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DianeB

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Hi, all, I'm coming to you tonight from my hotel room on a warm and muggy night in Nashville. Today was Tuesday. I started the day in Chattanooga with yet another visit to the Songbirds guitar museum. This time my host was different, and so were some of the guitars on display, as they rotate the collection. Really, the Gathering should kick off there, followed by a motorcade up I-24 to Nashville. Just a proposal.

I arrived at Trevecca at 3:00, just as Steve was setting up our guitar show and tell. We put a dozen or so of our babies on stage to commiserate about: Steve's Macpherson and Brent Mason Tele, my Guild, and some real beauties from the rest of the gang. It was so good to see familiar faces: Andy, Dave, Reg, Dwayne, George, Rick, Collin, David, Paul, and of course Paulette and Timothy. Looks like about 60 are registered; down from last year, and half had arrived by 5:00 today. Southerner that I am, I did not pass up the watermelon in the corner.

This year I coaxed my friends Bud and his wife Donna, from near me in Maryland, to come down. I needled him about his white lanyard -- "Hey, rookie, you think you can play guitar with us?!" (Well, he most certainly can.) Along with Collin and Dave, we hit Third and Lindsley tonight to see Mandy Barnett. I discovered her back in 1999 and her voice on CD just blew me away. Tonight she did it in person, and I got to meet her afterwards.

Here's the view from the Inner Santum at Songbirds, the Holy of Holies. Check out those Explorers! More to follow, I hope.

IMG_1470.JPG

Edited by DianeB
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Great to see everyone in Nashville so far! This morning is going to be a blast with Christie Lenee! Can’t wait!

By the way, I got a blue lanyard but it’s my first Gathering so feel free to haze me ?

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Thanks for the update @DianeB wish I could have come this year but live got in the way.

Keep the updates coming.

 

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On 6/20/2018 at 7:29 AM, UncleHammy said:

Thanks for the update @DianeB wish I could have come this year but live got in the way.

Keep the updates coming.

Yup.  "wish I could have come this year but live got in the way."

Please keep the updates flowing although it is going to make me (and maybe others) even more envious of your being there.

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Gasp! My vision is getting blurry and my ears are ringing, but I'll keep writing as long as I can...

We're at full strength, now that the representatives from Israel and Australia have arrived. Steve again led off with a warm welcome and his favorite finger stretchers. Christie Lenee, just back home from a tour of California and probably reeling from jet lag, taught a session on alternate tunings and tapping techniques. I had to skip out early for my appointment with Greg Voros, who seems more entertaining with each renunion.

We enjoy lunch together at the student union. It's a short walk away, the food is delicious, and the price is unbeatable at $5.25. Perfect.

Workshops in the afternoon included classes in music theory, fingerstyle, blues, jazz, flatpicking, and guitar maintenance. I opted for basic fingerstyle with Steve, and a survey of seventh chords with Mel Deal in the jazz class. These were followed by jam groups that gave everyone a chance to play. I was delighted to see George McIntyre had returned, a last minute addition to Steve's roster, to lead the Beatles jam. At about 50 minutes each, you can't cover much ground, but there's always that one "apple" -- a tip, an insight -- you can take home (Steve's analogy).

Out in the hallway, Paulette and Timothy monitor the "store" where we can purchase some of Steve's resources: cables, courses, music books, and -- music socks. Guitar socks. Sorry, I did not see bass socks.

Unobtrusively, and to me, heroically, Paul is again behind the video camera this year recording the main events.

We returned after dinner for an evening of brilliant acoustic guitar from Steve, Collin Hill, Joe Robinson, and Christie Lenee. I can only shake my head in wonder at their level of skill and musicianship. And the goosebumps, the shared laughs, the warm handshakes, the hugs?

Those are my "apples".

Edited by DianeB
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1 hour ago, Eracer_Team-DougH said:

Sounds wonderful 

Hope to make it back down some year

Thanks @DianeB... we appoint you official GG Correspondent!

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Wonderful updates Diane. So nice to get  a few play-by-plays to remind me how much fun this week is for attendees. Yesterday was my wife's surgery (she is doing great) so this is the first chance I've had to catch up on the goings on. Timing will be better for me me next year but until then thanks again for sharing your memories with us. Give my regards to all. Best wishes and have a great time.

 

Greg

 

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Yes! Thank you for all of the updates Diane and Colder. I was telling my wife last night that Steve was having his annual get together this week and that next year I'm going. She said "I've heard that for five years". I need to prove her wrong......lol

Have a great time all!

Bill 

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Wow! Phil Keaggy, Will McFarlane, and the Blues Council blew it up tonight! Amazing! What a great experience this Gathering has been thus far!

I’ve taken quite a few photos and will post the gallery after I get home.

Johnny Hiland tomorrow! Night!

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Thanks Diane B for the up dates. Sorry your post got Hijacked . But it happens a lot  here. Stay Cool.

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Imagine watching eight Live Lessons in a row. You now have an idea of what Day 2 was like. When I arrived this morning before the first session, there was already an early bird jam going in the hallway with Dwayne and Pat and a few others.

Steve led off with a lesson in upgrading your I-vi-IV-V that had something for everyone. Next up was Joe Robinson, with his compelling story of learning to play as a boy in a hardscrabble situation at home in Australia. You might think someone of his proficiency would practice very differently than we mere mortals, but not so. Just more so.

The afternoon was again devoted to a variety of topics and tracks. I attended Steve's music theory lesson on chord construction and managed to hold my own. In the jazz workshop Mel Deal recruited Collin to comp on "All of Me" while he soloed, to the delight of, um, all of us.

Then it was an abbreviated Beatles jam for me with George McIntyre and more practice with Nashville Number System charts. Our long time Gathering friend Will McFarlane alternately dazzled us and cracked us up in the final session. He returned tonight with the rest of Blues Counsel and Phil Keaggy to peel the paint off the walls; they were smokin' hot.

Excuse the short post but my brain is fried. A technical hiccup is preventing me posting my photos right now. Pics should start appearing here soon.

Edited by DianeB
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To add to Diane's comments, I as a first timer am really awed by the talent of the conference attendees.  I spent some time with Greg Voros and his technician and they answered multiple questions about guitar maintenance and had a few very interesting stories about some guitars they worked on in the past. Because of this I missed lunch - but I got to spend about 30 minutes with Collin Hill in the "Loft" watching him play and  just chatting about life.  What a polite and unassuming young person, plus a mammoth guitar talent.  I also overheard him talking to Joe Robinson about how they use "nails" versus "flesh" for their techniques.  Next up is day 3.   

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Supersaturated adj. A physically unstable state in which a solvent contains more dissolved solute than it can normally hold at that temperature and pressure.

So ends Day 3. I can't even remember how today started. Oh, yes -- Steve took us through some of the exercises in his major scale workout. That was another good choice because everybody could participate. Then our friend Johnny Hiland shared his advice for learning Chickin' Pickin'. Colorful and charming as ever, Johnny mixed his licks and anecdotes with his big three: "One, have fun. Two, lose your fear. Three, [corrected in edit] melody is number one."

The main room was chilly and the cafeteria was even chillier, so after lunch I had ice cream. They say that as hypothermia sets in, the mind starts to go.

Back for another round of music theory with Steve. Oh, he was cooking chord substitutions to "Amazing Grace" on the whiteboard "like a Hindemith gone haywire in Harlem", to use Donald Fagan's simile. "Somebody stop him! He's out of control!" came the cry from the back row. "Wait," Steve went on, "what if we used a Dm13 here? How would that work?" He played the progression while I scribbled on staff paper "D + F + x = 13. Solve for x." By the time the major ninths came marching in, the ii minors were sounding righteous. Amen, brother.

Ah, a respite: improvisation workshop for all with Steve and Dino Pastin. Let's all play a 12 bar blues in G. That was okay, Steve said, but we want to make these dominant 7ths, it's blues. Off we go. Better still, continues Fearless Leader, we can lead into the IV chord with the V of the IV like we just did in the advanced theory session. Uh, oh, he's got that look in his eyes again. Dino, and not a few others, seem to be wondering, should we unplug his mic? Let's split the measure with the IV to IV and iv minor, no, iv minor seventh, yeah, okay, Dino, one and two and -- all right. It was cool stuff. I kept up until the C# diminished crashed the party. Then it was time for the group photo.

One last blast: group blues jam in E, with Steve and Dino keeping the groove as several of us took turns on stage to solo. Yeah, our gang can play. 

Tomorrow morning, the outro. Tour of Columbia recording studio and student showcase. Then, we fade out.

 

Edited by DianeB
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7 hours ago, DianeB said:

Supersaturated adj. A physically unstable state in which a solvent contains more dissolved solute than it can normally hold at that temperature and pressure.

As a retired meteorologist this statement caught my attention

 

 

Edited by Don
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10 hours ago, DianeB said:

"Wait," Steve went on, "what if we used a Dm13 here? How would that work?" He played the progression while I scribbled on staff paper "D + F + x = 13. Solve for x." By the time the major ninths came marching in, the ii minors were sounding righteous. Amen, brother.

Ah, a respite: improvisation workshop for all with Steve and Dino Pastin. Let's all play a 12 bar blues in G. That was okay, Steve said, but we want to make these dominant 7ths, it's blues. Off we go. Better still, continues Fearless Leader, we can lead into the IV chord with the V of the IV like we just did in the advanced theory session. Uh, oh, he's got that look in his eyes again. Dino, and not a few others, seem to be wondering, should we unplug his mic? Let's split the measure with the IV to IV and iv minor, no, iv minor seventh, yeah, okay, Dino, one and two and -- all right. It was cool stuff. I kept up until the C# diminished crashed the party. Then it was time for the group photo.

One last blast: group blues jam in E, with Steve and Dino keeping the groove as several of us took turns on stage to solo. Yeah, our gang can play. 

 

 

Good thing I'm finally working theory 

I'd be blown away 

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Finally, the coda. This morning we met at Columbia Studio A in the heart of Music Row. Lay Lady Lay. Blue Velvet. Six Days on the Road. Be Bop A Lula. You Ain't Woman Enough. Sweet Dreams. The magic happened in these rooms. Patsy stood here? Not quite. Right there. Whoaaaa. This is Sacred Ground.

Studio A and the adjacent Quonset Hut that the Bradley brothers built have been renovated and modernized somewhat. They are now used for training audio techs through Belmont University, which leases and curates the property for educational purposes.

We performed the Student Showcase there, under the same roof where Peter Frampton and the Stones laid down tracks. What a treat to just be there -- to hear my friends play so wonderfully -- and then to play for them?  And for Steve? Whoaaaa.

Fittingly, Collin closed it out with a medley. He killed it. Simply gorgeous.

Steve said he is waiting for Trevecca to schedule a window for next year, so the dates in 2019 aren't yet set. Then came the snaps and clicks of guitar cases; the handshakes and hugs and goodbyes. We piled into our cars, turned onto Music Circle South, and drove off, individual notes of a great communal song fading out and away.

IMG_0079.JPG

Edited by DianeB
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1 hour ago, DianeB said:

 

Steve said he is waiting for Trevecca to schedule a window for next year, so the dates in 2019 aren't yet set. Then came the snaps and clicks of guitar cases; the handshakes and hugs and goodbyes. We piled into our cars, turned onto Music Circle South, and drove off, individual notes of a great communal song fading out and away.

 

hope they can line it up with NAMM again.. for some reason.. my wife really liked NAMM in 2016.. and she doesn't play 

Summer NAMM July 18-20 2019.. I might have a chance to convince her to go.. but she likes nice hotels ($$$) ?

Edited by Eracer_Team-DougH
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Thank you so much for all the updates, Diane. You have a wonderful way with words!

Mark

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What a nice series of reviews Diane. Thanks so much. It seems Steve and his organizing support crew keep upping the ante every year. So much variety , so much fun for all. Many memories and new friendships for those that attended, I am certain . Hopes for me that next year I won’t have to miss my summer trip to Nashville again. I want to start working on my Student Showcase performance already !

Greg

 

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What a week! The entire conference was outstanding. Thanks to Steve, Paulette, Timothy, and the host of instructors and performers that made it all possible. Can't wait until next year.

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