This past Friday night I went to a small informal benefit at The Blue Note and heard a local band play—mostly Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Barenaked Ladies covers. It's not really my thing, but I can appreciate the fun people have when they get together and bang away on their instruments. I'm joining an amateur string orchestra this week, and while I'm not sure how it's going to go—my only experience playing with others being piano duets with my mom and sister and clarinet in seventh-grade band—I have high hopes. Music is meant to be shared, and it's much more fun to play badly with someone else than sit at home and practice badly alone. If I'm going to suck, I want the world to hear it!
Next month you can buy the posthumous LP of a guy who loved to play his guitar and did not suck. Jack Rose passed away on December 5 from an apparent heart attack, but he recorded some impressive ragtime and country blues in his 38 years on the planet, combining old-time playing with styles as diverse as baroque folk and Indian raga. His final LP, Luck in the Valley, is set for release on February 23.
"Everybody Ought to Pray Sometime" by Jack Rose (from Luck in the Valley)
Rose was one of the latest wave of fingerstyle guitar players. When you hear the peaks and valleys of his playing, you realize how blissed-out music made him.