Happy New Year!
I hope you had a great holiday season. I certainly did. My family rode the train up to Glenwood Springs and enjoyed a few days visiting the sites and soaking in the hot springs while the snow fell. It is such a beautiful town and riding the train is such a fun way to travel. I highly recommend it. We had a good holiday with some family visiting from Wyoming and survived the cold snap and snow storms without incident.
Though I didn’t have many shows in December I was proud of my Swallow Hill students who performed in a couple of showcase concerts. My Intermediate Bluegrass Ensemble Class prepared a set of six songs and played them very well on December 8th in Daniels Hall. They were part of a great revue of ensemble groups at Swallow Hill. Likewise, my Progressions: Songwriting and Progressions: Folk Guitar Students performed their concert on December 15th and really did well. It is always so impressive to see how much they improve over the sixteen weeks of the course. It’s hard to get up in front of people and play, let alone apply new skills. It is inspiring to see their musical progress and it's always a little bittersweet when the classes are over.
On that note, my new classes at Swallow Hill start on January 4th. I will be offering my Intermediate Bluegrass Ensemble, open to anyone who wants to play bluegrass music. That class runs for eight weeks and we learn four songs over the course of the class to perform at the Swallow Hill graduation during the last week of the session. This ensemble is always a lot of fun, and a great place to apply new skills, learn to play with others, or just to have fun playing music with others.
A new class I am offering also begins on January 4th. The Swallow Hill Bluegrass Band is a sixteen week course for just five players. It will feature one person on guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo, and fiddle/dobro. Players will have to submit an audition video and I will select the individuals to form the band. This group will play some gigs out in the community, and hopefully will continue to play even after the class is over. Unfortunately, everyone who applies will not be selected this session, but will be moved to the top of the list next session. If you’re interested in this class and have questions please feel free to email me through my website.
In other Swallow Hill news I will also be offering a Wernick Method Jam Class on Sundays starting January 15th. These classes are great places to learn the basics of bluegrass jamming, meet some fellow jammers, and to have a safe and accepting place for new bluegrass pickers to learn the ropes. The classes are very community oriented and you will be jamming on the very first day. All bluegrass instruments are accepted and there are even scholarships for the harder to find instruments (bass especially). Pete Wernick offers these classes all over the country and I am excited to be offering this class at Swallow Hill.
I will be offering two Progressions classes at Swallow Hill as well starting Feb 13th, 2023. Progressions: Songwriting will focus on developing and workshopping skills for new and established songwriters. It’s a great community for developing ideas and meeting other serious songwriters. I will also be offering a new Progressions: Bluegrass Guitar class focused on developing skills for bluegrass pickers. We will learn to play rhythm, lead, develop repertoire and explore the styles of many established pickers such as Clarence White, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Billy Strings and others. These classes meet twice per week for sixteen weeks both online and in-person. There are limited spaces available so sign up now!
As far as concerts go, I don’t have many in January but the Martin Gilmore Trio will be playing our first show of the year at Luther Strings in Denver on February 4th. We will start at 6pm and tickets will be $20. It’s a small room with limited seating so if you are interested in attending I would encourage you to get tickets early by visiting Luther Strings Website. My bluegrass band Long Road Home will also be at the Midwinter Bluegrass Festival in February. It looks like a great lineup so get your tickets!
Finally, I especially want to highlight my new Patreon page where people can support me and my music with monthly contributions. Contributors will receive various rewards and perks for different levels of support. Every contributor will receive a lyrics sheet and chart for a song each month, along with an audio practice track to jam with and develop solos. Contributors at higher levels will receive a video lesson for the song, and notated solos. I will post other content there as well, so even if you aren’t a player there will be something of interest for you.
Patreon is a great way to support artists directly and small monthly contributions can really add up to help DIY artists like myself keep going. If you are so inclined, you can find my Patreon page here. Regardless, I am grateful for your support as friends, audience members, and subscribers to this email list.
I’m looking forward to 2023, and I hope our paths will cross in the new year.