Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

Fast Buck Freddie

https://www.bitterrootbugle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Fast-Buck-Freddie.mp3 In 1975 The Jefferson Starship released album Red Octopus with the song Fast Buck Freddie on it. The lyrics railed against the Feral Reserve stealing our wealth right before our eyes that were squeezed tightly shut. This group of musicians did that quite a bit – tried to open our eyes to the evil lurking in our political “representatives”. Click the play arrow above to hear what they tried to tell us 35 years ago. The dollar bill of the time could be folded in certain ways to create an image of a joker shooting himself with a handgun. That was Feral Reserve humor as they laughed their butts off while sucking the value out of our hard-earned […]

on a brighter note – make that lots of notes

A trombone great I never heard of does amazing imitations of many I have heard of in a light-hearted stand-up routine. She is enough of a student to understand and appreciate their various styles and a great enough musician to reproduce them one after another.

Ted on trombone + friends

Since moving to The Bitterroot, groups with room for my trombone playing are hard to come by. My fall-back option is my computer and studio speakers running Music Minus One recordings while I pretend to have a real band or small combo to play along with. I used my new-to-me-then Canon camera to record two representative samples of my main Bitterroot trombone gigs. The miniature internal microphone certainly does precious little to capture any sound quality that might exist were we listening live. The artsy photographic effects were fortuitous accidents. I did not know I had turned them on (or how), but am happy with the result. Most summers find me playing a bit part in our community band… that […]

musical interlude

This is the ultimate child prodigy – the real thing. Take a break and enjoy this show. Mozart Piano Concerto No 3 in D major is a lovely piece, but to watch a 5-year-old smoke it out on a grand piano is an amazing treat. While 20 adult musicians read and play their parts off sheet music, the diminutive Russian holds it all in his head. More amazing is the power this little guy puts into the keyboard. His tone, articulation, rhythm, timing and feel are as good as any adult I can imagine playing this piece. And DO STAY for the encore. He is clearly enjoying this short piece. Observe the audience reaction. Were this in the USofA a […]

don’t bring me no bad news

My daughter’s 8th grade class put on the play WIZ. I loved it… likely helped that my little girl who had done so poorly academically shone in dedication to learn and perform two leading roles… doing a good job of building sets, costumes, memorizing lines, actions and tunes very well. A dramatic change inspired by performing arts. I was completely taken with their song “Don’t Give Me No Bad News”. Tear them up, Grammar Nazis That tune has come to my mind many times in the ensuing 20+ years. Click the PLAY arrow on the right for an audio-only version. You can listen to it while you read on. While not knowing what is going on, or what is […]

communicating with cattle

Trombone style comms We sing nature’s tunes.

Tuba Christmas Friday in Missoula

and many, many other cities throughout the USofA. This Friday, Dec 13th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Southgate Mall Lucky’s Court Brooks St Missoula a platoon of musicians gather to make joyous noise with their tubas. They are open-minded enough to embrace players of euphoniums, baritones and Sousaphones as well, which makes for a marvelous combination of voices. Speaking of voices, they highly encourage the audience to join them by singing the Christmas Carols that are so familiar to those of us who grew up in this country. They typically play the first time through to the appreciative audience, then a second verse joined by hundreds of happy voices. As proof of this event’s popularity, it has been going on […]

musical A=440 Hz vs A=432 Hz

I am a lifelong music lover, and in particular, trombone, swing, big band and symphonic. I also enjoyed plenty of 70’s rock. The more recent headbanging stuff: nah. In my teens, I enjoyed practicing and singing in a church choir with my mom. What is in all that?  What makes us like, dislike, love and hate various musical forms?  More importantly, what effect does listening and/or creating music have on us? Can the base tuning frequency change IT ALL?  Apparently so. Read on. According to the 432 advocates, those who would rule the world figured that out, THEY changed the standard tuning frequency OVER THE PROTESTS of the knowledgeable music community.  Power brokers changing musical foundation against the wishes of […]

*NEW* 1958 Conn 6H trombone

Based on wonderful reviews, I connected up with the Slide Doctor in Dawsonville Georgia, received their custom slide shipping packaging, sent it back with my old slide, and a couple days ago received back a trombone slide that is as close to perfect as I have ever touched… and they advise it will get better after a brief break-in period. WOW! I had worked it over with brass cleaning chemicals, abrasives, tools, and hand-straightening … I was hot stuff and got it about as good as it gets … so I thought. Recently I started wondering if the comparative smoothness of my 13-year-old Conn 88 slide might be a significant reason I play it almost all the time and the […]

Bad Moon Rising

During my USAF period (thank you for your service, sucker) I spent more than a little time in joints serving watery Utah beer, very cold watery Utah beer, so cold that taste was irrelevant. I plunged quarters into the jukeboxes in self-defense, regularly selecting Credence Clearwater Revival because all else was Country & Western … the old-school stuff with Tons Of Twang, notes held too long, bent and twisted to the threshold of pain. Speaking of irrelevant, so is that back story, but it resonates in my head. This evening the familiar Credence Clearwater Revival song “Bad Moon Rising” came up thanks to my station at Jango.com. Below I highlighted the lyric lines that really got my attention. I believe […]

John Lennon

Though I was in the right place at the right time to watch it unfold, I missed much of The Beatles’ genius. Great gaggles of teenaged girls going goofy, screaming, I mean literally screaming at the very presence of The Beatles overshadowed their music. I wasn’t crazy enough to put them on a pedestal. As a musician since I was 8 and music lover even before then, I eventually came to realize the brilliance and talent that made their music historic. I was similarly ignorant of the evil in the swamp and the legitimacy of John Lennon’s anti-leviathan activism. In my defense, we did not have the Internet. The “news” sources we did have were complicent in the crimes […]

Gary Owen by Bitterroot Community Band

This chart in my music folder caught my eye. I’m playing the euphonium book on my slide trombone. The parts that are intended for a 3 or 4 valve instrument are more challenging on a slide, but they have some very interesting licks. Gary Owen is A CONSTANT RUSH of notes, but a heckuva lotta fun … even if I only come close to getting them all right. Mid season we had a euphonium player join in the fun. I did not let that move me away from this particular part. Besides, between the two of us each missing some of the licks, together we got ’em all. Or so. Gary Owen March from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. […]

Bitterroot Community Band videos

Here are videos taken from our July 25th Daly Mansion gig. The canopy of trees overhead does not reflect and focus our sound like a real bandshell, but it came out fine… probably better live than with a compact camera on video mode. I, on the other hand, never get past the back row while we are playing. Thus this is as close as I can come to hearing our music from the front and thank my wife for shooting us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ – – – – – – The musicians involved fondly call this “The summer sight-reading program”. We practice a generous fistfull of charts on Tuesday, then play them later in the week for an audience. Next week we […]

Bitterroot Community Band remaining summer schedule

There are a few opportunities left to catch this band before they close down for the winter … okay, more accurately, the non-summer season. We play while public schools are not in session. That is because a significant number of our musicians as well as the director are music teachers during the school year. Thus we only run our “summer sight reading program” during the non-school period. Everybody is welcome. Thus the skill levels vary a bit, but I happened in front of the band while it was practicing Tuesday and it sounded sharp! In the trombone section at the back of the band I rarely get the big picture. But it is good. The reviews are good. The price […]