Saturday, June 25, 2011


In a previous post, I introduced Charlie Hall's Colorado Roots Music Camp.  Charlie is a highly accomplished player of multiple instruments as well as an instructor.  After hearing and watching all of the other incredible instructors at the camp, I must say that if I woke up tomorrow and could play like any of them, I would choose Charlie.  His playing is so crisp and clean and virtually flawless; he masters multiple styles instruments; and his singing is excellent.

Each of the camp instructors are virtuosos, winners of Grammys, competitions such as Winfield, and well-known amongst bluegrass and roots music players.  And, Charlie invites musicians who are excellent teachers as well as accomplished musicians, and each teaches classes from beginners to experts.  Each night the instructors give a concert, with the final evening being a student concert in conjunction with their instructors - all in all, quite amazing.  Since I enjoy guitar finger-picking, I was particularly impressed by Doug Smith.  What I had learned as Cotton-picking is Travis-picking, and can be played either "inside" or "outside."  Doug has several Youtube videos, and although I am not a fan of Stars and Stripes Forever, his rendition is over the top!!!  This is more to my liking:

The playing of Kailin Yong is difficult to describe - visit his website and watch him on Youtube.


One of the most moving pieces of the week was a Doug Smith/Kailin Yong duet of a blended piece - Ave Marie + I Can't Help Falling In Love With You.  Incredible.  Hopefully they will record this or get it on the web sometime.

Be sure to check out the websites and videos of the other camp instructors.  I especially enjoyed Tim May, Penny Nichols, Gerald Jones [the man is a hoot!], Dave Firestine [also a hilarious fellow] and Matt Flinner.


Bizzy Brain said...

Any cornet players in the group?

Dr S said...

BB - I bet there were some players there, but none in site; not exactly a bluegrass instrument :-)

Charlie Hall said...

Yes there WAS a cornet player in the group! I played a Conn Victor cornet from 7th grade through my freshman year of college. My sophomore year, my uncle (brass teacher at the college) switched me to horn (or "French horn" to some); only years later did he tell me it was (1) because he knew I always wanted to play horn but more importantly (2) that my embouchure on cornet was so bad that he couldn't fix it, and would just rather start me out fresh.

Doug, thanks for these kind comments. I'm not sure if I'd agree with you on who to play like when you woke up, but I appreciate it. Who would I pick? So many great players; very hard to choose one...


Dr S said...

Charlie - interesting about the cornet. I played a Conn Constellation from about 5th grade through high school, rising to first chair in the New Paris HS band for a couple of years and also 1st chair in the all-Elkhart-county band. Then my mouth met a steering wheel - busted teeth and ruined embrochoure [for a couple of decades].

Hope to see you down-the-road sometime. doug