Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eureka, MO Festival & Tuesday's Jam Session

The Chris Talley Trio played Friday night in Eureka, MO for the Annual MABC Spring Bluegrass Festival. I love this festival! The Bluegrass Shack had instruments and accessories set up in the vendor room, so I got to talk to and meet lots of people. We even had some great jamming in there! We sold some instruments, bought some instruments, and traded some instruments. We now have a "new" vintage Martin guitar, Fender solid F style mandolin and case, vintage blond Gibson A style mandolin, grafted scroll violin, and German 1900's violin.

Last night, we had our open jam session. Folks started arriving at 6:00 p.m. even though the jam doesn't officially start until 7:30 p.m. Bob and Lori drove in from Iowa to look and fiddles and do some jamming. We also had a Kansas truck driver stop by to play some banjo with us. He checks for local jam sessions when he's on the road, and he saw our jam listing and came by. Many of the locals were here, plus some folks from St. Jacob, IL, Hillsboro, MO, Ellis Grove, IL, Carbondale, IL and more!

We were so busy that I never got to jam with everyone. This is the first time I was so busy that I didn't get in on the jam session. I ended up straightening a warped bass bridge, fitting the bridge, and changing the strings on a beautiful vintage Kay bass. It looks just like mine! Roberto is from Brazil and he brought the bass in for me to work on. We had it up and playing by the middle of the jam. Polly from Hillsboro came by to purchase a nice 3/4 size fiddle for her grandson Mateo who is a fantastic little musician. I spent at least an hour with the folks from Iowa checking out our wall of fiddles. Several folks were busy talking mandolins with Roger from Red Bud.

In the end, the only "jamming" I did was on my flute with Chelsea after most everyone left. Chelsea is a good clarinet player, so we sight-read Himie Voxman duets for an hour or so.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow! I've been so busy I haven't been able to post.

We had our busiest Saturday ever this weekend (other than a special occasion). I met a lot of new folks from far and near. We had several folks come from Jefferson City & St. Louis, Missouri, and also from Lincoln, Illinois. A few of the locals came in, too. It's always a lot of fun talking to everyone, and especially fun when a jam session breaks out.

Our newest vendor is Hal Leonard. We had previously been ordering all our books and music from Mel Bay, but now we are able to get more! I still love Mel Bay, but having Hal Leonard is like the icing on the cake. HL has quite a few different publishers that they carry, including urtext music editions for classical music, Home Spun, Rubank, the Earl Scruggs book, and much more. We're working on getting a bunch of bluegrass CDs in here, too.

I spent the latter part of last week working on a German Siedel violin from the early 1900's. Someone had (unfortunately) refinished it -- and did a bad job of it! I had to strip it, which I spent a few days doing last month, and refinish it. The varnish is drying on it now. It is dry to the touch, but I can't rub it out yet. It has some really beautiful wood in it.

We will be going to Eureka, Missouri this weekend for the MABC bluegrass festival. It's such a great festival! We will be set up in the vendor's room, so we'll get a chance to talk to LOTS of people. I really enjoy that. The Chris Talley Trio will be playing Friday night at 7:00 p.m. I imagine Earl and I will jam Saturday night. We were there in January and jammed until 3:30 a.m. Saturday night! If you're looking for a great festival, you should come.