It is spring here in New England. Perhaps that is why I have given in to the sillies. In this issue of The Kitchen Musician, I play a little Beethoven on my do-it-yourself Krummy Horn. I also have some great musical news and terrific upcoming shows to tell you about. Join me in the kitchen!
Modeling the latest in folkie fashion.
Last week I learned that my songs “Lick My face” (see photo above) and “Annie on the Stairs” were named top-ten finalists in the Great American Song Contest. It is also great to see my New England friends Mark Stepakoff, Marc Bridge, Jon McAuliffe, and Lydia Fortune receive songwriting honors, chosen from over 1500 songwriters who entered.
Later this month I am delighted to return to Lasell College for the fourth time to discuss and demonstrate how folk songs can humanize and deepen our understanding of history. This private show will be hosted by Prof. Lorraine Lee Hammond, a New England folk treasure. Sharing Lorraine’s history class with her is a great pleasure that I have come to look forward to each year.
I have lots of great shows coming up, but would especially like to highlight that I will be opening for one of my folk music heroes, Geoff Muldaur. My love for self-made music was completely solidified the first time I saw Geoff perform with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in 1968. He has continued to make great music ever since. I would love to share Geoff with you when I open for him at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA on Friday, May 4th (details below).
This Month’s Music
“Tom’s Krummy Horn”
Click the image above to play the video.
In this month’s video I demonstrate the krummy horn. I thought that I invented it, but a few quick Google searches will show that it must have spontaneously been invented by numerous people. The only part of it that I can claim is the name (so named because it sounds a little like the crumhorn, a double-reed medieval instrument.)
I have many fond memories of when I was a boy growing up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. Although we didn’t have very much I never thought of us as poor. Living a great distance from other children, my brothers and I had to make our own fun. We learned to make do with what we had, and often that meant making what we had. When I was told I had to water the garden every day, I made a rotating water sprinkler out of an old broken music stand, a hose and leftover plumbing supplies. We enjoyed making music, so we made our own instruments out of cast-off materials we found in the barn – instruments like a cigar box guitar, mouth bow, whistles of various types, corn stalk fiddle (yup, a fiddle made from a corn stalk and a shoe string bow â€“ terrible sound), a magic twanger (a kind of industrial size kalimba), and of course the krummy horn. Looking back with the benefit of an adult perspective, I think that these experiences of making things for myself were fundamental in defining the core me, for which I am eternally grateful.
Self-made music on self-made instruments is as pure as musical enjoyment can get. If you have stories of musical instruments you or people you know have made, I’d love to hear about them. Please scroll down to the end of this page to leave a comment.
Here are some kindred spirits to share musical instruments that they made.
Buffy Sainte-Marie plays her mouth bow.
Xylosax plays a “Humarimba” with Linsey Pollak on Watering Can Clarinet
Make your own music!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
April 12 Lasell College. Private show to discuss and demonstrate how folk songs can humanize and deepen our perception of history.
April 22, Sunday, 10:00 am Mansfield, MA. Sharing a set with good friends Deb O’Hanlon and Peter Fischman at the New England Folk Festival. Click for details
April 27, Friday, 7:00 pm Groton, MA. Opening for Sam Bayer at the Main Street Cafe open mic. Click for details
May 1, Tuesday, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Provincetown, MA. Interview and live performance on WOMR-FM-92.1 ‘Roots n’ Offshoots’ show, hosted by Carol Courneen. Streamed live on womr.org I am not sure of the exact time – likely around 10:30.
May 3, Thursday, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Dedham, MA. April’s ‘First Thursday Dedham’ event at Paradise Cafe was so successful, we will do again in May. This time I have invited the amazing Chris Pahud to swap sets with me. Click for details
May 4, Friday, 8:00 pm Framingham, MA. I am excited to open for one of my musical heroes, Geoff Muldaur at Amazing Things Arts Center. Click for details
May 13, Sunday, 7:00 pm Westford, MA. Featuring at John Ferullo’s open mike at the Parish Center for the Arts. Click for details
May 26-28 Cambridge, MA. Joining my Birch Beer Records friends Dan Cloutier, Kim Jennings, Oen Kennedy and Levi Schmidt at Club Passim Campfire Festival. Details forthcoming.
Click to view all upcoming shows.
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