Staying Inspired

Nov 08, 2018


Alright. I’m Mitch Reed! Welcome to my vlog. And today my vlog is about my website and I just wanted to let everyone know that for November, I’m having a big Skype marathon and there’s a pretty good deal in it too. If you’re into Skyping, you can get three Skype lessons, pay for two, get one free basically is how it works. And I love living up here in Maine. While I was playing the tune, I was looking out the window and a cat ran by with a mouse in his mouth and then a police officer crossed the street, and then a witch on a broomstick flew by and stirred up some leaves. I don’t know, there are all kinds of crazy stuff going on outside the window. Maybe it’s the tune. So that’s a pretty neat tune. That’s a waltz that Dennis just called “Myself” and it’s on iTunes. He recorded it in the early 30s, on a 78. And he also did it on some field recordings that were recorded by Gerard Dole and later put out by Joel Savoy. I think the title of the record is called Himself. Great old-time waltz and in a weird, weird tuning.

So yeah, I’ll play another one and talk a little bit more about that. So yeah, these tunings are not really used anymore in Louisiana. It’s very rare to find a fiddler cross tuning. Most of the time fiddlers just tune down to Cajun tuning. So I’m actually tuned down. Some people refer to it as G cross tuned, so I’m a DGDG. So Dennis played a lot of reels in that tuning, so I’ll play another one of those. So it goes [03:24]

Alright. So yeah, enjoying my living up here in Maine and drinking coffee out of my Big Foot mug, doing that. Pretty good coffee up here. Also got into a great accordion player up here named Junior Stevens, Irish accordion, and Cajun accordion. And he got me into this stuff called Hamm’s beer, which is a working man’s, a beer blue-collar beer, and it’s awesome and it’s super cheap. But this is the land of craft beer and the IPAs are out of this world, if you’re into IPAs; they’re just amazing. And yeah, the weather’s been really rainy. It’s almost like I’m back in Louisiana in November, you know, just a lot of rain. That’s usually what we get down there.

So if you dig these tunes, if you like weird tunes, I’m really into the obscure, rare fiddle tunes of Cajun and Creole music. I love all the weird tunings. Let me know if you’re interested in any of that kind of stuff or if you’ve looked up any of that kind of stuff and you’d like for me to break it down. So if you go to my website, it’s just You can become a member. I also sell Vimeo downloads of different things. I’m actually working on a Dennis McGee set of just all Dennis reels and then a whole nother download of all Dennis waltzes and mazurkas cause he played a lot of cool mazurkas. So check it out. So I’ll play one of those. So this one’s an interesting reel. [06:08]

Alright, so stay inspired. Keep on fiddling, go check out my website if you’d like to do some Skyping or Skype lessons. What I’ve been doing lately is I’ve been sending people tunes just for people to check out. You tell me the tune you like. If you want to just have me send you a bunch of weird tunes, I’ll do that. You pick the one you like and then I’ll send you the tabs and I’ll send you an audio file of me playing the tabs slow and then playing at normal speed. And so you kind of get everything. You get the audio, the tabs, and then we get together for a Skype lesson. So that gives you time to kind of work on the tune on your own. Then we’ll get together and then we can work on it together. So I think it’s a great way to do Skype.

And if you don’t like Skype, we can do FaceTime. So I’ve done many lessons just FaceTime on an iPhone or an iPad; that works as well too. So, yeah, cause the thing with fiddling is you have to stay inspired. You have to keep on challenging yourself. And, you know, when you feel like you’re kind of in a rut or you’re running out of juice, or you stop and say, “Hey, I haven’t played my fiddle in a couple of days.” That’s when you got to get some inspiration. And I know because I have to do the same.

So I’m up here in Maine and I’m kind of on this musical journey, research journey, quest thing, where I’m trying to get in touch with some of the older Acadian music, but also just New England music, Quebecois music, Irish music, the whole thing. The fiddle is really big up here. So I kind of felt like, you know, I was in a rut a little bit down in Louisiana where the accordion is so popular and the fiddle is kind of, I hate to say it, but kind of a slave to the accordion in Cajun music and modern Cajun music. Being up here has been refreshing because the fiddle is kind of the lead instrument, so it’s really nice. So it’s kind of what I needed and I needed to challenge myself as well. So I went to Fiddle Hell just this past week and fiddled with the devil and I didn’t win so I didn’t get the golden fiddle, but I had a blast. I learned all kinds of new tunes and it’s pretty cool.

So anyway, got to always stay inspired. You got to keep on digging. Find new tunes, always be learning a tune, and find tunes that really get you excited about the fiddle. Alright, so on that note, stay inspired. Keep on fiddling and I’ll see you soon. Take care.

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