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Good Wood

Good Wood

  • Door Stephen Bennett
  • Release 8-12-2009
  • Muziekgenre Folk
  • Media-indeling CD
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This project is called GOOD WOOD because I think that is truly part of what makes the particular instrument celebrated here - my great-grandfather's harp guitar - sing out so beautifully. A well-built guitar often can sound great when new, but when combined with the aging process of a century, there is potential for real magic. My harp guitar was very well built to begin with. It turned 100 this year - 2009 - and it is one of those instruments that have the magic. If you consider the likelihood that the wood for this instrument was cut a few decades prior to 1909 and then set aside for seasoning, that suggests that the trees providing that wood started life several centuries earlier, perhaps more. Good wood indeed! My great-grandfather played it for many years, for fun and for part of his livelihood. He played in bars in the Yukon, in the pool halls on Pike Street in Seattle, and on the radio in Portland, Oregon in the 1930s. This was on a radio show on KGW called the Hoot Owl Radio Hour. Another Hoot Owl, incidentally, was Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny and many other cartoon characters). I love the imagery of my great-grandfather in a radio station in front of the microphones with Mr. Blanc sitting next to him, entertaining the folks of the Pacific Northwest. I don't know if in fact they worked together at the same time, but it's entirely possible. On only one occasion, in 1965, on a family trip back to Oregon when I was 9 years old, I got to hear my great-grandfather playing. I have only the dimmest of memory of that, so I can't say it directly inspired me in any way. The instrument itself however, inspires abundantly. It is a magical sound, as any guitar player who tries it soon discovers. Indeed, I fell in love with it immediately, and I still am... After 2 decades of writing and performing on various harp guitars, I wanted to celebrate this birthday with a project of tunes that would have either been around in 1909 when this, my first harp guitar, began it's life. The only exception is Aunt Lu's Waltz, which I wrote. Lu (my Mom's younger sister), along with my uncles, kept the harp guitar safe for the 20 years after Gonky died (this was my great-grandfather's nickname - apparently because Augie and Gonky were the closest my mother could get to pronouncing Grandma and Grandpa when she was a toddler), as well as hanging onto the old family house on the Oregon Coast where the harp guitar spent many years. Other than this one tune for Lu, the newest music here is from 1916.

Details

Kunstenaar: Stephen Bennett
Titel: Good Wood
Genre: Folk
Releasedatum: 8-12-2009
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 734232104624

Credits