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Author: Dan Evans

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live at Kathy Brown’s garden ~ III

guitar instrumentals: Plain Sailing (D Evans) interlude & The Garden Waltz (D Evans)

performed on Dan’s Auden Chester cutaway guitar in Open C tuning (CGCGCE) using delay effects from the Boss DD-500 and sampling/looping using the Boss RC-30

The Garden Waltz is one of Dan’s nature-themed compositions – imagine having cream teas on the lawn of an English country garden – then, being in England it rains – you’ll hear thunder, the pitter patter of rain, a downpour, more rain then, at the end, the repentant sky offers a rainbow as an apology

live at Kathy Brown’s Garden ~ II

the guitar instrumental version of the song Which Will (by nick Drake) & (Evans’ own) Chinese Water Garden, about water cascading down small rock pools – is followed by Dan’s own Waves, a guitar instrumental about waves lapping on a lonely shingle beach

both are performed in Kathy Browns’ famous garden in Stevington, Bedfordshire on Dan’s Auden Chester cutaway acoustic guitar in Open C tuning (CGCGCE) using delay effects from the Boss DD-500 and sampled sounds from the Boss RC-30 loop station

Nick Drake (1948 – 1974), was a British singer/songwriter/guitar player, whose fame grew after his death – in the song Which Will, Nick perhaps airs his depression over his music not being more popular, a sentiment shared by many songwriters no doubt

book review: Pluck, David Schnaufer’s biography

‘Pluck – The Extraordinary Life and Times of David Schnaufer’

by Linda Paulus

an informal book review by Dan Evans

first impressions

At over £37 from Amazon UK and with over 500 pages for the main story alone, this paperback represents quite an investment of time and money.  So is it worth it ?

Schnaufer’s story is written in the present tense with an ease that seems to make the pages turn more quickly than usual.  I enjoy reading but I’m often put off by very long stories.  Here however, I found myself on page 300 in seemingly no time, eager to read on and find out what happens next.

David Schnaufer – the man and his music

I learned about David’s shy, quiet and unassuming nature and the ease with which he made friends with just about everyone he met.  Rather than push his own music onto others, David was always keen to learn about their music.

The book sets the scene of country music in Schnaufer’s lifetime (1952 – 2006) and I learned how incredibly successful he was, especially in his collaborations with eminent country artists.  His story is even more remarkable when you consider David’s many struggles, both financial and medical.

It seems that much of his life David didn’t have a home of his own, except late in life when he lived in a tiny apartment in Nashville.  One of the cars he drove was a ‘rust bucket’ wreck that was given to him by a friend.  On one occasion David drives away from visiting friends, his car rattling and puffing smoke.  He then shouts back to his friends: “just three more down-payments and she’s all mine”.

Not being able to afford medical insurance, David could not easily see a doctor.  Both a broken neck (from an accident in early life) and long-term diabetes were seemingly not properly managed.  Despite these challenges, Schnaufer was prolific as well as successful, making many recordings, appearing in films and writing or co-writing songs.

David’s interest in the history of the dulcimer and of the Tennessee music box, lead him to acquire a collection of instruments, which are now housed in the Tennessee State Museum.  His respect for tradition was balanced by innovation.  He sometimes played a dulcimer with 4 equidistant strings or one with chromatic fretting, which doubtless helped when playing with others.

a large appendix       

There are a couple of pages in the comprehensive appendices that list discussion topics for book clubs.  These will make you reflect on David’s life and achievements as well as the purpose of life itself and the role of music and musicians in society.  Much of the appendix however is given to the countless references that cite the extensive research undertaken to complete this project.

my verdict         

It probably helped that I know many of the dulcimer players mentioned from my travels in the USA; Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book immensely.  I also feel proud to have known this great man and marvel at his fantastic contribution to the popularity of the dulcimer.  I’m also proud of my friend Linda Paulus for her monumental effort in pulling this project together, and so very nicely.

For British readers of this review: the late Roger Nicholson of London, England gets a couple of mentions in the book as a source of inspiration to the developing David Schnaufer.

If you are still not committed to buying a copy, let me whet your appetite further by mentioning just a few of the many artists that David Schnaufer worked with: Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Cindy Lauper, The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler, Alison Krauss and Sting.  Need I say more ?

live at Kathy Brown’s garden ~ I

‘Mary’ a new original guitar piece by Dan Evans and his arrangement of Turlough O’ Carolan’s Si Beag Si Mhor, performed live at Kathy Brown’s famous garden in Stevington, Bedfordshire

both performed on Dan’s Auden Chester cutaway guitar in Open C tuning, capo’ed to key of D

‘Mary’ is dedicated to Dan’s wife: Mary Evans

Turlough O’ Carolan (1670 – 1738) was a famous blind Irish harper, considered by many to be Ireland’s national composer ~ many of his tunes are called Planxties, a term that O’ Carolan might have invented, meaning

Si Beag Si Mhor, meaning ‘Small Fairy Mound, Big Fairy Mound’, is one of O’ Carolan’s most popular compositions and might refer to two small hills, possible burial sites, from his birth county of Meath

Old Bakery Studios, Truro

tickets from: https://daneveansandrichardtrethewey.eventbrite.co.uk/?ref=estw 

DanEvans ~ world-renowned British dulcimer player, guitarist & composer

Over three decades Dan Evans has built a niche career as a world-class exponent on both the mountain dulcimer and acoustic guitar.  He accompanies his fine baritone voice with beautiful and original dulcimer and guitar music.  With five CD albums released to critical international acclaim and eighteen international tours undertaken to date, Dan has won the hearts of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Richard Trethewey

Cornish singer and musician, Richard grew up in Cornwall but spent four years studying Folk and Traditional Music at The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.  He is currently performing with a number of folk groups but here is a rare opportunity to experience a solo performance with songs and fiddle tunes.


interview in Unicorn magazine

I stumbled across this interview for Unicorn folk magazine (UK) in my files today.  My wife and I met the editor: Simon Bailes, while we were on holiday in the Lake District in May 2014.  Simon was working away from home nearby in Cumbria at that time, so we met up and shared a meal together.  Following this acquaintance, Simon both interviewed me for Unicorn and, later, reviewed my Au Vieux Moulin CD, which was in the making at the time.


South Wind film

officially called The South Wind, this is an old Irish folk song about homesickness


The Pixies’ Waltz film

‘if you go down to the woods today …’ you might just see the pixies dancing to my Pixies’ Waltz – Pixies are British mythical creatures, miniature human beings, who are mischievous


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