<![CDATA[Steve Kaplan Guitar - Blog]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:18:01 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Klezmer, Classical, Jazz, and Americana]]>Wed, 20 Nov 2013 02:00:47 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/klezmer-classical-jazz-and-americanaWell my October gigs have ended and I was lucky enough to have gotten booked for a somewhat traditional Jewish wedding.  It required me to dig in to traditional Jewish and Klezmer.  Satisfying to play stuff that was written for ensemble where fiddle and clarinet are the main lead instruments and play the pieces solo on guitar.  Good good feedback from the rabbi and the guests as well.
<![CDATA[Weddings and parties and weddings]]>Tue, 13 Aug 2013 02:32:05 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/weddings-and-parties-and-weddingsWell it's been a great summer so far especially the wedding and party gigs that I've played solo, with Bob Funesti on bass, and Paul Caluori on mandolin and violin.  Looking forward to some upcoming solo gigs at the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton.

Best thing so far is that I'm playing the exact music that I want to.  Jazz, classical, and traditional acoustic.  No Top-40 covers!
<![CDATA[Additions to The Clayhole Bros. line up]]>Mon, 21 May 2012 13:06:03 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/additions-to-the-clayhole-bros-line-upThe Clayhole Bros. have officially added singers to the group.   Amy Jacob (X-Vegas and Prosolar Mechanics) and Steve Frank (The Haulers) have joined the band to provide lead vocals and close harmony in equal measure. 

They officially debuted at the Fanwood show on May 12.

The addition of Steve and Amy has expanded the Clayhole repertoire.  We've added more old time blues and gospel music and we're working on a number of tunes featuring their fine vocals!

In the works:  Recordings featuring Amy and Steve
<![CDATA[Repertoire - Jazz Edition]]>Wed, 21 Mar 2012 03:22:18 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/repertoire-jazz-edition So I was pulling together a set list for an upcoming marathon gig that my trio
is booked for and I thought it would be useful to jot down the tunes that I
pretty much read and play on the spot.  It's only a 130 tunes, though not 100% complete  I honestly thought I had more material.

A Child Is Born
A Foggy Day
A Night In Tunisia
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Afro Blue
Agua de Beber
Alice In Wonderland
All Blues
All God's Children Got Rhythm
All Of You
All The Things You Are
Angel Eyes
Apple Honey
As Time Goes By
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Nocturne
Back Home In Indiana
Black Coffee
Black Orpheus
Blue and Sentimental
Blue Moon
Blue Skies
Body and Soul
Chelsea Bridge
Come Rain or Come Shine
Come Sunday
Darn That Dream
Day Dream
Days of Wine and Roses
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Down For Double
Dream a Little Dream
East of the Sun
Embraceable You
End of a Love Affair
Five Spot After Dark
Flim Flam
Fly Me to the Moon
Gentle Rain
Ghost of a Chance
God Bless the Child
Good Morning Heartache
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Green Dolphin Street
Harlem Nocturne
Have You Met Miss Jones
Here's That Rainy Day
Honeysuckle Rose
How High the Moon
I Can't Get Started
I Could Write A Book
I Didn't Know About You
I'm Beginning To See The Light
If I Only Had a Brain
Ill Wind
In A Sentimental Mood
In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning
In Your Own Sweet Way
Indian Summer
Isn't It Romantic
It Don’t Mean a Thing
Jersey Bounce
Just Friends
La Mer
Lady Be Good
Lady Bird
Like Someone In Love
Long Ago And Far Away
Lover Man
Lullaby of Birdland
Lullaby of Leaves
Mood Indigo
Moonlight In Vermont
My Favorite Things
My One and Only Love
My Romance
My Ship
Nature Boy
Night and Day
Nostalgia in Times Square
On A Clear Day
On The Sunny Side of the Street
Our Love is Here to Stay
Out Of Nowhere
Over the Rainbow
Polkadots and Moonbeams
Prelude to a Kiss
round Midnight
September Song
Shadow of Your Smile
Softly as a Morning Sunrise
Someday My Prince Will Come
Someone to Watch Over Me
Sophisticated Lady
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Stella By Starlight
Stolen Moments
Stompin' at the Savoy
Summer Time
That's All
The Days of Wine and Roses
The Nearness of You
The Night We Called It A Day
The World is Waiting For a Sunrise
There is no Greater Love
There Will Never Be Another You
These Foolish Things
They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
Up Jumped Spring
Waltz For Debby
When I Fall In Love
When Sunny Gets Blue
Where or When
Willow Weep For Me
Wrap Your Trouble In Dreams

<![CDATA[Recording and recording and recording... and a preview for February 25]]>Fri, 27 Jan 2012 03:51:22 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/recording-and-recording-and-recording-and-a-preview-for-february-25The Clayhole Bros. have been busy recording "live" in the barn.  6 mics, no effects, and no overdubs!   Kaplan Caluori have been at it too. 

The tune below is called "The Great Waltz..."  composed by Mark Simos.  We'll be playing this at The Crossroads on Feb 25.  check out the "Upcoming Shows" page for more info.
Paul and I got busy too.  Here is our version of Mark O'Connor's "Song of the Liberty Bell"  This is essentially a demo for The Clayhole Bros. to work off of. 
<![CDATA[Down By The Salley Gardens/Maids of the Mourne Shore]]>Wed, 14 Dec 2011 04:09:32 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/down-by-the-salley-gardensmaids-of-the-mourne-shore
_This song was first published in 1889 in a books of poems by W. B. Yeats, The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems. Yeats notes that the poem was "an attempt to reconstruct an old song from three lines imperfectly remembered by an old peasant woman in the village of Ballysodare, Sligo, who often sings them to herself."

In 1909 Herbert Hughes set the words to the tune of The Maids of the Mourne Shore.

The song is also known as The Maids of Mourne Shore or The Mourne Shore. There is an Irish Version called Gort na Saileán or An Traigh Mughdhorna. Salley is an anglicisation of the Irish saileach, which means willow, from the Latin Salix. Willows are known as "salleys", "sallies" or "salley trees" in parts of Ireland.

Down by the Salley Gardens
my love and I did meet;
She passed the Salley Gardens
with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy,
as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish,
with her would not agree.

In a field by the river
my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder
she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy,
as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish,
and now am full of tears.

<![CDATA[Holidays and Music]]>Sat, 03 Dec 2011 17:31:07 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/holidays-and-musicIt's tough to find holiday and Christmas music that hasn't been done to death.  Finding lesser known holiday tunes is something I look forward to every year.

This gem was published in 1726 and is a composition by David Murphy, harper to Lord Mayo (or Tiarna Mhuigheo in the Irish)   The story goes that Murphy had offended Mayo and was kicked out of his service.  Murphy composed this piece and on Christmas Eve hid behind the tapestries, played this piece, and was received back in to his employer's good graces.

I hope you enjoy it as much we enjoyed playing it.

Lord Mayo
And here's a version of O' Holy Night that Paul and I started working on as somber traditional piece - and it simply wasn't working.  We decided to give it the full Kaplan Caluori treatment and this is what we came up with:

O' Holy Night

<![CDATA[Under The Double Eagle]]>Thu, 24 Nov 2011 03:47:28 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/under-the-double-eagleI've been working on my flat picking.  This is a bluegrass standard adapted from a military march composed by Josef Franz Wagner (20 March 1856 – 5 June 1908).  Wagner was an Austrian military bandmaster and composer.

He is best known for his 1902 march Unter dem Doppeladler or Under the Double Eagle, referring to the double eagle in the coat of arms of Austria-Hungary.

This tune has been played by everyone... Chet Atkins, Norman Blake, Roy Clark, you name it.  This version is taken from Artie Traum's transcription.

Click the player below to check it out.
<![CDATA[Finding my musical self.]]>Tue, 15 Nov 2011 13:54:06 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/finding-my-musical-selfOne thing about working in so many genres of music (jazz, rock, Americana, Irish/Celtic, and classical) is that I have the luxury to say different things musically and I get to experience the differences that each has to offer.

Jazz gives me that intellectual lift. It's complicated and it allows me to go way out (which for me harmonically is not THAT far out). I'm fairly conservative.  I always feel like I'm observing a little when I play jazz.  Rock too for that matter.

The classical that I'm playing, and I'm really only a dabbler in classical guitar - perfectly fine for the occasion, but not the "concert" setting, has emotional resonance for me, but I still have so much to learn...

The music I feel like I'm playing from the inside out is the Americana/bluegrass and the acoustic music.

I feel such a strong emotional connection with the style.  I've been playing since I was 5 years old and started on an acoustic guitar.  I've had the feeling of having a acoustic guitar vibrating against me for more than 40 years - the ultimate security blanket. Playing those straight chords and deceptively simple melodies always brings me back to a place of lightness.

I've also found that the audience connects much more directly with the traditional music - which as as performer gives me some of the "sugar" that's so important.  Don't let anyone who performs for other tell you it's not important!
<![CDATA[It's good to have good stuff]]>Sun, 06 Nov 2011 20:23:34 GMThttp://skapguitar.com/blog/its-good-to-have-good-stuffFor me good equipment serves 1 basic purpose; to remove as many obstacles as possible between what I hear in my in my head and what I'm musically communicating to the listener.  So I want to thank:
  • Bill Moll for making my flat top - which gets better with each passing month
  • Mark Campellone for my archtop - which has seen me through some crazy big band gigs and continues to astound me with what I'm able to play on it as a soloist or in a small group setting.
  • The fine folks at Hirade for my classical guitar which dollar for dollar has been one of my wiser musical decisions.
  • The fine folks at Fender in the late 70's.  I have still never played a Tele that I like better than my own.
  • The super fine folks at Acoustic Image.  Amazing amps and equally great customer service.