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News From the 2019 Gathering

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Finally made it back to Minneapolis. So great to have been to another Gathering! In some ways it's like a wedding, you see everyone you want to see there and you only have a little time to talk to all these people you want to spend several days getting to know better! Time is always short, but for good reasons - because so much awesome stuff was going on. 

Thanks to Steve and Paulette, and to all of you as well for making things great!

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10 hours ago, Plantsman13 said:

Sounds like a great topic for a Live Lesson...


I believe that Steve had posted that topic  "Hearing the Changes" as an upcoming Live Lesson, so.that is quite possible.

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A big thank you to all of you for your photos, downloads/uploads, and journalistic play by play.

I haven't been able to work one of these into my schedule yet so it's nice to come home from work and at least live vicariously through each of you! 

Great reporting!


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On 6/13/2019 at 11:53 PM, DianeB said:

"Mel Deal is back for the jazzers,"

I'd really like to hear from someone who attended the Gathering "Jazz " workshops;  Lesson content, experience, etc. Any comments?

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After an extra week of visiting friends and family, I’m back home. Thanks for reading and for your kind words and support. I hope you enjoyed my little dispatches as much I as I did scratching them out at night.

As a postscript, I want to share perhaps the most vital lesson imparted to us at the gathering. It came near the end, during the student showcase, from my dear friend Reg. I must paraphrase, but in essence he said: Take your music to someone. Take it to the elderly, to children, to the infirm, to the lonely. Someone needs your music and your personal touch. Don’t wait until you think you’re good enough; that day might never come. Joy awaits. Go. Play. Live.

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I totally enjoyed all aspects of the Gathering.  The jamming in the morning before breakfast. Thank you to Pat who had coffee for us!!!!!  All the workshops provided more info then my mind could absorb.  And as you can see the pictures of the evening activities posted above.  The entertainment was fabulous.  I made two trip to Gruhn’s.  That has to be the best Guitar Store on the planet.  On Friday afternoon I went with Carson, Justin and Jim.  We were given the grand tour.  Up to the 3rd floor to see the service shop and talk to a couple of the techs.  Then we got to go to the 2nd floor.  George Gruhn himself came out and started talking guitars.  He sat down with an 80 year old Martin(65k), played it and talked about what he looks for.  (There is a video on YouTube with Vince Gill where he talks about a lot of the same things.  He then picked up a brand new 18 style sinker mahogany.  (The mahogany for the back and sides are around 100 years old.  (Go to his Website and read about them). As he played first one then the other he talked about how similar the sound was from both.  Both had a warmth to them.  I was almost persuaded to get the Sinker but was able to just ‘SAY NO’ to myself.  However that being said the need(want) continued the rest of the day and on the long drive home.  So after a lot agonizing over the weekend I decided that I would order one.  I decided on:  Martin Custom Shop 18 Style 0000 size 14 fret w/ Sinker Mahogany / sunburst.  It looks and plays great.  Oh, based on George’s comments/recommendations I had them install the K&K Pure Mini w/volume control.  Anyway if your haven’t been to a Gathering I highly recommend it.  I have now been to two summer gatherings and two fall(fingerstyle) gatherings.  You’ll meet great folks with common interest.  You have a chance to learn in a live environment as opposed to watching on the internet.  

In closing I just want to thank Steve and Paulette and the rest of the team for all of their hard work.  The venue was great.  The dorms were, well dorms, but it was extremely nice that they were made available to use for our stay.



Mark Cantwell





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Very nice Mark! I wanted to get to Gruhns but ran out of time. Probably best...two years go, i ended up buying a Tele from them while I was there..so hard to resist. Enjoy and Congrat. I hope to meet you next year as I missed the opportunity this one.


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@papamark, congratulations on the new Martin.  I am looking at something very similar right now at a local shop.  Similar?!?  Maybe identical!  A 000 Custom shop Sunburst.  I'm a little ways off so I hope you will post again after you have a little experience with it.

Enjoy it a long time!  Beautiful guitar.

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Thanks.  I haven’t played out with it yet but soon.  I will post something about it sometime.  

I am going to another workshop this weekend.  Should get a lot of playing time.   

Dan Miller and Brad Davis.  Flatpick Guitar Magazine.    A little over an hour from home.  



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  • DianeB changed the title to News From the 2019 Gathering

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