Chris and I will be spending next week at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV at the Augusta Heritage Center. Every year they hold a multi-week music school, with different weeks focusing on different kinds of music. We’ll be there for Early Country Music week, which looks at how the music developed in the 50s. and early 60s There’ll be a lot of Hank Williams and honky-tonk, chicken picking and rockabilly.
The week is being organized by Ginny Hawker, who will also be teaching a couple of singing courses. Her husband Tracy Schwarz will also be there splitting his time between Early Country and Cajun week. (Chris will take his country fiddling class.)
I looked for pictures of Ginny and Tracy, but I still think the best one by far is the cover of their most recent CD, Draw Closer. Aren’t they the friendliest looking folks? We’re really looking forward to spending some time with them.
Early country music is closely associated with the Fender Telecaster guitar, and so Chris is excited to also be studying with Bill Kirchen, the “titan of the Telecaster.”
Kirchen is most famous for the version of “Hot Rod Lincoln” he did back in the early 70s with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. He uses it as a signature song, adding a long middle section where he plays tribute to guitar players over the years. He even has the nerve to do it solo.
Right now I’m planning on using the blog for daily reports from the road, Sunday through Saturday.