Introduction to the Blog

About Me and this Website (March 8, 2019)

I’m an amateur musician of very modest ability, playing guitar accompanying melody players. I play by ear and don’t read music beyond the sitting-down-and-puzzling-it-out level. I built this site originally as an aid to my musical memory, which I describe as including two databases, one for tunes and one for titles and with no connection between the two. The website was to help me answer the questions, “How does that tune go?” or “What’s the name of that tune?”

I grew up mostly with classical music played on my dad’s Columbia console record player. In high school my two best friends were playing banjo and guitar ‘folk revival’ songs; Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, the New Lost City Ramblers, etc. In the ‘60s (yeah, I’m that old) I found rock & roll; the Beatles, Stones, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, etc, etc.

In the early ‘70s I and my family were privileged to live for five years in Atlantic Canada. It was a busy time in our lives, with one and then two children to parent, but we enjoyed learning about the Canadian music scene, including a regular program on CBC TV, “The Cape Breton Symphony” with three older fiddlers and a young man with long dark sideburns named Jerry Holland. One of the older musicians, I remember, was Buddy MacMaster who was already one of the best loved Cape Breton fiddlers, and Jerry soon became legendary as well.

Long story short, I came to love a wide swath of traditional dance and fiddle music and was honored to be invited to play with the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra, led then by David Kaynor. The VFO, plus a variety of jams and sessions broadened my horizons to include Scandinavian, British Isles, Irish, Breton, Québécois, New England, Appalachian, old-time traditional music and more, all of which I try to represent on the North Atlantic Tune List.

Just as I’m not a highly skilled musician, I’m also not an expert web designer or programmer, but I did have the good fortune to study what was called “Internet Strategy Management” as part of a two-year program at the Marlboro Grad Center where I specialized in information architecture and usability design. That plus considerable help from some friends and my daughter who is a website and graphic designer, has resulted in this website.

This is the first of what I hope will be a continuing occasional series of posts on this blog, as appropriate thoughts present themselves. Please stay tuned!  Back to blog posts