Wednesday, April 27, 2011

live Twang: Get My Gourd

I built the gourdtar back in the 90s from a giant dipper gourd I found at the North Carolina Farmers' Market in Raleigh. One of my professors in grad school at NCSU had a wood shop and he helped me built the neck and the fingerboard. When I moved to Shreveport around 2000, I fashioned the current bridge from some bamboo growing in my new backyard. The various pickups were a more recent addition.

The gourdtar is more or less a three string lap steel, though you could also look at it as a fretless mountain dulcimer if you preferred. In fact, I often drone strings on it while playing slide on just the high or high and middle strings, a technique quite similar to the way "traditional" players use a noter on a mountain dulcimer.

We have a lot of fun playing this one at shows, but because the gourdtar is fragile, its something of a rarity in our shows these days.

There's yet another version of this song on the Twang Darkly cd Live from Wire Mountain; in fact, this very track is available as a free promotional download. Likewise, the original version is on my Devil's Stomping Ground album.

Get More Gourd!

See all the recordings/videos I've created that feature gourdtar.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

live Twang: Blue Rover -- dulcimer rockabilly

Choose between alternative versions:

This is a fairly unusual use of the DAC dulcimer tuning, but a turn that seems to fit the mountain roots of the instrument quiet dead-on: rockabilly for mountain dulcimer!

You can find a recording of this one on our first cd, Live from Wire Mountain.