Subject: Newsletter 2014 Vol. 2 No. 1
This newsletter comes to you from Natchaug Music Publishing and it’s our first issue to keep you informed about Still Pickin’ and Natchaug Trail this season. You are on our mailing list because you are a fan of ours….or….because we want to invite you to be a fan of ours. If you wish to be off this
list, just let us know. We know you’re busy and we don’t aim to annoy!
The Still Pickin’ trio (SP), now six years old, plays traditional country-western songs of the early country music pioneers. It consists of Bob Coxx,
Jim Sharpley, and Myrna Riquier. When we need to beef it up, we call upon Mark Chuoke to come along with his mandolin. Mark fits in nicely.
After a miserable winter, Jim is finally coming home next week from his lengthy hiatus in Florida. Our rehearsals will start immediately to get SP ready to perform in early May. A good amount of effort goes into our arrangements and the harmonies, but we’ve been together quite a while so it is not all that difficult. Still Pickin’ stays very busy each season.
Most of us do double-duty with both bands, at least on occasion.
The Natchaug Trail Band (NT) started out as the Still Kickin’ band. It went through some name changes, one of which was Will Power, in honor of one of its former musicians, Will Trickett, who absconded at first opportunity. J The NT band has experienced eight or ten configurations. Maybe more. The current group consists of Jim Sharpley, Mark Chuoke, Myrna Riquier and Tom Sharpley who joined up in 2013. Tom plays rhythm guitar, sings and is Jim’s brother, if you hadn’t guessed that on your own. We also plan to audition a fiddle player this month.
NT is an Americana genre based group playing a variety of roots music, with bluegrass being quite prominent as well as folk, country, and old timey.
Last season we added a new dimension; western-swing. To accommodate that “Bob Wills” sound, some rather radical changes happened to our, heretofore, bluegrass band. Those changes certainly bring another dimension of variety to our sound.
To help develop that new sound, Jim, always willing to go the extra mile, took up the steel guitar on a moment’s notice. A quicker learner you won’t find. You might think he has to stay awake all night practicing that new instrument, but truth is he took it out of the box and was at once on his way with it.
To further enhance our new sound, Mark is playing the keyboard for us. As you can see, Natchaug Trail has once again reinvented itself. It is our hope that we will find more gigs now that we are no longer striving to be strictly a bluegrass group. There are not too many good employment opportunities for bluegrass music, but there are people and venues who are looking for variety. We hope our NT band will be a fit for that need.
With Jim’s return from Florida next week we will take up where we left off last December rehearsing the NT repertoire. We’ll tell you more about all those songs in the next newsletter. Maybe slip you a sound sample or two. Meanwhile, we certainly have our work cut out for us so don’t be looking for this NT band to be out performing too early this season. But we will let you know when that happens.
Meanwhile, included below is a list of what Still Pickin’ is up to. If you can come out to see us, that would be very nice.
Next newsletter I won’t be so wordy, but be sure to tell me if you want to get off our list. We thank you for your support and encouragement.
Bob & Jim & Mark & Tom & Myrna