if I had the money.

Seriously . . . just a fantastic guitar.  My favorite Taylor steel string is the 8-string baritone . . . if that gives you a clue about how great this guitar was.

And here is the kicker ... I was playing the guitar outside on the patio, unplugged!!  I thought redwood was not supposed to be as loud or as full as spruce.  However, this guitar projected which was no doubt due to the mahogany back and sides.

Mercy . . . I enjoyed playing that guitar.

Is it me, or are there a lot of great guitars out and about these days?

God's grace and a good guitar still amaze me . . . ><>

Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP . . . Levon Helm

Another of my music "favorites" is no longer with us.

Levon's website announced his passing today, April 19, 2012.

Seem's a lot of my old "favorites" are not around any more.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prayers for Levon Helm . . .

I just saw that Levon Helm is in the last stages of his long battle with cancer. On his web site, his daughter and wife have asked for prayers.

Damned fine singer . . . good drummer. One of the founder's of The Band. He is forever the voice of the song, The Weight.

Levon will be missed.

Have a safe journey, brother. The music is going to be great on the other side!

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pure unadulterated lust . . .

I saw her . . .

I played her . . .

And she stole my heart . . .

And now I long to bring her home . . .

Her picture is here.

She is a Gibson J-45 Custom.

If you want to donate to my guitar getting fund, let me know. At least promise you will pray for me. Lust, lust, lust, lust.

God's grace is enough . . . it still amazes me . . . ><>

What's in a name?

For only the 3rd time in the past 6 years of this blog, I am changing the name . . . well, for a while at least.

The first name was "Maker of a Joyful Noise."

Then, "Rick Mang Music (RM2)."

And now . . . "Rick's Songbag!"

Why the change?

Well, I just ordered a copy of Carl Sandburg's book, The American Songbag. Not only was Sandburg a great poet, but he was also a noted collector and performer of American folk music, compiling in his life the words and music to 290 songs sung by Americans over many years.

I am starting to compile my own list of folk songs and such, as I work up a music set of "family friendly " songs for some future local singing engagements I hope to take part in. So, I thought I would document some of my research here . . . thus the name to "Rick's Songbag!"

I know, I know, you wish you would have thought of it first, no??

All kidding aside, this past year of grieving the loss of my co-worker and friend, Ken Diehm, has taught me a lot about myself, especially the things I hold as being important. A fruit of this journey has been how easy it has become for me to say "NO!" to all the things that aren't important to me, things that take away my precious time.

A painful journey, but a good journey, one that I am glad I put the effort into.

So, I am becoming more focused again on my ministry at FUMC-Grapevine. I am going to resume singing at 3 area nursing homes again in the next month. I will continue to provide Therapeutic Music Entertainment as a volunteer at Hugworks, singing to children in area hospitals as my schedule allows. I will post those dates and locations on the blog.

And, I am going to develop my own personal list/set/catalog of my favorite "family friendly" songs, and continue to help children, youth and adults learn to sing together.

Time to put some more songs into my songbag!

God's grace, and the power of songs, still amaze me . . . ><>


Friday, April 6, 2012

R.I.P. Mr. Earl Scruggs

Peter Cooper's tribute to the late Earl Scruggs can be found here.

Bill Monroe was "Mr. Monroe."

Johnny Cash was "Cash."

Earl Scruggs was just "Earl."

We will miss you. I know I will.

God's grace and the memory of Earl Scruggs will always amaze me . . . ><>

Gibson Acoustics at Grapevine Guitar Works . . .

Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works got his first order of Gibson Acoustics in, and they are not priced and on display. I got to play a J-200 Standard that I now need to compare to my Guild F50R.

Song Writer Studio models, some J-45 Southern Jumbo's, and a J-185 . . . about 10 guitars on display right now.

God's grace and guitars still amaze me . . . ><>