The ’53 Swingbillies had a great weekend, first playing for a wedding, then outdoors at Sea Salt Eatery in the fabulous Minnehaha Falls Park here in Minneapolis. The wedding was great fun – we learned a couple of Beatles songs, and the couple wanted us to play some bluegrass from the Mark Kreitzer Band repertoire. It was our most diverse gig musically speaking in quite some time, and felt great! We had everyone out dancing, and even were able to cover a couple of requests, thanks to the internet’s lyric searching abilities! Dean Harrington, from the Mill City Hot Club, asked us to host the Sunday evening show at Sea Salt, and I agreed, so long as he joined us – and it, too, was a blast! We pushed Dean a bit by playing some bluegrass, but he tore it up. We’re all hoping we can figure out a way to gig more often with Dean on the stand!
I had the great honor of doing a mandolin workshop, as well as a demonstration of Minnesota built instruments at the recent Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association Harvest Jam. Jarrod is from near Tampa Fl originally, and is finishing up his college career in Nashville, all while playing with Missy Raines’ band. We had a blast playing guitars and mandolins built by, among others, Lloyd LaPlant, Charlie Hoffman, Jed Germond, David Vincent and Ben Manning. Have you had a chance to play many different luthiers’ work at one time? What was your impression? Who built your instrument? I’d love to hear form you!
Kathy and I just got back from a great road trip to Memphis, where one of the highlights was touring Sun Studio – AMAZING! Maybe the most moving thing was that since it was first set up with acoustic tiles, NOTHING has changed in the room!! There’s even a mic that was used during the 10 year run of the studio. So, who is your favorite Sun artist? How about favorite song from there? Any other cool stories?
I recently had the great pleasure of joining Jon Garon of My Favorite Guitars to the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA (cue The Weight by The Band…) Jon was on a wood selecting mission for a customer’s custom guitar, and while he was busy with that, I was treated to a personal tour, led by the company’s wood buyer! I was allowed to hold a 1937 Martin – once in a lifetime for me!! The Martin folks couldn’t have been nicer to me while I went nuts basking in the history and future of cool guitars…Thanks, Martin!
I had the great pleasure of returning to WI for a couple of gigs with the Twin Cities Hot Club. We played in Madison for their Live at Five Jazz series. It’s always so fun to see many friends and new faces at a gig, and their must have been a couple of thousand out for the last concert of the season. After a leisurely tour of Madison, we headed to Milwaukee, where we played for a swing dance in a great little pub called the Down and Over. About 100 people partied hardy (what a surprise in Wisconsin, eh?) and danced the night away. After a short night’s sleep, we headed back and I played a solo set for the Healthy Seniors in Coon Rapids – always fun to visit them!
One of the best books I read about teaching is “The Tao Of Teaching” by Greta Nagel. A very short, incomplete take on it is that students basically know what they need to know/are working toward what they need to know/or maybe even know what they need to know. The teacher’s job is help/allow the student to find the way. Often, in fact, the teacher’s job is to get *out* of the student’s way! I tend to try and explain everything in quite a bit of detail, but many people can’t *stand* to have things explained to them – they’d rather watch what I do, then try it themselves. Or maybe they learn best by talking about what they’re learning, and so after I say what I’d like them to do, they need to repeat it in their own words in order to learn it. Do you have any memories of teachers who helped in unexpected, non-traditional ways? How do you like to learn? How do you help students who have different learning styles than you do?
Welcome to the Mark Kreitzer website! I’m so glad you found me (or returned – even better!) This is a place where you can find out about my gigs – solo, with the Mark Kreitzer Band, the ’53 Swingbillies, and with some of the other bands I perform with like Patty and the Buttons, the Mill City Hot Club and Daddy Squeeze. I will also be letting you know about my ongoing projects, like the The Americana-Roots Music Project. I’m also going to be posting regular blogs about topics like my upcoming music theory book for folk/bluegrass musicians, my experiences gigging, teaching, and songwriting. Please have a look around, listen to some music, watch some video, learn about the bands and come back often – and please send your friends to look, too!