Sunday, October 23, 2011

live Twang: What is the Hogstone?



I wrote this tune out in Las Vegas, back in the summer of 2011.  My wife was playing a lot of poker and I'd just got back from hiking around in Utah for a week.  As I happened to have a guitar with me at the time, it was fairly easy to entertain myself inventing new riffs as I gazed out upon the blinking neon and flanking mountains.

The title, "Hogstone," was with this song almost from the beginning; I guess it always struck me as a BBQ shack sort of song.  Why there is a "stone" tacked on the end probably boils down to the fact that I'm somewhat taken with the notion of mysterious rocks, petroglyphs, and the like. Those of you playing the home game may be aware I've used the enigmatic Judaculla rock up in Jackson County, NC, as the basis for another title. And of course, let's not forget the Pigstone either.

And, of course, we have a giant devil pig as a recurring visual motif, so I try to work as many pigs in there as possible.

If you listen carefully, you'll hear a little girl who was standing near us talking about "Bigfoot" several times during this song.  I reckon she found it slightly mysterious too, in spite of the obvious beer-soaked vibe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

live Twang: Prairie Dog Town -- banjo and harmonica

"Prairie Dog Town" was one of the first tunes I invented on the banjo back in 2001, way before the days of Twang Darkly. There's a very early version of it on the Andy and Michael Futreal cd, The Dirt Roads of Nations. In fact, there's quite a bit of banjo on that CD.

A very brief Twang Darkly rendition of this tune can be heard on our 2011 CD Live from Wire Mountain. Since those early Twang days, "Pdog" has become a staple of our shows and we've expanded it greatly. The version here was recorded in October 2011 at a fundraiser for a local art museum.

A friend got my Silvertone banjo for me at a yard sale for a mere $5. As purchased, it was missing the tuning machine for its high drone string, and it had a dirt dauber nest inside the resonator. I removed the daubers, but never did fix the missing drone string. Now I play a 4 string banjo, which suits me fine. So much so that I'd probably be tempted to remove the drone string from any new banjo I might someday acquire.

live Twang: To Morrow Mountain

This is an original piece for DGC tuned mountain dulcimer. When we play it live, we usually add on a slow-paced coda to the end which I refer to as "From Morrow Mountain." That coda is featured by itself as a single piece on our 2012 cd, The Sound of Secret Names.

Morrow Mountain is a peak in the little-known Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

live Twang: One for Seven -- Danelectro and harmonica

The guitar part for this dates back quite some time to a tune I used play called "Seventh Day Blues." Never played harmonica on it back in the day, but it turns out to be a lot more fun this way. I get some twang action on the guitar in there between bouts of harmonica, too, so this is always one of my favorites to perform.

This live clip was captured at a fund-raising gala for the Meadows Museum of Art in Shreveport.