Quite a bit, actually.
We’re finally (mostly) in the black, which means that most of the major after-purchase home repairs are done, and we can probably do the last (re-plumbing underground and adding a faucet in back) in affordable bits. I stretched the dollars (read hit up the credit card) and bought a refurbished HP laptop. I can type again. That’s a good thing, because there’s been a lot going on here in my little burg that I’d like to share.
I’ve been playing gigs with the “Hilltop Gang” at the McDonald’s in Cordes Junction. It’s fun, we all make a few bucks, and it’s cool to see people’s faces light up when they hit the drive up and see musicians. Some go thru the drive-thru, get their food and then park to sit and listen for a while. We do a lot of country standards, a little gospel and some fiddle tunes. Kudos to the local McDonald’s for letting us play!:
Also did a few bluegrass gigs with the “Beaver Creek Philharmonic”, the most recent being the Flywheel Convention a month or so ago in McGuuireville, AZ. This got us a write-up in the paper.
On the quiet side, I’ve been working on other tunings, especially DGD. I’ve even converted a friend… but she can’t find any chords in the books she has; promised I’d get her some. Strange how so many of the newer dulcimer books do not talk about the older tunings… it’s all DAD. So most people who are new to playing don’t know that many other voices are possible.
I’m working to change that understanding, one tune at a time! My goal for this year is to learn DGD well enough to use it in open mics and other solo performance, and then get a handle on EAA. I LOVE that sound… so deep and wonderful! It’s the same A tuning used for baritone dulcimers, but works better on mine in reverse. It’s also a mixoylydian tuning, so the chords are the same as DAD (unless you switch the strings, of course. Then you have to reverse the chords too; still cool…)