Tag: guitar

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In need of a break from the ugliness of politics, I turned to my current favorite classical guitarist, Xuefei Yang, an example of the best of China. As I noted in a recent post on music memories, her work points back, in part, to Julian Bream. Bream was a masters of the guitar and lute, […]

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Xuefei Yang posted two short pieces recently. “Three Variations on Plum Blossom” demonstrated her talent interpreting traditional Chinese music on the classical guitar. A week earlier, a Dubussy piece, arranged by Julian Bream, called to mind my earliest encounters with classical guitar music, when Julian Bream was one of the leading masters of the guitar […]

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Mae Mae’s Cooking Up More Than Food for Your Belly


Mae Mae’s Happy Table brings home cooking and home-spun wisdom to YouTube. Mae Mae, with her husband Tuck on the camera, has recently added a weekly meal video, with each item explained and likely detailed in a separate video. This week, we got even more. Mae Mae had been visiting relatives and live-streamed a meal at a restaurant. This prompted Karens to attack and Mae Mae responded in the strength of the Lord. Never mind The Rock, do you smell what Mae Mae’s cooking?

Here is a delicious, homely meal of green beans from Tuck’s garden, rolls from the store, sweet tea (naturally), and a delicious pot roast.

Home Cooking and Concert, 1st Week of July


As America heads into a long holiday weekend, however distorted by the great political fight for permanent tyranny or another season of liberty, it is fitting and proper that we should again reflect on our many blessings, including our national heritage. Our basic governing document has only been truly changed, legitimately amended, 27 times in 233 years, with 10 all at once at the very beginning, part of the agreement under which the base document of the Constitution was ratified.

We all profit by Saint Paul’s admonition to the early church at Philippi:

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In the midst of strife and negativity, it is important to seek out beauty and praiseworthy things. I look forward every week now to what Xuefei Yang and Mae Mae will offer up to the world. This week does not disappoint. Xuefei Yang plays a tradition Chinese piece, the Lantern Song. Preview Open

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Music That Makes Me Think of My Parents’ Garden


My father grew up in what was then Pennsylvania farm country, and my mother grew up in a family of serious gardeners. So, we grew up with gardens large and small, depending on our abode. I have been enjoying and sharing Xuefei Yang’s series of recordings from her backyard over the past two months. The setting makes me think of my parents’ back yard, which is mostly garden.

The mugs hanging in the kitchen read “Head Gardener” and “Undergardener.” Mom is the head gardener, and Dad has enjoyed decades of assisting her and getting satisfaction from the results of their labors. From the early days with a two-wheeled Gravely tractor busting sod in a big back yard for our first big vegetable garden, to today when he still wrangles bags of composted steer manure into long-established plant beds, Dad is the brawn to Mom’s gardening brains. That has been part of his life-long example to us of loving and honoring his wife. We kid him about wearing shorts year-round, but his life-long discipline shows in cannon-ball calves as he progresses through his eighth decade.

Beauty and Beast-Mode


Scanning YouTube yielded three starkly contrasting videos:

  • The First Lady extended Mother’s Day greetings and best wishes.
  • The Donald J. Trump official campaign rolled out a 30-second ad with over 30,000 views already, that the leftists controlling the metrics will admit.
  • Finally, my new favorite classical guitarist offered up another lovely garden session.

Classy Music from a Garden in Spring


My new favorite classical guitarist, Xuefei Yang, has taken to playing short pieces for us from her garden. It is very professionally done, the guitar coming through perfectly along with a bubbling fountain and birds chirping. The camera looks through the branches of a tree, blossoming in spring. Enjoy!

Music critic and historian Ted Gioia joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the 4,000-year history of music as a global source of power, change, and upheaval—topics explored in his new book, Music: A Subversive History.

The music business is a $10 billion industry today. But according to Gioia, innovative songs have always come from outsiders—the poor, the unruly, and the marginalized. The culmination of his decades of writing about music, Gioia’s new book is a celebration of the social outcasts who continue to define this art form.

Man and Woman at the Dawn of the Electric


Much of the sound of both “popular” and “country” music today comes from the partnership of a man and woman in the early 1950s. While Les Paul was the technical innovator, he wisely partnered with Mary Ford to record and broadcast the culmination of his innovations as beautiful music. Their performances and the public’s enthusiastic reaction, were the greatest sales pitch in the world for a new generation of musicians to adopt the guitar technology and recording and voice microphone techniques. The couple’s recording and touring career was eventually a victim of their success, as other performers took their innovations and carried them further, but their records and television show performances, preserved on video recordings, still please modern ears.

A statement about Les Paul and Mary Ford on the Les Paul website, seems boastful, but is demonstrably true:

Today’s leading recording artists know that their sound is built on the genius inventions of the Wizard of Waukesha and his stellar performances with wife Mary Ford.