Monday, August 31, 2009

Band Schedule for Dubois

Don't forget to mark your calendars if you haven't yet! The Dubois Bluegrass & Fall Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd & 4th, 2009. Here is the band schedule so you can make sure you don't miss your favorite band! Also, please join us for the gospel sing on Sunday. You can bring your instruments and play along, sing along, or just sit and listen.

I've posted the flyer once again at the bottom of this entry in case you want to print one. Just click on it to make it bigger so you can read it.

We hope to see you at Dubois this year!

Saturday, October 3, 2009
1:00-2:00 Beaucoup Creek (Chelsea's band!)
2:00-3:00 Over the Hill Gang Reunion
3:00-3:15 John Dennis (Winner of Freeburg Talent Contest 2009)
3:15-3:30 Charlie & the Girls
3:30-4:30 The Chris Talley Trio
4:30-5:30 Fiddle Fest & More Talent Showcase
5:30-6:00 The Pickin’ Chicks
6:00-7:00 Over the Hill Gang Reunion

Sunday, October 4, 2009
1:00-2:00 Venedy Concert Band (next to the main stage)
2:30-3:25 Gospel Sing Along (bring your instrument & voice to share!)
3:45-5:00 The Chris Talley Trio

Sunday, August 30, 2009

All Kinds of Winners!

A number of Bluegrass Shack students have been entering the various contests that are put on this time of year at the State and County fairs. I want to say congratulations to the winners that I currently know of!

Illinois State Fair (Springfield, IL)
Millie won 1st place in the 16 & Under Junior Fiddle Division
Colton won 3rd place in the 16 & Under Junior Fiddle Division

St. Clair County Fair (Belleville, IL)
Nikki won 1st Place in the 13 & Under Junior Talent Division
She will be representing St. Clair County in Springfield in January

DuQuoin Fair
Millie won 1st place in the Youngest Junior Talent Division
Nikki won 2nd place in the Older Junior Talent Division

If you know of any other winners, let me know! If I get a chance, I'll post some pictures and/or videos.

Gemeinhardt J1 Model Flute

This is certainly not bluegrass, but I am looking for information. I bought an old Gemeinhardt flute today at the flea market and cannot find much information on it at all. I've been to Gemeinhardt's website and also done several different types of searches on the internet. The only thing I came up with is a YouTube video of someone playing and showing a picture of this model of flute. (It is identical to the one I have.) Gemeinhardt's website states that they lost some of the historical information, and there is nothing on there.

First of all, the model of the flute is J1. (This is only a mouthpiece model currently, and there is no mention on Gemeinhardt's website that an entire flute was a model J1.) Secondly, the flute looks different than the standard flute. It is a regular C flute, but there are finger "circles" or disks that are part of the keys where a player puts their fingers. I have never seen this on a flute. Yes - on a piccolo, but not on a standard C flute. It also has a very strange looking G# (Ab) key. It is longer than normal and curvier. The C & C# keys on the foot joint are also somewhat longer and slightly curved. The main joint of the flute says:

(serial # here)

It is silverplated with virtually no pitting or wear at all to the plating. No dents. Here's a picture:

I am hoping that someone who knows something will tell me!!!! Maybe someone else out there is better at getting information than I am. I also posted on a flute forum, so maybe between these two postings I'll come up with something.

Thanks for reading if you got this far!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Band Instrument Listing

Hi Everyone! I know it's that time of year again. Beginning bands are starting all over the place, and kids need instruments. At The Bluegrass Shack, we don't rent instruments because we feel it's not in the customer's best interest. Especially if your kid ends up dropping out of band. You paid all that money, and now you don't have anything to show for it. Wouldn't you at least like to sell your instrument to recoup a little of what you spent??? If you own it, you can! And if you purchased a used band instrument from The Bluegrass Shack, you will have paid a fraction of the cost, you will have a guaranteed instrument, and on-site repair!

I have made up a listing of our current band instruments for sale. There are a few new, but mostly used instruments in this listing. Please note, we also have a couple of snare drums, both new and used for sale, starting at $50.00. These are not on the list.

If you would like to mail order, please give us a call or e-mail us so we can check on availability of the instrument you are interested in.

To enlarge the pages of the listing, just click. Then you can actually read it and print it, if desired.

John Dennis to Appear at Dubois!

If you heard John Dennis' winning performance at the Freeburg Homecoming Talent Contest, then you are probably wanting more! If you didn't, now is your chance! I am very pleased to annouce that John will be performing on Saturday, October 4, at the Dubois Bluegrass & Fall Festival. There will be many other great bands and performers, so don't miss out! I have posted the flyer below. To enlarge it so you can read it or print it, just click on it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Freeburg Talent Contest Winners!

The Musical Talent Contest was indeed a success today at City Park in Freeburg. There were nine contestants present that were pre-selected for the contest after filling out an entry form and submitting a CD. The talent was awesome! We had people singing and playing everything from hammer dulcimer to harmonica.

The first place winner was John Dennis of Freeburg. He was incredible. John is just 17 years old, but his guitar playing and singing was outstanding. Second place winner was Rachel Neel of Hillsboro, MO. Rachel played fiddle and hammer dulcimer (but not at the same time!). Nice job, Rachel! Third place winner was a bluegrass band from Ellis Grove -- Charlie & the Girls. The band consists of Charlie Hall on guitar, his sisters Emily and Rosemary on mandolin, fiddle, and banjo, and his mother on bass. They did a great job as well! Congratulations to all!!!

If anyone has pictures, please send them to me and I will post them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lots of New Books

We now have County Sales and Oak Publishing through Hal Leonard. A very large, new order arrived today. Come by and take a look at the new titles for ALL instruments, including harmonica, bass, guitar, banjo, dobro, singing, songbooks, DVDs, mandolin and more!

Freeburg Homecoming Saturday, August 15, 2009

We hope you'll come join us for the Freeburg Homecoming on Saturday, August 15, 2009. We will kick things off with a Musical Talent Contest under one of the pavillions from 11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded immediately following the contest. From 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., The Chris Talley Trio will be playing under the same pavillion. Right in the middle of all of this, we will host a Fiddler's Frolic from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Come and hear local fiddlers of all ages. In fact, join us for the frolic if you play fiddle! Hope to see you there!

We're in the Springfield, IL Newspaper!

With the Springfield (Illinois State) Fair Fiddle & Banjo Contest taking place this weekend, the Springfield State Journal-Register decided to do a story. The best part? The Bluegrass Shack, yours truly (Chris), and student Amelia (aka Millie) are all part of the story! Click here to view!

Bass Dulcimer

One of the things that I really love about working here is seeing all the interesting instruments that everyone has. Chris and Deb visited us last week and brought a bass dulcimer with them. I didn't know such an instrument existed! This particular bass dulcimer is very special. It is made from American Chestnut (which is a practically extinct tree now due to a tree disease that killed most of them). This wood came from a barn built in 1885. I love how the knot holes are used as soundholes! You can even see two wooden plugs on the front of the instrument where nail holes were. Bob Taunton (Sweet Fern Music - Tallassee, Alabama) makes these dulcimers. It uses Fender short scale bass strings. This is truly a unique instrument! Take a look at the pictures. It really sounds like a bass, too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Introducing THREE New Teachers!!!

The Bluegrass Shack is happy to announce the start of three new teachers next week! All three teachers are multi-instrumentalists and also play in bluegrass/gospel bands.

Jim Herzing is from Mount Vernon, Illinois and will be teaching flattop and rhythm guitar on Monday afternoons and evenings. Jim has been teaching from his home, so making this transition to our shop is a real treat for us! I have known Jim and his family for many years, and I very happy to have him join us.

Emily and Charlie Hall are from Ellis Grove, Illinois and will be teaching several instruments each. They are younger teachers, and are members of the band Charlie & the Girls. Emily plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and upright bass. Charlie plays guitar, fiddle, dobro and upright bass. Charlie and Emily will be teaching on Thursday afternoons and evenings. I have known Charlie and Emily (and their family) for several years now, and we are very happy to have these two talented teachers joining us at The Bluegrass Shack!

If you are interested in taking lessons, please give us a call at 618-475-3678! We have afternoon and evening slots available with all teachers!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Phone Lines

I just wanted to offer an apology to anyone trying to call here yesterday. This is the second time in as many weeks that our phone line has been down. The first time, we found out we have three splices on the main lines (outside). The phone company fixed the one that was the problem and told us that they were going to run a new line underground with no splices. The guys came yesterday and buried the cable, but then somehow cut it before they left. This time we were left without phone or DSL, so I couldn't check e-mail or orders, ship UPS, or receive phone calls. If you called here, you would have just gotten a busy signal. Hopefully, all is fixed now!