Saturday, August 27, 2005

Another Sherwood Drone

Vaughan's barn, Sherwood

Henry - percussion
Rupert - percussion
John - mandolin, bouzouki (including slide bouzouki), acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar, voice, low whistle
me - saz, balalaika, acoustic bass guitar

On Thursday night we were Droning in the open-sided barn-like building close to Sherwood Cottage. This is Vaughan's place, but he was off abroad, and Rupert was house-sitting for him. We didn't light the stove seen in the picture above because of an owl nesting in the eaves - but you don't generally notice the cold when you're playing music - we made do with a few candles and Rupert's spicy Indian snacks. There was absolutely torrential rain just as we were tuning up, amplified by the corrugated metal roof to the point where we could hardly hear ourselves - but this very politely left us alone as soon as we were ready to play.

There were some minor tuning problems with my balalaika. Other than that, a very enjoyable, melodic jam. Sometimes when there are less of us it's easier to be expressive, without the fear of over-playing. I find I can vibe really well with John on the strings most of the time, and there are some good examples of that herein.

Listen Here

Just after we'd decided it was time to pack up, John launched into a sort of throwaway blues pastiche - not the first time the Droners have played the blues, but it's not something that often happens. It's great though, a really simple format on which to jam (which might explain why it's so popular). Henry used to drum in a prominent London blues band in the 80's - he told us all about that while we were packing up.


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