Lord, What a High…

Woohoo! I got to sing with the band!!! (Excess of exclamation points is totally acceptable here.)

Last Saturday night, my musical cohort Kevin and I went to hear The Fox Hunt play at a bar in Leesburg. Two words: Hell yeah!

I’d only seen them play live while busking at the Vienna metro, so their show was actually a complete surprise. Well beyond their excellent album tracks, instrumental old timey tunes and country covers, they have a stellar rep of bluegrassy originals. Lyrics to kill you dead or raise you up, lots of salt and easy liquor in the sound, and instrumentation that has you moving whether it’s with a stomp or a sway.

I sincerely hope they can take their music far and wide. And it’s important to note, that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. These guys have all quit their day jobs and have turned The Fox Hunt into their full-time. So if you’re jazzed by what you hear on their MySpace page, drop an easy $10 and buy their album!

Support new bands, folks! It’s how all your favorites got their start.

And beyond their great music, the band showed themselves to be great guys as well. Cheerful, funny and welcoming, they hung out and talked with Kevin and I during their breaks. And to my everlasting delight (and possibly because I had a momentary lapse of sanity and/or decorum to suggest it), they invited me up to sing on “Crack Shot,” and then again on the end chorus of “Lord, We Get High”–the song which Matt K. helped me out with chords.

I was beyond charmed. More accurately, I was quietly ecstatic. The mic, the music, the guys, the sound… I’d be a lying liar who lies if I said I didn’t have delusions of grandeur, if only for those few minutes. And it made me even more determined to pursue the mandolin to open-mic performance heights (when I dream, I dream realistic). So a tremendous “THANK YOU” to Matt K, Matt M (that b minor is SO much easier), John and Ben for the thrill, and to Liz who chatted with me during the night and was exceptionally kind.

Oh…and also, “Hi, BJ!” and “Hi, Omi!” Thanks for reading. 🙂

Sometimes all you gotta do is ask.

In my quest to learn the mandolin, I’ve been playing my favorite bluegrassy, folksy, old-school country bands on the stereo, and trying to ferret out the chords along with the music.

Johnny Cash (of course), Hackensaw Boys (my home-mountain band), Nickel Creek, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks, Greg Brown, Gram Parsons and my newest addiction: The Fox Hunt. One particular song by The Fox Hunt, “Lord, We Get High,” is the ultimate closing song…swaying and familiar and warm, a little drunk and a lotta heart. Naturally, I wanted to play it.

So for a good six-hour stretch one night, I figured out enough chords to almost get there. (Before you ask me why I didn’t Google the tabs, I did. They don’t exist for the band yet.) On my own, I was marginally successful. But one crucial chord alluded me. Something between the D and A. But before the G…and maybe it was D again, or some kind of 7th chord I didn’t know yet…or the A again and ARG!

At wits end and now unnaturally obsessed with the song, I did the unthinkable. I e-mailed the band and asked for help.

Imagine my shock when I actually got a reply:

the main progression of that song is d, a, b minor, g. that’ll take care of the intro, verses, and ending refrain. the only different part is the chorus, which is a, b minor, g. hope this helps, and have fun playing along!

Now I ask you, how awesome is that?! I got the missing chord (the B minor) AND I was reaffirmed in my belief that The Fox Hunt is one of the coolest new bluegrass bands around.

Check ’em out! “Lord, We Get High” isn’t on their site, but “Murder In My Heart” is, and it’s excellent.

P.S. Thanks Matt K!