The Music of Farm Hand's Companion

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When I started down the path of creating a short episodic show centering around celebrating the simplicity and wonders of the traditional farm life, it was a given to me that there would have to be background music.
Just didn't know what to use, or where to get it.
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Then, at some point it occurred to me: If it's going to be a show about being as resourceful as possible to make, grow, or put together the things you need...why not make, grow, and put together my own music.


The end result was a mix of wood, cans, pans, gourds, and strings the likes of which my workshop had not known before: a deer hide banjo, "can"-jo, "pan"-jo, mouth bow, cane pole flute, tub bass, guitar...just to name a few.
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Then there were the gourd instruments, made from gourds that grew on my chicken yard fence: a mandolin ("gourdolin", see "Making a Gourd Mandolin"), and a gourd fiddle ("gourdiddle").
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My brother, who's a skilled woodsman and craftsman (if I may brag on him just a bit), built an upright box bass and lap dulcimer for this project of mine for which I was extremely grateful. (Thank you, Johnny; you’re my big brother hero)

Oh, and one other instrument I recorded-which was the only one that was not homemade-was a keepsake of mine: an old jaw harp (also heard in the theme song) that belonged to my grandpa, Pa Daniel.

As for the percussion instruments in most of the songs, they're recordings of eclectic things lying around my or my daddy's farm. From beating on an old tractor to shaking a packet of seeds...if it sounded good it got recorded; if it sounded great it got used. Listen in the theme song ("Keep Your Skillet Good & Greasy") for the actual sounds of milking a cow. I know you'll be pleased.

After amassing this variety of instruments and sounds spanning the spectrum of aural was time to find some tunes and start recording.

Although I did write some of the songs, I mainly concentrated on old public domain fiddle tunes because:
A) they sounded good
B) they were free

After arranging the tunes I played and recorded everything digitally. Several hundred takes, many months, and a few hundred gigabytes later, I had enough music to begin. And no, I did not make the computer or other recording paraphernalia from gourds or wood. Sorry. That’s beyond my woodsmanship. For now.

Recently I’ve begun enlisting musical help from my family. My daughter Annie Lynn will be relied upon from time to time for her fiddlin’ expertise, along with her sisters, Bonnie Rose and Ellie Grace.

I sincerely hope you enjoy both the show and the music.
Thanks for readin’ and watchin’ (and listenin’).

Pa Mac
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Get the album “Homemade - Music from The Farm Hand's Companion Show

Purchase and your copy of “Homemade” from iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon … or any of a number of online music stores!
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