Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free Music This Weekend

Two of our youth bands will be performing this weekend on Sunday, so if you're looking for something to do, we've got you covered!

The Pickin' Chicks will be playing at Tilden Baptist Church in Tilden, IL. There will be a fried chicken dinner that starts at noon. If you would like to come for dinner, please RSVP to 618-587-2030. The concert starts at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2010.

Charlie & the Girls will be playing in New Athens at the Methodist Church. This is an evening concert also on Sunday. It starts at 7:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Both bands are great and you will enjoy seeing the youth play bluegrass and gospel music!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beginning Banjo DVD Coming Soon!

Due to popular request, I have finally completed the shooting and editing of my new Beginning Bluegrass Banjo 1 DVD. Finally! It will go to production soon, and I expect it to be available within the next month or so. I am really happy to be able to produce this DVD, as I have had so many requests from YouTube, festivals, workshops, and students. This particular DVD will cover all the basics, plus teach the following songs: Bile Them Cabbage (3 Variations), Banjo in the Hollow, Cripple Creek, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and Shuckin' the Corn.

As a banjo teacher for 20 years, I know that most students need things presented slowly and precisely. From the mouths of many of my students and other beginning players, "Most instructional materials go too fast, assume you know more than you do, and don't teach in a format that builds on prior learning." There are also many tips and techniques included which should prove valuable to all beginning players.

I will start working on a fiddle DVD, and then I will start on the second disk in both series. Who knows where it will go from there?

Where has all my time gone?

I will let you know when I have this DVD back from production and it is ready for sale.

Bluegrass Shack Youth Bands to Perform at Silver Dollar City!

Not one, but TWO youth bands from The Bluegrass Shack were accepted into Silver Dollar City's Youth in Bluegrass Band Competition for this year. Congratulations to Charlie & the Girls and The Pickin' Chicks!

If you would like to go to Silver Dollar City during this time to support our students, please do! The dates are over Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 29 & 30, 2010. Both bands will play both days, with the competition commencing at 2:00 p.m. Performances will be held in the Opera House Theatre. This is part of the annual Bluegrass & BBQ event held at Silver Dollar City. We know you'll have fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nikki's Win at State - Video

Here's the video I promised you of Nikki's win at the State Talent Competition in Springfield, IL.  Nikki competed against all kinds of different types of talent and won 5th place out of 41 contestants.  She was the only banjo player.  Congratulations to Nikki!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Can Help!

You may have noticed recently that there are advertising links below my blog posts now.  These ads are not sponsored by us, but you may find some of them interesting to you.  If you do, go ahead and click on them -- you will be helping us out!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our Trip to Springfield

Well, we just completed a full day of youth talent in Springfield, IL. This was the talent competition for all the winners of the county fairs in Illinois for ages 15 & under.  My banjo student, Nikki, won first place in St. Clair County.  I was here to play guitar for her, and she did great!  Since I am still in Springfield at the hotel as I type this on my netbook, I won't be able to post the video of her performance yet.

Nikki won 5th place out of 41 contestants! Congratulations Nikki! There were all sorts of talent represented including dance, piano, singing, guitar, flute, acrobatics and more.

While the judges were tabulating the scores, there was a great live show about reptiles and bugs.  I don't remember the name of the guy who presented the show, but he was really funny (as long as you weren't the one helping him!).  Some of the things he put on people included a tarantula, a scorpion, several different kinds of snakes, and an alligator.

Here is a picture of me holding the alligator.

Make sure you check back on the blog for photos and video of Nikki.  I'll post them when I return to the shop.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Please note: The Bluegrass Shack will be closed on Saturday, January 16, 2010. One of our students, Nikki, who won the St. Clair County (Illinois) Fair Talent Contest will be playing in the finals for State. The competition will be held at the Crown Plaza in Springfield, Illinois starting at noon. There are approximately 40 contestants in her division, with all different types of talent represented from dance, to singing, to every musical instrument imaginable. Chris will be playing guitar to back up Nikki on banjo. Good luck, Nikki!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Congratulations to Bluegrass Shack Students!

This weekend was the MABC Winter Bluegrass Festival held in Eureka, MO. They had their annual fiddle & banjo contest Friday night, and several of our students won! Congratulations to:

Nikki - 1st Place Junior Banjo
Paige - 2nd Place Junior Fiddle
Amelia - 4th Place Junior Fiddle
Dennis - 4th Place Open Fiddle
Fred - 5th Place Open Fiddle (Most Entertaining)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Great Job, Alex

This is Alex, one of Chelsea's students, playing three different versions of Bile Them Cabbage on fiddle.  Make sure you watch all the way to the end!

The Bluegrass Shack Closed This Friday & Saturday

Just wanted to remind everyone that The Bluegrass Shack will be closed this Friday & Saturday, January 8-9, 2010.  We will be at the MABC Winter Bluegrass Festival in Eureka, MO.  (Come join us!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reminder: Fiddle & Banjo Contest / Festival this weekend!

Just a reminder! This coming weekend is the MABC bluegrass festival, complete with banjo & fiddle contest Friday night. This will be held at the Holiday Inn Six Flags in Eureka, MO. If you can play, come join us in the contest. Otherwise, come and listen and/or do some picking!

Here is a link to more information about the festival (.pdf file):

Here is a link to contest rules:

If you still need more information, please ask!