HGG11 Open Mic Sessions: Old and New Faces

As mentioned last issue, at the 11th Harp Guitar Gathering, we held our usual Friday night open mic, with a similar Round Robin Sunday morning.  We even fit in one extra open mic during Saturday lunch!  So we heard lots of new music, including some from some new faces.  For example:

Randall Sprinkle, from Charlotte NC.  Randall came last year, but let his son Caleb play his Tony Karol harp guitar.  This year, he had the stage all to himself.  He played (beautifully) an original and a hymn, as I recall.

Craig Keever, from Fayetteville, AR, with his Tonedevil.  I somehow missed him, so Craig, you’ll have to come and do a repear next year.

Eric Elias, from Manchester, CT is a jazz guitar guy who really wanted a harp guitar, so decided to just try and build one.  Hey, it got the job done and sounded good!  We joked about him joining the luthier panel to demonstrate live onstage using a Makita to put a few more drywall screws into the headstock (no, it wasn’t quite that crude).   He was just starting to figure it out, so only managed to sneak in a couple subs (for which I put him on notice).

David Cherniske later played Eric’s instrument on Sunday (David, don’t you have one yet?!)  David, from nearby Milford, came to HGG9 as well.

Ed Dowling has come to most of Gatherings (with his wife Sally), but we can rarely get the modest fellow to play in public.  He’s a great musician with an arsenal of harp guitars (this is his new Worland).

Rob Mastrianni drove up from New York just for Friday evening so he could show us what he’s doing with his Coral sitar guitar: the neck’s got the jawari bridge buzz thing going on, while the drones, which he uses as super-trebles, sounded very crystalline.  And electric HG is always a nice switch!

James Platt on his Holloway.  James came to HGG9 (where he famously tuned SB’s Dyer to Db, something we will never, ever let him forget).  This time, he did a great cover of a tune that only Nate Blaustein recognized (“A Thousand Years” from the Twilight saga).  Nate then killed with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

A return visitor all the way from Germany, Michael Hess performed a lovely (Dowland, I believe?) lute piece on his 9-bass kontragitarre.  He did more classical music Sunday morning.

Other familiar faces included Stephen Warburton (with his Noble), playing lots of new tunes and styles, since we last saw him (welcome back!).  His wife Linda took all these photos.

Frank Doucette, playing a new composition on his Wingert

Brad Hoyt, playing “Here Comes the Sun” on his new Sedgwick AVC

Claude Laflamme trying out for the very first time his brand new instrument from Michel Pellerin

Andy Wahlberg and Stephen Bennett ad-libbed a multi-tune Beatles medley, while omitting their usual vaudevillian hijinks.

Your turn next year?!

Next: Sir Gregory

To the 11th Harp Guitar Gathering Blog Table of Contents

  1. Michael Schreiner Says:

    The opportunity to play in front of the Harp Guitar family is priceless. When you get up there it’s like you’re playing for your mom. The family is thrilled that you were brave enough to stumble through your piece and hardly notice the 57 mistakes you made. You’ll still get dinner (unless you play on Saturday).


  2. Michael Hess Says:

    Yes Sir Gregory,

    it was indeed John Dowland’s music, a medly of “Orlando sleepeth”, “Complaint” and “Sir John Souch’s Galliard”
    and it worked “solala” after a 7.5h horror road trip from Millersburg/PA to Hamden/CT.

    Greetings to all from Germany

  3. Randall Sprinkle Says:

    It was a great weekend, that picture reminds me of the “here’s Johnny “scene in The Shining!

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