Monday, December 3, 2018

Light housekeeping

Hey folks! Band 101 is going strong, but you'd never know it from the number of blog updates recently.

Here's the rundown:

For the next three weeks, Band 101 will be meeting on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. instead of our usual Friday night class/jam.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 5th at the Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 6348 Harrison Avenue, Hammond, Indiana. The fun starts at 7 p.m. $5 gets you song sheets (often with the correct chords), snacks (usually), the warm feeling that comes from playing music together, and all the coffee you can drink. Have you ever spent five bucks in a better fashion? We think not.

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Band 101 About Town

You can catch Band 101 at a couple of upcoming events-- check it out!

Friday, July 27th-- Gail DeWitt and Linda Ruxton are playing their ukuleles at Whiting's Pierogi Fest! Sharpen your appetite for dumplings while listening to beautiful music. Their performance starts at 11:30 a.m., right before the official start of the festival.

Sunday, July 29th-- Members of Band 101 will be providing the music for the 12:30 p.m. service at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 6348 Harrison Avenue in Hammond, Indiana. Darryl Dorton, Band 101 member and deacon of Hyde Park UMC, will be leading the congregation in song. Make a joyful noise and make your mom happy by parking your hind end in a church pew once in a while.

Sunday, August 5th-- Band 101 is returning to Deep River Park in Hobart, Indiana to play music during the Grinders vs. Shriners charity game! It's free to watch the game. Bring a blanket, stretch out under the trees and enjoy a thrilling afternoon of baseball played the old-fashioned way. All proceeds from snacks and sarsaparilla sold at the game will benefit the Shriners Children's Hospital.

And finally, an exciting announcement from our bass player Katy Garza-Province: she is starting her own food business! Packrat Salads are delicious, hearty, healthy vegan salads named after folks from right here in Northwest Indiana. I've had the pleasure of eating Katy's salads and they manage to be light, filling and delicious all at the same time. I don't know how she does it, but I'm glad she knows how. Keep checking the Facebook page for the official word-- it should be any day now.

More events coming this fall. Stay tuned, and we hope to see you around this summer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

True story: "You're never too old, busy or rusty to make music."

From the Baltimore Sun: "Eighty-five percent of adults in the U.S. who do not play a musical instrument wish they had learned to play one, according to a 2009 Gallup Poll; 69 percent would like to play one now. Nearly all believe musical skills can be learned at any age. Yet a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts survey found that just 12 percent of U.S. adults were playing musical instruments."  

(The rest of the article is available here.)

My complimentary copy of Amy Nathan's new book arrived this week! Making Time for Making Music: How to Bring Music Into Your Busy Life, is now available for purchase. I'm in the book, and so are a lot of my friends from the Old Town School of Folk Music. Ms. Nathan was particularly interested in talking to people who make music, but also have 9-5 jobs like ordinary mortals. 

I filled out Amy's questionnaire in 2015 and a lot has changed in my life since then, but my love for making music has never gone away. There's something really empowering in learning how to play an instrument. It's even more satisfying to learn how to make music with one another. I love it so much that me and my friend Rich decided create our old Old Town School-like experience right here in Northwest Indiana!

So if you live in Hammond, Indiana or parts nearby, never again do you have to wonder what your life might have been like if only you'd picked up an instrument, because Band 101 is here for you! We are a group of fun loving folks who love to relax and unwind at the end of a busy week by playing music together. 

Band 101 gets together every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Hammond, Indiana. The address is 6348 Harrison Avenue, Hammond, Indiana. Marissa puts on a pot of coffee, Alan brings sweets and we sing and play music together to our hearts' content-- usually about 90 minutes or so. 

It doesn't matter if you've never played, because we have the tools to get you started. And if you're shy, that's okay-- we're here to help you get your confidence so you can start your own Band 101 someday. 

We hope to see you this Friday! 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Gone fishing-- see you April 6th!

Hi folks, we're taking next week off and will regroup on Friday, April 6th. In the meantime, check out the series of logos that Band 101 member and graphic artist Katy Garza made for us! We're going to vote on a favorite at a future meeting TBA.

And, as a bonus, watch Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Family Sisters in their rendition of Wildwood Flower, one of the songs we covered tonight. Enjoy, and we'll see you in two weeks!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Band 101 set list + tahini dressing recipe

Hi folks, thank you for an invigorating rehearsal last week! We voted on 4 favorite songs out of the many we played this month, and tried lots of permutations until we settled on the arrangements we wanted.

Here is the set list we're going to play at Paul Henry's this Thursday. (Show up by 8:30 at the latest if you want to play.) Arrangements at the link--

1. Blue Bayou
2. Let the Mystery Be
3. Jolene 

Encore (if they haven't kicked us off the stage by then): This Little Light of Mine

And something that has nothing to do with music, the tahini dressing recipe in Katy's birthday salad. Happy birthday, Katy!

Combine in a blender the following ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (now with new, improved melody notes)

There were a ton of great musicians born in January! This month we covered Iris Dement, Joan Baez and Dolly Parton, but we left out Janis Joplin, Earl Scruggs, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Allan Toussaint, Etta James, Jim Croce, Steve Earl, Warren Zevon, Stephen Stills, Country Joe McDonald and Huddie Ledbetter. (We'll get you guys next year.)

Last night we celebrated Lucinda Williams' 65th birthday by playing her breakout hit, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

Melody notes after the chorus:

G  A  Bb  A  G  E  G  A  G
G  A  Bb  A  G  E
F chord
C chord

At the link is a new chord sheet for Car Wheels. I suggest making the other one into automobile origami.

Next Friday (February 2nd) is a rehearsal for Paul Henry's open mic, so pick your favorite 4 songs and we'll polish them to a high gloss for the 8th. 🙂

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

This Little Light of Mine and Dolly Parton

Last week, we warmed up with a classic from the Civil Rights Movement. 

This Little Light of Mine is a gospel song that came to be an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 60's. It was originally written by Harry Dixon Loes around 1920 as a children’s song. This Little Light of Mine" made it into the American folk music tradition when it was found and documented by John Lomax in 1939. At Goree State Farm in Huntsville, Texas, Lomax recorded Doris McMurray singing the spiritual.

The recording can still be found in the Library of Congress archives

During the Civil Rights Movement, Zilphia Horton of the Highlander Folk School adapted the song and taught it to Pete Seeger. The song is famously tied to Civil Rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer. On August 31st, 1962, while being detained by police on her way back from attempting to register to vote with other members of her community, Hamer began singing this song with other volunteers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Here is Odetta singing a beautiful version of the song. 

Next, we celebrated Dolly Parton's birthday. She turned 72 on Friday!

The origins of Jolene
"One night, I was on stage, and there was this beautiful little girl — she was probably 8 years old at the time," Parton says. "And she had this beautiful red hair, this beautiful skin, these beautiful green eyes, and she was looking up at me, holding, you know, for an autograph. I said, 'Well, you're the prettiest little thing I ever saw. So what is your name?' And she said, 'Jolene.' And I said, 'Jolene. Jolene. Jolene. Jolene.' I said, 'That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I'm going to write a song about that.'"

Parton says that she got the story for her song from another redhead in her life at the time — a bank teller who was giving Parton's new husband a little more interest than he had coming.

"She got this terrible crush on my husband," Parton says. "And he just loved going to the bank because she paid him so much attention. It was kinda like a running joke between us — when I was saying, 'Hell, you're spending a lot of time at the bank. I don't believe we've got that kind of money.' So it's really an innocent song all around, but sounds like a dreadful one."

Dolly Parton has been married to Carl Dean, a retired Nashville businessman, since 1966. "Every time I look at him sleeping over there in his La-Z-Boy, snoring, that hair turning grey at the temples," she said, "I wonder if Jolene is still around. I'll call her up and say, 'you come and get him now!'"

We ended on a high note with 9 to 5, Dolly Parton's anthem to working people everywhere. It was the #1 hit on the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts in Jan-Feb 1981, so it's fair to say Dolly struck a nerve!

The tide's gonna turn and it's all gonna roll your way.

And finally, it's not a song we covered last Friday, but the video is deeply silly and makes me laugh-- it's Dolly Parton's Why'd You Come in Here Looking Like That. Enjoy!