Thursday, December 08, 2016

No Posts in 2016

Sorry to say I did not post anything in 2016. I guess I have been lured away by things like Twitter, etc?

Maybe a return to things like Photography and Music in 2017?

I am optimistic about the future!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Download more free full fidelity lossless FLACs at Bandcamp.com

A while back, I wrote a post about finding interesting free music posted on CDBaby now that they support lossless FLAC downloads.

The ECM Jazz label is one of my favorite labels so I am always on the lookout for music in a similar vein.

My current favorite download service is Bandcamp.com. It has always supported FLAC lossless downloads and even High Resolution Audio in the form of 96k/24b FLAC. Sometimes these are available for free or at a low price.

I devised a google search that will find artists who have a "Name your price" and ecm and jazz on their Bandcamp page.

Just use: "site:bandcamp.com "name your price" ecm jazz"

There are some nice things out there to find!

Enjoy.

Chris Conway's Happy Landings

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby Wolf Trap 08-06-2014

The Pat Metheny Unity Group made a spectacular appearance at Wolf Trap on a steamy summer Wednesday night. Along for the ride was the always effervescent Bruce Hornsby accompanied by Sonny Emory on percusssion (including vest frottoir) and drums.

Bruce opened the nearly three hour non-stop concert with some "campfire" songs featuring dulcimer with Pat Metheny sitting in on a couple of tunes. Bruce moved to the piano for more music that included nods to 20th century composers such as Anton Webern (Hornsby pointededly pointillistic) and Elliot Carter. Bruce seemed in good cheer and frequently interacted with listeners in the front rows. Bruce also mentioned he has a new album out now called Solo Concerts.

Pat's Unity Group is a very fine tuned engine that has only improved over time - this concert being "gig 118" according to Pat. Chris Potter on sax and flute continues to be a strong foil to Pat's all encompassing guitar orchestra. Ben Williams has massively matured since I first saw him with the Unity Band several years ago.

The concert finale was a rousing full Pat Metheny group featuring Bruce Hornsby playing his signature song The Way It Is.
Pat Metheny Bruce Hornsby Encore Wolf Trap 08-06-2014

Friday, August 01, 2014

Preston Reed Delayed Train


Very cool new video from acoustic guitar pioneer Preston Reed. I will be attending his concert this fall at Jammin Java!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paul Reed Smith Guitars

Going through some photos that I had not processed and found some from last years Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Experience that took place at the Kent Island, MD factory. I've attended this event for the past couple of years and it has always been a high point of my year. Unfortunately, the event will not be held in 2014. It could be because of the expense involved but I hope it will resume in future years!

So, in appreciation of this event and wishing for the future I give you these photos of masterpieces of wood and steel.


PRS Experience 2013 Electric Guitar Display

PRS Experience 2013 Acoustic Guitar Display

PRS Experience 2013 Electric Guitar Stained Bodies

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Panasonic Lumix GM-1 - Redbud Tree Bark

I took the plunge into the ILS world by purchasing some Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds bodies a while back. As good deals appeared I have upgraded my system. Currently I own a Lumix G5 and acquired the ultra compact Lumix GM-1 late last year. I'm just getting around to exercising the GM-1 and have been using the kit lens to get a feel for the basic controls.

I have a very old Redbud tree in my yard that despite having suffered some kind of disease just soldiers on year after year. I am kind of obsessed with the bark of this tree and so I took a few shots on a recent clear twilight to see what I could achieve. Here is an example which was only lightly processed in Lightroom 5.

Redbud Tree Bark

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Download free full fidelity lossless FLACs at CDBaby

I heard a song (Dancing on the Water) by Michael Stribling on XM Radio 68 that I kind of liked and did an internet search when I got home which led me to CDBaby.com. Interestingly, the album (Love, Light, and Water) with the song in question was offered as a free download. CDBaby has in recent months started to offer FLAC files as a download option similar to the way Bandcamp.com has always done. FLAC of course is lossless compression so it is in theory the equivalent to the original CD. I prefer full fidelity downloads to the more compressed variety such as MP3.

CDBaby doesn't offer a way to search for these free download goodies so I used Google's SITE: modifier like this: site:www.cdbaby.com "download $0.00". The results were quite good and one of the first things that showed up in the search results was this excellent fingerstyle Guitar album by Roger Hudson.

Roger Hudson - Delta

I am quite a fan of acoustic fingerstyle guitar and know most of the practitioners from John Fahey on but Roger Hudson is a new name for me.

I will continue to review the search results for more audio gems.

Update: To further refine your search you can append a keyword such as "Classical" or "Jazz" for instance to the original search. I used the keyword "ECM" and turned up two very nice jazz albums for free download. site:www.cdbaby.com "download $0.00" ECM

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pat Metheny Unity Group - Strathmore Concert Hall, Bethesda, MD 03/21/2014

Another spectacular concert by Pat Metheny and his current band including Chris Potter, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez, and newcomer Giulio Carmassi. A nearly full 3 hours of non-stop musical excellence. As usual, the sound quality at Strathmore was wonderful.

I particularly liked Pat's solo and final encore which featured him on an Ovation nylon string guitar where he played a medley of about a dozen plus of his favorite songs. I've dubbed it "Around the World in 80 Pat's".
Pat Metheny Unity Group, Strathmore, 03/21/2014
Pat Metheny Unity Group, Strathmore, 03/21/2014
Pat Metheny Unity Group, Strathmore, 03/21/2014

Friday, August 02, 2013

Just finished building my Bugle 2 DIY phono preamp. Worked first time and sounds wonderful. Very quiet and very extended frequency response. Big thanks to Jim Hagerman for creating this project!


Bugle 2: A DIY Phono Preamp

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Andy McKee @ Montpelier Arts Center 05-17-2013

Andy McKee and his Greenfileld guitar
Fingerstyle guitar player and Youtube phenom, Andy McKee, returned to the Washington, DC area on Friday night to play a fine concert of his original material for solo acoustic guitar. Andy acknowledged his debt to ground breaking guitarist Michael Hedges and played a spot on cover of the late Mr. Hedges The Layover.

Andy was in good humor and played a comprehensive set of mostly original songs from all of his albums including his breakthrough Art of Motion and the most recent Joyland. As I told Andy after the show, it is my opinion that he most embodies the legacy of Mr. Hedges. For me, it is not just about technique but the structure and flow of his music which tells a compelling story.

Opening for Mr. McKee was the very gifted Craig D'Andrea. He presented a very nice set of instrumental pieces for acoustic guitar that were varied and engaging. Craig also records for Candyrat Records which has a fine stable of acoustic guitar practitioners. Label mate, Don Ross, will be making a stop at Jammin' Java in June.