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Jody Kruskal

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About Jody Kruskal

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    New York City

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  1. Jody Kruskal

    What is Focused Practice? My New Student!

    Such wonderful comments! So insightful. Of course... how you direct your intent during practice, will have a strong impact on achieving your practice goals. Really, it's all in your minds eye and ear as you try to memorize the sequence of patterns that are needed to play these amazing button driven instruments! Still, there is great value in simple repetition. I suggest that you train your fingers to know what to do with a goal of 10,000 hours at the job. If my fingers can be on automatic, then my mind can wander on to more important things.
  2. Oops, not quite. Physical CDs only, so far. The downloads will be ready in a few days. You can read all the liner notes though, and listen to audio samples. It's a process. My presentation went well at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering CD release party in Pennsylvania last Saturday. Folks were very receptive and curious about the concertina. The cake was sweet and plentiful. On every night of the festival, there was a small but excellent tune session where I mostly played the Anglo with a nice selection of instruments including several autoharps. The folks I was hanging out with were mostly playing American Old-Time with some Irish and celtic bits and a few songs thrown in for spice. I've just written an article to be published next month in Autoharp Quarterly (http://www.daigleharp.com/autoharpquarterly.html) about my recording process and the many parallels between Anglo concertina and autoharp. This was touched on in a previous thread here at c.net and I've had a great time developing those thoughts more fully. When the article is finalized, I'll share it with this community.
  3. Done and ready for sales. https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/JodyKruskal
  4. I have a new recording available in a few days... Train on the Island Songs and Tunes from the Days of Rail with Jody Kruskal and Friends American Roots Music, Country Blues, Old-Time and Folk featuring the Chromatic Autoharp and Anglo Concertina One year ago I won the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering Cohen/Grappel recording grant and began my autoharp adventure in ernest. This Saturday, June 23 at 11:15 am (EST) you can join me streaming on-line for my CD release party at Concertwindow.com/mlag. An hour on stage at this years gathering will include an interview and live performances of songs and tunes from the cd with guest musicians. There will be cake served after the presentation but current technology does not yet allow you to partake in that part of the festivities, still, I hope you will join me at my party. Check my cdbaby artist page for updates. The recording will be available soon for download and physical cds by next week. https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/JodyKruskal
  5. Jody Kruskal

    What is Focused Practice? My New Student!

    How would that work?
  6. I recently took on a local new Anglo concertina student. K and I just did our first lesson today and such fun we had! She claims to know nothing about playing music but out of the blue, bought this cute little red 20 button Anglo from a shop here in New York City. It has no brand but sports shiny silver bits and wooden frames in the bellows. German make, or a Chinese knock off, I suppose. Amazingly... it actually works and cost only $200. The straps needed attention and one note was wonky but we got that sorted, for now at least. When I asked her why she was inspired to purchase this sparkly object, she admitted with a laugh that she admires gypsy punk and has heard some awesome accordion playing... but told me that those boxes they play are too big, heavy and expensive for her... so she thought this pretty thing might make a better introduction to playing instrumental music. She took the concertina home but was at a complete loss about what to do with it. So, after gazing at it for a few months, she found me on the web. She's a go getter, my new student K. To prepare for our session, she went on-line and looked at youtubes about music theory. She self-educated herself with knowledge and vocabulary about scales, keys and rhythmic values. When we went through some of that material at our first lesson, she was already half way there. As for playing, she was a blank slate. Then, when we got to work, she made amazing progress, going from zero to Um Pa with Melody in under two hours! I attribute this to my expert teaching (ahemmm), her impressive native ability and a budding love for her new toy and with any luck, resulting in a life long concertina adventure. K is a very focused lady. She worked hard and I had the gratification of watching her eyeballs float off into concertina gaze... probably for the very first time. What a thrill for us both. Tonight, I wrote her with some post-lesson advice: "Sometimes busy, active people like yourself find it hard to make the time to practice. The best schedule is highly focused practice for 20 min. 3 times per day. That’s an hour. If you can do that five days per week, you will make rapid progress. Short and frequent practice routines make for speedy learning. Playing for one long 5 hour binge, once per week might be fun! Still... while it takes you the same amount of time, it gives you less value". So, what would you say to my new student K about the meaning of focused practice?
  7. Jody Kruskal

    HELP loose lever posts

    I use a tiny drop of Krazy glue or the Locktite equivalent (Cyanoacrylate).Put a drop in the wooden hole and insert the post. Works every time.
  8. Jody Kruskal

    Jody's next CD, TRAIN ON THE ISLAND

    Sorry Wayman, I will not be attending the Marlboro Ale this year. My team was not invited and I have to stay home to finish all the tasks needed for the new CD. So many details yet to go. Also, we just got two new kittens yesterday and playing with them is just too much fun!
  9. Jody Kruskal

    Jody's next CD, TRAIN ON THE ISLAND

    Oh yes... this album also has guitar, bass, fiddle, mandolin, bells, penny whistle, slide didge, kora and lots of singing!
  10. After a year of recording, my latest CD will be out next month... TRAIN ON THE ISLAND Songs and Tunes from the Days of Rail with Jody Kruskal and Friends American Roots Music Country Blues, Old-Time and Folk featuring the Chromatic Autoharp and Anglo Concertina This collection of old American railroad songs and tunes explores the stories of those that built, ran and rode the the rails from the boom days of American expansion in the mid 1800’s to the decline of rail transport in the the mid 20th century. As if my magic, once you step aboard a train, you are transported at high speed to another land. The lonesome call of the steam whistle is a common theme here. Hoboes, adventures, laborers and lovers are tempted by the sound “to hop that freight and ride” as they look for a better life, or try to escape loneliness, regret and heart ache. In these songs they are likely to find bitter disappointment, blood, toil and deadly wrecks... or perhaps, simply the dawning of a beautiful new day. Autoharp and Anglo concertina both have an antique sound that compliments these songs and tunes from another age. Freight Train Blues Train on the Island Railroad through the Rocky Mountains Reuben’s Train Cannonball Blues I've Been Working on the Railroad Walk on Boy All Night Long Mr. Engineer L&N Rag Morningtown Ride Pick and Shovel Jenny on the Railroad City of New Orleans
  11. Jody Kruskal

    Porter's Reel

    Last weekend I was in Los Angeles for a wedding and stopped in at David Bragger’s Old-Time Tiki Parlour (www.OldTimeTikiParlour.com) for some tunes with fiddler Susan Platz. Here we are playing Porter's Reel from our dear friends Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer.
  12. Jody Kruskal

    Playing By Ear

    Minds are amazing! The intuitive / musical understanding of music is so different from the intellectual / analytical understanding of the exact same musical thing. Two brains struggling to achieve and reconcile the same artistic results... that's what it's all about for me. The two brains can learn from each other... if they both pay attention. Quite a trick to do in live performance or any time. Still, the integration of both in a single performance is the ultimate of musicality.
  13. Jody Kruskal

    Playing By Ear

    Interesting these concepts of how our brains conceive of music. For me, the part of my brain that thinks of music as being symbols like F#m or middle C is quite different from the part of my brain that listens and hears and plays. Perhaps it's a right/left brain thing. Learning to sing while playing feels like a whole different thing than learning to talk while playing. I've learned both, but in doing so, I'm convinced that the speaking/analytical/thinking part and the singing/playing/listening parts can be reconciled, but only with some mental effort and practice.
  14. Jody Kruskal

    Playing By Ear

    Playing by ear is grand. Do it! Other ways of playing can help you figure out difficult stuff, but it all comes back to your ear and the sound of the music you are making. Listening to your ear is core.