First Track

Last night we recorded “Out on the Ocean / Morrison’s Jig / Kesh Jig,” one of my favorite medleys. They’re fun tunes, and I like the way we’ve structured the medley. We each take turns dropping out, so that the first Out on the Ocean is just fiddle and dulcimer, the first Morrison’s just fiddle and guitar, and the first Kesh just dulcimer and guitar.

My parts have some fun variety, as I play chords for Ocean, melody for Morrison’s, and alternating melody and chords for Kesh. I also get to use some Irish long rolls in the two later jigs, an ornament I learned from Karen Ashbrook. We do a cool chord progression for Morrison’s that I learned from Don, a multi-instrumentalist who plays at the O’Hurley’s jam in Shepherdstown WV and helps out with the dulcimer festival there.

We started out still working on mics and set-up, playing a couple of other medleys to test recording levels and such. When we found a set-up we liked, we decided to go for it. We recorded seven takes. We all made some errors, some more glaring than others. But we all seemed most happy with the final take. Once we’ve listened to them all carefully, we may be happy enough with it to make it the first official CD track.

I’m glad that we agreed to pick a handful of pieces to record first. I’ve practiced them pretty diligently, and that gave me a sense of confidence and freedom last night.