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March 24, 2012

Béla Bartók on the Banjo

I just realized that though I don't have the bandwidth to upload anything currently, or the time to write reviews, every once in a while I come across something that would be easy to share with you all. This is one such instance.

Enjoy this and grab it quick! It's free only this weekend. And the music is very very fine as well. Jake Schepps is a really skilled and exploratory banjo player, and the album also features the absolutely incredible young guitarist Grant Gordy (perhaps my favorite living guitarist, and a really nice guy too), and a crop of talented Colorado-based acoustic musicians. I saw them play these tunes live last summer, in an old schoolhouse in the mountains… maybe 30 people in the audience. Just incredible music.

John Fahey attempted to fuse the ideas of Béla Bartók with the "primitive" music of the United States. Jake Schepps' project is another take on the same. Except instead of using American melodies and Bartókian harmonies, he uses Bartók's melodies and an American string band arrangement. And I think you'll find, that like most classical music that was inspired by folk music, it sounds better on folk instruments than on grand pianos.


Hello Friends,

A short reminder that right now you can download the critically acclaimed album "An Evening in the Village: the Music of Bela Bartok" for FREE.  Please spread the word and let any and all know that for the next two days (March 24, & 25) you can download the entire album with bonus tracks for the big fat price of $0.00.  Bandcamp does offer the option to pay something if you are so inclined, and you can buy a physical copy for only $10.  And as always, if you buy two Bartok CD's you get a free Ten Thousand Leaves.
Facebook info hereTweet this to your followers by clicking here, and then head straight to Bandcamp to get your copy.


Jake and all the Expedition Quartet
Website | Facebook |Twitter | YouTube

March 21, 2012

A little update

Hello, to all readers who haven't given up on this blog for the lack of updates. It's ok, you can give up now!

It's been almost a year since my last post, and I'm not any closer to having either the time or the consistent internet connection to maintain it. I live off-grid, in what looks at night to be a great wooden spaceship. I have to travel to use the internet, and so my time on it is strictly reserved for business. And, to make matters worse, most of the files have expired in some form or other, and I certainly don't have the time or bandwidth to re-upload them.

I have not abandoned music of course. Far from it! I now have a gaggle of instruments that I'm in some stage of learning (guitar, banjo, washboard, bones, bouzouki, baglama, pipa, slide guitar, drum, cavaquinho, etc…). I also host a regular celtic session, play in a Tom Waitsy jug band, perform as a storyteller, and I'm the music director of a local community radio station (leave it to a pirate to be on the radio…). I continue to listen to new music with wide ears an spread its wonder and beauty to those I know. I continue studying the world around me, celebrating the seasons and learning to live a regenerative life. If anything, the major difference in my activity is that it now takes place principally in the material world rather than the cyber world. And I am happy for that.

There were hundreds of albums I still wanted to share. Half of them were uploaded and I never found the time to write about them. Ah well. There are always things left undone. Maybe someday I'll get back to it, if my life goes in that direction. But I do not see that life before me right now, so I am not expecting it.

So, I hope you can all accept the sweet death of this blog, and my activities in updating it. I'll leave all the posts, though there's scarcely any music to be found there anymore. But hopefully what I've shared, both in sound and in words, has helped to open a few doors, and I hope that wherever those doors lead you, you follow them into the beautiful unknown.

Happy equinox, and may all of your plantings grow in good time.

With Irascible Love,
The Irate Pirate