As part of Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop Audio Series this comprehensive and thorough collection of fingerpicking guitar lessons contains invaluable tips and instruction implemented throughout the arrangements in this book. The three audio CDs give 3 full hours of note-by-note, phrase-by-phrase instruction.
Lesson One: Songs: Charles OConor and Sheebeg and Sheemore.
Lesson Two: Songs include: The Blarney Pilgrim and Callahans Hornpipe.
Lesson Three: Song: The Kid On the Mountain
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Duck Baker was born Richard R. Baker IV in Washington, DC in 1949 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. His teenage years were devoted to playing the rock and blues bands before becoming interested in fingerpicking in local coffeehouses. Ragtime pianist Buck Evans was a major influence on Baker's developing interests, which by the time he moved to San Francisco in 1973 included rags, blues, old-time country, Cajun, bluegrass and New Orleans jazz. This variety inspired the title of his first solo record, "There's Something for Everyone in America," in 1976.
During the next four years, Baker recorded four more solo records, including one devoted to swing, one to modern jazz and one to Irish and Scottish tunes, and appeared on nine others. He also wrote a book of fiddle tune arrangements and toured incessantly throughout America, Canada, Europe and Australia. He changed address almost as constantly, finally winding up in Europe for most of the '80s. He returned to San Francisco in 1987 and finally to Virginia in 1991. Most of his more recent solo recordings have featured his own compositions, an aspect of his work that has drawn particular praise from other guitarists.
If Baker's insistence on studying and performing so many facets of folk and related music, from medieval European carols to avant-garde jazz, have made him somewhat difficult for the press to categorize, he certainly has earned the respect of his peers. A check list of musicians with whom he has been associated professionally (in performance or on records) would include blues man Charlie Musselwhite and Jerry Ricks, bluegrassers Tim O'Brien and Dan Crary, traditionalists Ali Anderson and Brian MacNeil, new music icon John Zron, rock legend J. J. Cale, and jug band king Jim Kweskin.
Duck Baker has been a seminal figure and influence in the bringing of Irish traditional music to the guitar. Baker is one of those rare musicians who doesn't draw upon the repertoire of his chosen instrument for musical raw material, but rather finds ideas in the broader musical stream, and shapes them to the sensibilities of the guitar. From the application of that talent comes his acknowledged success at translating Irish fiddle, pipe, and harp music for the guitar. His memorable but not widely distributed 1980 album Kid on the Mountain outlined a stylistic approach that eschews any cosmetic prettiness of tone, and focuses rather upon the possibilities of stark, open harmonies and complex interwoven bass lines. That album first introduced to many guitarists in America viable arrangements of some essential Irish tunes, a few of which include "The Blarney Pilgrim," "Morgan Magan" and "The Duke of Fife's Welcome to Deeside." Though that album is long out of print, many of the landmark arrangements found there have been reissued on various CD collections.
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