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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Years ago when I was touring my one-man show on Woody Guthrie, in the course of events - studying, researching, practicing, rehearsing, writing, editing, reading, traveling - it dawned on me that I ought to learn to play the spoons, AND bones, for the show - you know, to make it more authentic. Just seemed natural to me. An appropriate thing to do. No direct evidence that Guthrie did, but, still and all, none that he didn't, either - so, we (being "me") forged ahead.

Worked'em into the show, and I was proud of my additions - audiences seemed to like'em. Short, simple, folky, and funny - just right!

When I moved on to other things having nothing to do with Guthrie, folk music, etc., I tucked both bones and spoons away. Why? I don't know. And Where? Again, I don't know.

But, somewhere, some time thereafter (last 2 or 3 years), I came across'em and started playin' with'em again for ol' time's sake. And, then, last year I brought'em out as part of a storytelling performance, and they went crazy - "they" were elementary school students, and we had a grand ol' time.

Well, next performance, I spent more time with both spoons and bones. The kids were so entranced with'em I began to allow some time to teach'em spoon-basics, then got 10 or so kids up front with me, joined together in rhythmical madness to our bluegrass background music, and just went crazy!

I couldn't believe it. These kids were absolutely taken with spoons'n bones. 'Course, they'd never seen'em, never heard'em, never held'em (as musical instruments). I reminded'em that they already had spoons at home, so they didn't have to buy any store-bought items to make music. I talked to'em about "the old days" when there was no electricity - how did folks entertain themselves? We discussed it a bit, then they entertained themselves - and a bunch of other folks. They couldn't get enough of it, and neither could I.

Many sat close by, slack-jawed, watching and listening to the rhythms, and uttered (honest!)

"Wow - that's awesome!"

And it was, and it is . . . "Amazin' to me...."

Bless ya -

Tom T

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Comment by Tom Taylor on November 18, 2008 at 10:44pm
Hello, Dave!

Great to hear from you, and I am impressed at the couple of decades you've had spoons/bones as part of your life; I, too, have a sort of 'off and on' relationship with them, and looking at it like that, it's been almost 30 years since I was first introduced to them, when I was touring with a one-man show on Woody Guthrie.//I'm not at all familiar w/ world flutes - am I missing something here I ought to be embracing?
Please, fill me in -//Yeah, it would be fun to get with you guys and put it all together, wouldn't it? Hopefully, we'll get to actually do that one of these days.//Hey, forgive me if I didn't mention it before, but you are most certainly welcome, as in, "You're welcome" - in response to someone's 'thank you,' which you said 6 mos. ago when, evidently, I'd welcomed you guys to the site!//Looking fwd to the time we get to share some time, and stories and music together!

Carry On! With my Best Wishes for Continued Success and Great Fulfillment -

Tom (or 'Texas T') - Deep in the Heart of Texas
Comment by David S. Sharp on November 18, 2008 at 8:11pm
Hi Tom

I've been at the spoons and bones for twenty years on and off. I play other instruments and tend to only demonstrate them seperately for school groups. I do love the sound of spoons with an Old-timey string band. When I used to play for Contra dances and Appalachian Squares the spoons always seem to bring the drive and beat of the dance tune into focus both for the dancers and the musicians.

I've been having quite a time with making world flutes as well. I'm fortunate to work quite a bit, but when I get any spare time I'm making things.

It would be fun to hear your songs and stories, and thanks again for the encouragement you give all of us.

Dave Sharp - Glastonbury
Comment by Tom Taylor on November 17, 2008 at 3:59pm
Hey, Bill & Kath -

Thanks for your note!. Always glad to run into another couple of spoons/bones players. Went to your 'retired' site, and it is awesome! Great picture of you both on the home page of Colonial Heritage; that, alone, made me want to hire you. Great info, wonderful content - I don't know what your fee is, but it's not enough.

Enroute to Britain, do drop in on Texas, if at all possible!

Went to your website (I think), and it was more of the same wondrous stuff. You guys are remarkable, I'm gonna save up some money and try to get some of your material to come live in my house.

Gotta get back to work for now, but let's stay in touch -

Carry On!

Tom - Deep in the Heart of Texas
Comment by Bill and Kath Worsfold on November 17, 2008 at 3:56am
Tom, it just so happens that Bill and I play the spoons and bones, too. Well - I should say he plays them well, and I can fake it a bit ;o)

I was just a couple of hours ago watching David Holt's folk percussion video - pulled it out when I noticed he is a member here. I bet you've got that video, eh Tom? ;o)

We used the spoons and bones in our first school show "The Colonial Heritage Show" - a program that is now in recess. It may get toured again, who knows - but we got tired of it after several years of touring it. Here's the URL of that show, but it's not accessible from our website - I pulled the link off, but left this page there just in case, for the future:

Kathy Lamb Worsfold

Bill & Kath - Kiwi Entertainers!
Comment by Tom Taylor on November 17, 2008 at 12:06am
Excuse me, David, but I've been "out" for a while and just now caught your note. There aren't just a whole lot of us w/ a passion for spoons/bones, so I hope we get to catch up w/ each other somewhere along the line - it'd be fun for sure!
What's your story of how you were introduced to'em? How long have you been using'em, and do you always use them, or only sparingly?
I'd like to meet/hear your nose-flute, too.

You don't have to wait 6 months to respond to my email, and I promise to do better from this end!

Best Wishes,

Tom T - Deep in the Heart of Texas
Ever get down to Texas?
Comment by David S. Sharp on May 14, 2008 at 5:12pm
Hi Tom

I'm a Bones and Spoons player as well. my wife says she can't look at me while I'm playin' the Spoons cause I do so many goofy things. She's trying to focus on playing the melodie. I've made some Hawaiian nose flutes from Bamboo, that I learned how to make from a fellow named Anthony Natividad from Hawaii. They have a sound much like a three holed Native American Plains Flute with a little breathier sound to it. Anthony said the Hawaiians believe that what is played or said by the breath of the nostril is true since one can not lie with it. Banjos are great too, I never met a Banjo I didn't like, or Banjo player.

Dave Sharp

P.S. Thanks for the initial welcome to the site.
Comment by Tom Taylor on January 31, 2008 at 10:56pm
WELLLLLLL......., let's see . . .harp (harmonica), guitar, a "sorta" banjo, various washboards, basic hamboning technique, stump fiddle, and paper/plastic bags are included along with bones and spoons from time to time - depending upon how much time I have, how strong I feel, what size vehicle is available, etc. Thinking about including a mini-concert featuring whalebones and nose-flutes, but I'll have to get back with ya on that. (I'll have my people get in touch with your people....)

Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on January 31, 2008 at 9:25pm
Just shows that people need "organic" entertainment like storytelling and folk music. Now you need to "bone up" on some more cool instruments to add to your show. :)




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