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DianeB

News from the Retreat

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Okay, tonight's report is technically not from the retreat. That doesn't start until tomorrow afternoon. Tonight I'm in my hotel in Cool Springs, just up the road from Deer Run, guitar at my side. Today was a perfect fall day for the drive along I-40 from Virginia. It was sunny and cool, and the tree foliage was colorful although not the best I've seen in the mountains.

In June I didn't expect to return so soon, but I couldn't resist. I recently learned that I have a relative here in Brentwood. Tonight we saw each other for the first time since we were teenagers and went out for a terrific dinner to reminisce. Suddenly, or so it seems, I have family in Nashville, and that has changed my feeling about the place. Home away from home, just more guitars.

Tomorrow morning I will take the back way to the airport to meet a fellow camper coming from Canada. Maybe we can find a guitar store where we can warm up before the lodge opens at 3:00. Until next time, good night to all from Cool Springs.

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sadly the Canadian you're meeting is not this one or the one that posted above me. 

I'm sure you'll have fun.

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4 hours ago, Eracer_Team-DougH said:

sadly the Canadian you're meeting is not this one or the one that posted above me. 

I'm sure you'll have fun.

Ah... @DianeB but who is this mystery Canadian and will she/he make themslves known? The plot thickens...

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Diane- Learn alot, enjoy the retreat and thank you for sharing with all of us! 

 

 

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Day one ends with a lodge full of exhausted but happy finger pickers. I met Mark B early this morning at the airport as he arrived from Toronto. We had spare time, so it was off to Gruhn Guitars (visited Greg and waved at Dave), lunch at M L Rose's (craft brews and awesome burgers), and Carter's Guitars. Then on to the countryside west of Franklin and into the woods at Deer Run Retreat.

Steve, Paulette, Dave, and Collin had already put out the welcome mat with snacks, sound gear, and the store when we arrived. Our lodge is cozy and inviting. We all have roommates. I'm paired with the only other woman, Carol. It's a bit, um, close, but we're all guitar family here. I'm in a bunk bed for the first time since college.

We started off with introductions -- there are 24 students -- then a brief group lesson from Steve on hand position in the now crowded living room. Dinner, and all our meals, are served in the communal dining room. How nice it was to not have to split up and drive off to various restaurants as we must at the summer gathering.

Show time. Performances from Steve, Collin, Robert Thompson (classical instructor ar Belmont U), Meagan Taylor, and the capper, a surprise visit from Joe Robinson. I ventured out back to chat around the fire a few minutes, then it was time to file this dispatch while I still can typppe. Tyyype. Oh, good night.

 

Joe 3.jpg

Edited by DianeB
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Thanks for the update.  Look forward to the next one.

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Thank you Diane for taking the extra time to keep us up to date.

Henk

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I'm sleep deprived tonight but mostly coherent; that could describe most of us. After breakfast we all packed into the single meeting room for Steve's lesson on 3rds, 6ths, and 10ths. Next up was Collin, who got us started with false harmonics and cascading harmonics. This was all new to me, and Collin is an adept instructor already.

In the afternoon, we divided up with Steve teaching "Here Comes the Sun" to the beginners like me, and Collin covered "Amazing Grace" with the more advanced players. Meanwhile, Greg Voros did setups and checkups in the dining room. Steve led a little fingerpicking jam, then it was time to chill. Somehow I won my first game of Carpetball.

Today I wasn't the only one with a glazed look in the eyes, but I've shared several warm conversations with the guys already. That seems to come easily in a setting like this, where you share a roof together. It's a joy.

After a nap and dinner I was more like myself. Tonight our student performers were Carol, Dommie, Mark C, and our youngest camper, Carson C, who is attending with his father Justin. Our featured artist was Trevor Gordon Hall, who shared his virtuosity with us for over an hour. Afterward he cheerfully lingered. He let me handle his guitar (!) as he explained to me how he uses Guitar Pro to get his musical ideas down. "Did I see this shape go by?" I asked, showing him one I learned from my tutor. "Yes!" he exclaimed, "I love that chord!"

We had root beer and Coke floats on a mild Halloween night around the fire pit. Paulette found purple guitar socks for me (!!) and I had a slice of real, not metaphorical, cheesecake for dessert. All is well as we say goodnight on day two.

Trevor GH.jpg

Edited by DianeB
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Diane,

Thanks for sharing, i love hearing about all the goings on and really appreciate that you do this for all of us. Sounds like everyone is having a great time!

Enjoy!

Bill

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Some days and nights you just want to never end. Never mind that it's turned chilly and rainy. This is one. We started this morning with a workshop on technique by Trevor Gordon Hall, then a session with Steve on chord inversions and extensions. After lunch, we again separated as Steve offered a tutorial on Phil Keaggy's "The Wind and the Wheat" while Collin covered another song with the downstairs group. We joined up in the living room for an open forum on what, and how, to practice.

During afternoon recess, a small expedition set out in the drizzle for Artisan Guitars in nearby Franklin. I relaxed and chatted with Reg, briefly practiced my homework, and took a nap. The Artisan expedition returned just before dinner time, each with a freebie cap they scored, no doubt for being such great customers. That, or Dave now has some pull in this town.

Phil Keaggy arrived as we awaited dinner. I watched him run his sound check from the comfort of an easy chair, quite oblivious to the name tag on my shirt. Satisfied with his sound, Phil got up, strode over to me and cheerfully extended his hand. "Diane, how are you?" He asked. "Uh, you remember me?!" I replied. What a charmer.

After dinner the opening act was a drawing for some giveaways: an acoustic pickup, a preamp/DI, and the new rechargeable Fishman Loudbox amp. There go some happy campers.

For the next two hours the living room echoed with the sweet harmonies of Phil Keaggy. He was dazzling: alternate tunings, multiple partial capos, seemingly impossible stretches. Trevor Gordon Hall returned, and we enjoyed another twenty minutes of crazy good improvisation from the master and the apprentice together.

Paulette served up mini sausages and nachos for our late night snack as Phil and Trevor posed for pictures and signed autographs. After they said goodnight, a few of us pulled up chairs as Steve recalled his most memorable -- for better or worse -- live lessons. Facing an early start tomorrow, we called it a night, and the lodge went quiet.

Edited by DianeB
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Once again, a nice report.  Thanx.

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Now the final, early morning chorus. Time to pack the suitcases and guitars and go down for breakfast. John Knowles, CGP, arrived for our last session as we queued up for pancakes. Some campers had already left for the airport; others were loading their cars and leaving. My table was finishing up and emptying, and I was on my last sips of OJ when John sat down between Mark and me. He was once a physicist, I was once a chemist. He is a Certified Guitar Player, I am a Catastrophic Guitar Player. Of course we hit it off.

Mark and I eventually let him finish his pancakes and set up for his lesson. We assembled in the living room for parting thoughts from Steve: the last few days were magic; remember to put your guitar in your case before you leave (!); and what's with the crazy woman sitting over there staying up past midnight to post updates on the board?

He introduced John, who offered a master class: turning ideas into songs, being aware of your body as you play, thinking chord shape - release - move - arrive. He was just responding to Steve's question, "Can you tell us about how you get your tone?" when a retreat employee in the front yard cranked up a leaf blower. Exit Steve for a brief intervention, then it was back to high tension nylon strings and a final song.

As the applause faded, it was 10:30 and we had to be gone in 30 minutes. I said goodbye to former TI engineer John -- I mean, CGP John -- and Steve and Paulette, and everyone I could catch, in a flurry of handshakes, hugs, and hollers. I tugged my bags up the hill to the crunch of acorns beneath my feet and put them in the car. I flicked away the wet leaves and set off down the narrow, winding driveway as a chorus from The Sound of Music came to my mind:

Nothing comes from nothing

Nothing ever could

So somewhere in my youth or childhood

I must have done something good

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Outstanding reporting from our newscaster Diane here at KMUSIC!

 

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Diane, thank you for another quality summary of the conference.  You get an "A" on all parts. From East Texas, see you in June at the next meeting.

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Diane,

Thanks again this has been great to follow along. I'm jealous!

Bill

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Diane, Thank you for all the summaries of retreat activities. I am glad for those that were able to attend and hope to one day say that I too am a happy camper. There is so much talent at these gatherings willing to freely share and build on the guitar learning experience. I attended the 2018 GG in June and I continue to review my notes and handouts. 

I echo the sentiments of Popeye, FRAY, Appledaddy and the rest of the crew, "You get an "A" on all parts." Thanks from London KY, hope to see you in June 2019. 

Gene C

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Epilog

After seven days, 1,660 miles, ten pages of notes, and two lost picks I never needed, I’m back home. Thanks for reading, and for all your kind words. I appreciate them. There will soon be lots of pictures and videos posted by Steve and the guys. All the performances were recorded and Collin has videos on YouTube duplicating some of his lesson material.

Don’t expect a Live Lesson this coming Tuesday. Our fearless leader will likely be collapsed in a lounge chair at home. His room was next to mine, and I could tell he was staying up late, getting up early, and in between working nonstop. All to make us happy.

This week I've enjoyed the privilege of breaking bread in the company of warm hearted, generous, humble, and talented souls. For now I’ll leave you with a pic of one of them, Mark B, and me. If we’d had one more day for 11 more bars, we might have given birth to the New Brunswick Bossa Blues. Or something like that.

Mark & Di small.jpg

Edited by DianeB
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1 hour ago, DianeB said:

Epilog

After seven days, 1,660 miles, ten pages of notes, and two lost picks I never needed, I’m back home. Thanks for reading, and for all your kind words. I appreciate them. There will soon be lots of pictures and videos posted by Steve and the guys. All the performances were recorded and Collin has videos on YouTube duplicating some of his lesson material.

Don’t expect a Live Lesson this coming Tuesday. Our fearless leader will likely be collapsed in a lounge chair at home. His room was next to mine, and I could tell he was staying up late, getting up early, and in between working nonstop. All to make us happy.

This week I've enjoyed the privilege of breaking bread in the company of warm hearted, generous, humble, and talented souls. For now I’ll leave you with a pic of one of them, Mark B, and me. If we’d had one more day for 11 more bars, we might have given birth to the New Brunswick Bossa Blues. Or something like that.

Mark & Di.jpg

Thank you again Diane... great job reporting?

(is that a Edim and a Bbmaj7 i see?)

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I can't add much to what Diane has already posted above.

Yes, the accommodations are cozy - several rooms had up to five occupants - and most were sleeping in bunk beds - and sharing a bathroom. However, the Deer Run Lodge is a wonderful venue, perfect for our little retreat.

The food was excellent - and coupled with snacks during breaks, it felt like we were eating all the time. (I was relieved to step on the scale when I got home and found I somehow had not gained any weight).

Last year's fall retreat was over-the-top great - one of the best events I have ever attended. However, Steve and Paulette managed to make this year's retreat even better. The line-up of artists was outstanding - and they were not only superb musically - but were so personable and eager to spend time with us before and after their performances. Two examples: after Trevor Gordon Hall performed, I commented on how much I enjoyed his tune 'A Severe Mercy' - and that led to a thirty minute discussion of our mutual appreciation for the writings of C.S. Lewis. As Diane said above, Phil Keaggy joined us for dinner. He asked all of us around the table to say our names. After Phil played for us and performed an encore with Trevor, I asked him to sign one of his DVDs. He looked at me and said - 'You are Dave - correct?' - and I was not wearing a name tag!

The very best part of the entire week was spending time with great friends - many of whom I only see once or twice a year.

Thanks to Steve and Paulette for all their planning, hard work, and hospitality. And thanks to everyone who attended for the time we were able to spend together. I can't wait until next year!

Edited by Dave White
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IMG_1236.jpg

Edited by Dave White
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Many thanks Diane.   You made it sound absolutely fantastic.  It's as good as any sales pitch and just makes you want to be there. Ah, if only...….. 

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I've just returned home to Minneapolis and rejoined the living - work was conspiring to punish me for being off last week :)

I have a lot of photos and videos, and I'll work to posting some of them here. I think I'll post the videos over on the main Guitar Gathering facebook page so that people who follow our guitar tribe can get a look-in to the retreat that was as well.

Did I enjoy the retreat? Have I mentioned that I'm already registered for next year's retreat? B|

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