Thoughts of the Day

OTHF 2022 

Got back last night from the Old Time Heritage Festival in West Plains, MO. We had a fabulous time and I think our performance went well. I'm sending a big thank you to the folks who plan, organize and run this festival; they think of everything and take top-notch care of the performers. Many thanks to Gail Morrissey who stepped in and provided some great sounds!! 

I got to premier my nyckelharpa and even played a bit of actual Swedish music and some Irish on it. We saw friends and met some great people along the way!! 

Gift from Sweden 

A couple of years ago my cousin and I traveled to Sweden and had a grand time visiting with our cousins, seeing the sites, and generally playing tourist. We happened to be there on Sweden Day; I got to see local costumes, dancing, and music. That is where I fell in love with the nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle). This is the Swedish national instrument. 

Last summer I received an amazing gift from my cousins in Sweden! They sent me a nyckelharpa; it was built by Eric Olsson in 1975. I had some minor work done on it, new strings, and fine tuners for the major strings. 

 

Looking back... and forward 

Stringfield has been around for over 20 years in some form. It was created with dulcimer partner Gail Morrissey; we played together as a duet for at least 22 years. We met in a dulcimer club here in Springfield. Our styles just clicked right from the beginning. We played numerous festivals, small venues, small concerts and even traveled to Japan for the Bon Festival there. She and I had the privilege to play with many accomplished musicians along the way. What an adventure. About 4 years ago; Gail called performing quits. Needless to say, I was a bit lost. 

I took some time off to ... re-group. I had the privilege to perform with a great harpist and a wonderful bass player, each of whom has moved on to do other things. I am now in the process of getting a new Stringfield underway. Barry Smith, who actually played for Gail and me years ago, and I are putting together a duo. We have been booked for the Old Time Heritage Festival; I look at this as a big kick-off to new music. We will have the pleasure of including Elissa and Clay Dodson in this upcoming performance. We also will be playing the FMO and the C Street markets; the schedules are not out yet. Farmers' markets are great ways to get in shape again.