Mudcat Café message #51890 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8373   Message #51890
Posted By: BSeed
04-Jan-99 - 01:38 AM
Thread Name: Old Folkers
Subject: RE: Old Folkers
Four or five years ago I ran across a couple of other old folkers in a dog park on San Francisco Bay. I hadn't played for anyone but my students and at occasional union activities for years, had reached a wide but not high plateau with a long downward sloping surface as far as my instrumental skills were concerned. But I came across these two playing guitar and autoharp (I've told this story before in another thread, but not from this point of view), commented on their instruments, and was invited to sit and to play, and invited to join them with my own instruments the following Sunday.

That turned into regular Sunday afternoon sessions, then weekly sessions at the autoharpist's, and a whole new social life--and a definite renaissance of my musical life: I've learned to frail the banjo (in addition to up-picking and rather slow three-finger picking), am working on melodic clawhammer style--I do a creditable job on slow to medium speed ballads and a few fiddle tunes; I'm also learning to flatpick fiddle tunes on the guitar; I've finally learned how to play cross-harp style harmonica; my singing has improved greatly, but I still have a difficult time harmonizing without written notes (anyone have a good idea how to learn to sing harmony?) (actually, I do pretty well faking tenor harmony, but my range is really bass/baritone); I'm writing occasional songs again (sometimes inspired by Mudcat crashes)--in short, I have been born again, in a folk sense.

I was over sixty when this rebirth began. I have never felt more alive, nor have I ever learned so much so fast. And while the idea of living in a community of old folkie Mudcateers sounds enticing, I think I'll stay in the real world a while longer. I'm just starting a new career in an independent studies program, teaching photography--and next semester, *folk music*.

Any Mudcateers in the area--or travelling through the area--who would like to come and sit in my class, I'd be delighted to see you. I'll keep you posted on how it's going, when class times are, when we get brave enough to give a recital, etc. --seed