September 2022 - Newsletter

Updated: Sep 4

Back to School September is here and I am back to teaching at Swallow Hill and the University of Northern Colorado. I have a good roster of students at UNC and the Bluegrass Ensemble is on its way to learning their repertoire for their November 7th recital. It’s nice to be back in the building and I always look forward to working with these enthusiastic and driven students. My Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam class was a lot of fun. We met for four Sundays and worked on skills for playing music with other people. The students made a lot of progress. At the first class many of them struggled to get through the song from beginning to end, even with coaching, but by the third class they were leading songs and keeping the jam going without any help at all. They learned to sing some harmonies, they learned to develop basic solos, and they learned a lot of songs. It was a great experience for me as a teacher, and the students really seemed to enjoy it. I will be offering it again in the spring, so stay tuned for that, and please sign up if you want to learn to jam with other people. Also at Swallow Hill, my Progressions classes are up and running. This semester I am offering a guitar class and songwriting class in the Progressions format. Progressions is a sixteen-week course that meets twice each week (mostly online) and is meant to help students make the transition from intermediate player to advanced or even professional playing. The folk guitar course has run three times now and has been one of the most inspiring and rewarding experiences of my teaching career. Students have made amazing progress each time, gained confidence to play, and many have started playing small gigs out and around the community. The Progressions: Songwriting course is brand new. It is half instruction and half workshopping songs. Students will write a new song each week to workshop, and we will discuss the elements of songwriting as well as talking about administering songs, recording and production, practical tools for songwriting (websites, online services, apps, etc.), and much more. I’m going to try to keep up with them and write a new song each week. I’m going to try to post my efforts on my Soundcloud site so if you want to follow along check out my profile. Perhaps the most exciting thing happening in my musical life this September is that I am participating in an artist residency with the Black Legacy Project out of Atlanta, Georgia. The residency is collaborative and pulls together Denver musical artist from varying backgrounds to re-imagine songs and compose new songs. As they describe themselves “The Black Legacy Project is a musical celebration of Black history to advance racial solidarity, equity, and belonging.” As a student of history, I am always intrigued by these kinds of discussions. I often collaborate with my friend and slam poet extraordinaire Jovan Mays and these kinds of discussions are par for the course in our friendship. Beyond that, I am always excited to collaborate with new musicians to create something new. We start this Tuesday (September 6th) with a roundtable discussion, and the project culminates on September 11th with a concert and film screening at Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, Colorado. To keep up with our progress over the week, make sure to follow me on Instagram! September 9th, I will be at the Gold Hill Inn in Gold Hill, Colorado playing honky-tonk music with The Martin Gilmore Band featuring Nick Amodeo on telecaster, Ian Haegele on bass, and Michael John McKee on drums. The Gold Hill Inn is one of my favorite places in Colorado and I am very excited for the show. If you can make it, I don’t think it gets much better than this place September 14th I'll be back in Brush, Colorado playing at their wonderful community market at the East Morgan County Library. I love getting out to the Eastern Plains of Colorado and seeing the folks in Brush and Fort Morgan. They also usually have a great book sale, and I can never resist that. That’s about all for September, but there are a few things in October that are exciting. First, my friends John and Julie Pennell will be visiting Colorado from Nashville, Tennessee in October and I will be playing a few shows with them around the Front Range. John wrote songs for Alison Krauss and played in her band for many years. His song “Every Time You Say Goodbye” is one of her most famous. He also wrote “Carry Me Across the Mountain” recorded by Dan Tyminski, “Meat and Potato Man” recorded by Alan Jackson, and “Fork in the Road” recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters. He and I co-wrote the song “I’m Not My Body” which is featured on my record The Martin Gilmore Trio and on John and Julie’s record Keep on Walking. Also in October, I will be offering a class through the Enrichment Program at the University of Denver called Songs of the Cowboy and Music of the American West. These classes will be offered online and run from 7pm-9pm on Wednesdays from October 12th – November 2nd. I’m very excited about this material, and I very much enjoy teaching these classes. You don’t have to live in Denver to be part of this course, and the Enrichment Program offers great lectures on a variety of other subjects as well. I highly encourage you to check them out. My garden is still giving me tomatoes, and I learned to make sourdough bread. I even made a sourdough starter from scratch. So far, I have had one mediocre success, and one decent success. But, as musicians know, practice makes perfect. I’ll get back to posting recipes once the semester settles in. Have a great September, Martin


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