Comrades Fill No Glass for Me

Adam Schlenker

Comrades Fill No Glass for Me
Performed By Adam Schlenker
Album UPC 700261929279
CD Baby Track ID 9957156
Label 5th Fret Productions
Released 2012-09-04
BPM 144
Rated 0
ISRC ushm91227148
Year 2012
Spotify Plays 342
Writers
Writer Stephen Foster (Arranged By A. Schlenker)
Pub Co Adam Schlenker
Composer Stephen Foster (Arranged By A. Schlenker)
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master
Rights Easy Clear: Master
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - Ohio

Description

This Flat Pick Guitar album embraces a wide array of influences, from Norman Blake to Miles Davis, and results in a collection of music that showcases not only technique but the heart of the music as well.

Notes

The last few years have been some good ones. Opportunities have presented themselves that have allowed me to meet new players from all around the globe and help them with their flat picking. In turn I have been helped. My own playing has grown from these experiences and my life has been enriched. Throughout this time my playing pulled back to a more contained, somewhat “traditional” approach allowing the Norman Blake & Clarence White influences to be further developed. Then at some point the influences from earlier in my life came roaring back. I went back up the fretboard to rediscover those sounds. I have always loved music, a lot of music, and being up the fretboard allowed influences like Wes Montgomery and Miles Davis to emerge. In making this album, Family Tree, I feel as though I have found a balance between those worlds. This balance seems to be rooted in the first five frets but also contains a better understanding of the “up the fretboard” approach to playing without losing the dialect of flat picking.

Family Tree contains 11 songs, all arranged to embrace this balance. Big Sciota kicks things off. It’s one of my favorite fiddle tunes to play and here you’ll hear my guitar and mandolin along with Steven Fox’s monster bowing on upright bass. His talents will reappear throughout this album. Up next is my re-write of The East Virginia Blues to become The West Virginia Blues making it autobiographical.

I have been drawn to the songs of Stephen Foster for as long as I can remember. Two of his works appear here. Angeline The Baker is presented as a guitar duo with my pal Gary Puckett (player, composer and instructor of the highest degree) . The other Foster song closes this record, Comrades Fill no Glass For Me. To me this song presents a tale of exhaustion as well as acceptance that I really relate to for various reasons. If I sound tired, I was, but this take seems to capture the truth of the story so I went with it.

Next, is the Beaumont Rag, another favorite of mine. Gary appears here again on second guitar with me on guitar and mandolin. In fact I played all the Mandolin on this recording, something I have not been doing as I would like lately. That leads us to my arrangement of the Grandpa Jones number, Eight More Miles To Louisville. Some of you may recognize it from my YouTube video but it is a new recording presented here.

Track six is something I call A Fork In The Tree. This is actually a Miles Davis number, All Blues that eventually evolves into The Clinch Mountain Backstep. Somewhere along the way while practicing I noticed that through a little manipulation of time, I could play Clinch Mt over the blues changes. The result is what you’ll hear here and I gotta say, it’s a fun one to play!

After that is a tune I learned from a Clarence White record. On that Record it’s titled Master’s Bouquet but I think the proper title is Gathering Flowers from the Hillside. This arrangement is for solo guitar and focuses on keeping the tune straight while manipulating the cross picking elements.

The next three are my own compositions. The Tipple Mound pays tribute to an image from my childhood. I grew up near Beckley West Virginia and I can recall driving over this particular hill. When you crested the hillside an old abandoned coal refinery would come into view. It’s a strip mall now. Unclaimed Rewards is a song I wrote a couple years ago. It tells the story of those who did what they had to do to survive. Often leaving their homes and families to work hard, very hard, and not question that work. That leads us to The Miner, I wrote this on mandolin but this arrangement focuses on my guitar and upright bass of Mr. Fox with.

For those interested in the instruments. I played my favorite guitar, my Merrill C-18 on everything except the second guitar on The West Virginia Blues is my 1951 Martin 000-21. On Comrades I played my Nashville Guitar Company D-28. The mandolin is a Webber Bitterroot Custom.

I hope you enjoy listening to this record, I certainly had a great time making it!

Adam Schlenker

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