Friday, October 12, 2007

Cannington 2007 Don Ross Andy Mckee Guitar weekend

It was that time of year again, time to pack up the old acoustic guitar (that looks like a bedpan) and head up to the home of Canada's best known and loved fingerstyle guitarist, Don Ross in Cannington Ontario. I stayed at one of his neighbor's again, in the house that looks like it's right outta the Munsters, a fantastic place!

As usual the food was GREAT and the music was EXCELLENT and the people were AMAZING! Some great players as always, you really push yourself to get better after going to one of these things. I wrote down the names of a pile of tunes I gotta learn now as people unveiled some real gems during song circle, not to mention the in-depth look we got at Andy's tunes, like Drifting, Hovercar, Art of Motion, etc. So many tunes, so little time! I think the thing I like the best about these weekend seminars is the oppertunity to ask the composer of the tune, who is sitting there right in front of you, to play the part of the peice you're interested in slowmo, and to break down the right and left hand fingerings. I video tape it so I can watch it later and that's where the instruction really sinks in. That stuff is like GOLD man!

The seminars were held in Don's new backyard studio. It's pretty neat that he records there considering you must have to go kill all the crickets first "Meep meep" (cricket sounds)(grin). He said he has a new CD on the go, a duets CD with Mckee and a vocal tunes CD. We heard a few cuts off of them during the weekend and I stumbled across soem more in a CDR in the disc changer in his van when I volenteered to drive to the nearby town of Lindsey to get a spotlight stand for the concert that Saturday night.

Actually that was kind of weird. Sometime around 1992 I heard Don's tune "The First Ride" on the radio and freaked, calling the DJ at the radio station for more info on the guy and here I am 15 years later driving Don Ross's van listening to unreleased tracks on his CD player as I go get a spot light for a show I'm roadieing for him. It's freaky the way things turn out.

Don showed us how to play the lovey "Brooke's Waltz" a piece he gets a lot of requests to TAB. It's in a remarkable tuning that I hope he explores further. Also, the subject of that song, Don's wife Brooke Miller was there and I was lucky enough to plunk her down on a chair with my guitar and film her fingers playing "Country from the Domecar" and "Jericho", two tunes of hers I'm gonna lift and learn how to play someday (I got all the secrets now! Muhahahahaha) She is one of the coolest people on the planet and an extremely talented songwriter in her own right. Definitely a three for two deal at Cannington these days when it comes to famous musicians!
Next year I hear the guest may be Beppe Gambetta from Italy. Color me there!


Doron Berger said...

Wow dude, that's amazing, really.
This comment is a tad late, I know, sry > <'
How'd you get this gig?
And also, how the hell do you know freaking DON ROSS?!

Zartimus said...

I'm a stalker! Muhahahaha

Doron Berger said...

Ok no questions it is =)

Call me bored but I just read the entire "missy the cat is missing" bit, I'm still laughing XD
Thank you!

Zartimus said...

Don used to run Guitar instructional weekends in his home in Cannington Ontario. Since he moved to Nova Scotia last year, he's continued them but we have to wait and see how he will run them from his new place. He gets a world class guitarist in to do the weekend with, you pay a flat fee and get food guitar food guitar and more food plus a show on the Saturday night. I've been a few years now (you can check the blog for other times) and it's a blast! You learn tons!

I found out about them from other guitarists, they sell out quickly. people come from overseas and stuff. Dig around on his website and get on his mailing lists, Don will advertise them when they become avaliable.

Doron Berger said...

The thing I love about Andy McKee is how his music makes me feel like home, lacking any other appropriate definition. I'm less familiar with Don Ross' material, but transforming your house into a motel with benefits sounds pretty homey to me, and I think only someone special (like Don Ross, apparently) would come up with this routine.
So huzzah for him and huzzah for you! I live in Israel so I don't have the luxury of road tripping in Canada for now, but if I do visit Canada someday I'll keep Halifax in mind. (I just looked it up, he promises "no Viagra pills spam" on his website XD )
Thank you again, I'll probably start reading parts of your blog silently from now on, it's a little awesome =)