Jigs and Reels from our Show on Saturday

This past Saturday, I performed a few jigs and reels with the band Noonday Feast, here in Asheville.

The above video is of the tune Attfield’s Lament, which I posted a few months ago.  This tune picked up another name recently.  Farewell to Prince Rhaegar.

Below you will find a great couple of non traditional but well written tunes called, Waves and Tides and Crow Hill.

Plenty of mandolin/bazouki content here.  These are original compositions by Noonday Feast.


Last Night at the Swannanoa Gathering

Had an excellent time jamming at the Swannanoa Gathering last night.  Got to see some old friends, meet some folks who read this blog (That was fun!).  Before I knew it, I looked at the clock and it was 12:58 in the morning!

Stu (octave and mandolin player) pulled out Devanney’s Goat, which I learned with him in David Surrette’s class two years ago (and promptly forgot the week after).  He’s inspired me to learn it and commit it to memory this time.  I’ll have it for next year Stu!

Anyway, looking forward to more playing with new and old friends this week.  In the meantime, here is a recording of two tunes that are great paired together.  It’s just the octave mandolin and a metronome.  Enjoy!

PS- If you read this blog often, send me a note and I’d like to find you on Facebook.  I enjoy meeting people who benefit from this little project.  Thanks for all your support.

Bunker Hill and Trip to Durrow Tab

A few months ago I was asked to play at a benefit for the AB Tech Culinary School in Asheville at the end of April.  I arranged a trio, of myself on mandolin, a flautist (Will) and a banjo/bazouki player (Doug).  All decked out in our suits and ties, we played two hours of irish music amidst the aroma of some of the best locally inspired recipes in the world.

One of the sets Doug had suggested was Bunker Hill with Trip to Durrow.  It worked out nicely, and you can see the tab, standard notation, and chords below:

Bunker Hill

Trip to Durrow


Asheville Mandolin


New Tune, The Stone Smith

After the great show at Firestorm Cafe, here in Asheville, the following day a tune popped out.  It’s nice driving tune, I’ve called “The Stone Smith”, in honor of one of my good friends, who happens to be a stone smith.  This guy here —> http://www.artisanbuilderscollective.org/bio-matthew.html (If you need any stone work done, he’s the man for it.)

Here’s the tune.

The Stone Smith

Let me know how you like it.  I’ll work on getting a nice recording of it up soon.  I enjoy playing it with Mist Covered Mountain and The Rambling Pitchfork.



Jigs from the FireStorm Cafe 2012 Imbolc Celebration

Last night we had an energetic, inspiring and moving evening of music at the Firestorm Cafe Imbolc Celebration.

The following recordings are from the performance.  Some of the photos are from the performance. Others are from sessions throughout the year.  The Rose in the Heather Set has photos from last night, for the most part.

I am definitely inspired to get back to learning new tunes, and perfecting technique!

Led Zeppelin – Why I Play Mandolin

Led Zeppelin - John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham

My first introduction to mandolin came through Led Zeppelin 4, namely the tracks Going to California and The Battle of Evermore. Then I discovered many more mandolin tunes peppered throughout the Led Zeppelin catalog.  I picked up the mandolin from time to time through out high school and college, namely to play those Zeppelin tunes, but never really got hooked on it until I gave my playing over to Celtic from Rock.  However, I owe a great deal to Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones, for turning me on to this lovely instrument.

One of my favorite guitar instrumentals to play was Bron Yr Aur, from the second disc of Physical Graffiti.  I always thought that it would make a great mandolin arrangement.  After fiddling (mandolining?) with the key, I came up with (what I think is) a lovely arrangement of the tune on mandolin.  This one is for you, Mr. Page, and your three friends that inspired me in many ways throughout my young adult life.

(Here’s the tab with standard notation.  Bron Yr Aur Mandolin Arrangement Tab and Standard Notation. It sounds great on an octave mandolin too.)  (as of, 2/4/2012, The Battle of Evermore tab is also now available on the tab section of this site.)

Tunes from Mandolin II

In the Mandolin II class at Celtic week, with David Surette, we learned a few tunes by ear, a few by tab, and also focused on how to make accompaniment with the mandolin interesting. I had to leave “the gathering” earlier today, to visit the in-laws, and so have had some time in the car to tab a few of the tunes for you. Click on the links below for the mandolin tablature for the irish tunes of (reel) Devanney’s Goat, (reel) Poor Old Woman, and (slip jig) Hardiman the fiddler.

Dorm Room at Celtic Week 2011 - Guitar, Mandolins and Kettlebells, what else do you need?

Mandolin (tab) tablature & standard notation

Devanney’s Goat

Poor Old Woman

Hardiman the Fiddler

Now that I’ve found myself exploring the guitar again, I’ve also created flat picking tablature for the tunes above. Here they are:

Guitar (tab) tablature and Standard Notation for Flat picking

Devanney’s Goat in Standard Tuning

Poor Old Woman in Standard Tuning

Hardiman the Fiddler in Standard Tuning

Devanney’s Goat DADGAD

Poor Old Woman DADGAD

Hardiman the Fiddler DADGAD

We also learned a great tune called The Reverend Brother’s Jig (called the Monk’s Jig on thesession.org) and a number of Breton Tunes. Great class, good teacher, learned a lot.