Here are a couple of practice recordings of songs I’m working on lately.

The first one is from this morning’s session of me doing Lucinda Williams’ song, “Greenville.” In the studio version on her 1998 album entitled  Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, Emmylou Harris sings a descant part over Williams. My friend Halle Snyder does an equally great descant with me, but I was alone this morning, so you’ll have to just imagine Halle’s fluting soprano voice floating over mine.

Halle and I are working on this song, and a couple of others, for a Holt Herotus cookout in June that is held as part of the household organization for our medieval camp-out at the Pennsic War north of Pittsburgh PA this summer. I’ll be going to Pennsic this August for the first time, for the second week of the run, which is known as “War Week.”


I recorded this with my little Zoom H1 “Handy Recorder,” which truly makes taping practice sessions an easy proposition. Halle turned me on to this tiny little handheld recording device. We each took ours to the First Annual Savelli Pub Hootenanny (see It was a real Hoot! and A Hootenanny! ) a couple of weeks ago, and they did a really nice job of capturing the evening.


Although there are very few adjustments you can make as you record, and I find its vocals recording quality in particular to be rather sub-par, still, for less than $100, it’s a great tool, not to mention a fun toy. And we do like our toys! 😉

On the recording, I’m playing my little Yamaha acoustic-electric travel guitar, Model APX T2 through a battery-operated Fender Mini Twin amp, which I got for camping out:




Today is my last day to fool around before going into warp speed for Coronation. I’ll be heading up to the Coronation venue at Camp Christian on the evening of May 4th for the next day’s full-day and -evening event. I’m wearing a bunch of different hats for the event: working the first two hours at the gate, then an hour guarding the Royalty Room (see my first shift as a Royalty Room guard at Keeping Calm at Ceilidh).

Then I get an hour to eat at the Lunch Tavern before I teach an hour-long class on Women in the Viking Age, for which I’m not yet fully prepared (!).

Next comes a two-hour break, during which I yearn to do some target archery with my as-yet-untested gorgeous arrows made for me by Daryl Merrill of Viking Archery:


But that depends on the weather, which lately has rather sucked. 😛

Before 3 pm I need to get Bardic Circle organized, so that the performers can go on as scheduled, starting at 3 and finishing at 5, when Evening Court will begin. Slany Bean Uillic (mka Sheryl Barringer) has kindly agreed to act as Bardic’s stage manager, keeping time for each act and hopefully keeping us from running over into Court time.

Besides being the Bardic Circle Coordinator, I myself will be performing during Bardic, accompanying His Excellency Baron Talymar (mka George Johnson) as he recites from his recently-published book, The White Hart, Book One: Destined Paths. (See What I did today.)

We’ll be doing a selection from the chapter called “She Moved Through the Faire,” which is also the name of an Irish traditional song. Once Baron Talymar is finished reciting, I will play and sing a short version of the song:

But that’s not all, folks! 😛

At Evening Court, I’ll be chanting excerpts from the Poetic Edda’s Havamal, or Sayings of the High One and accompanying myself on the harp.  Just this Wednesday evening at the weekly Marche of Tirnewydd meeting and fight practice, I got the go-ahead from Prince, soon to be King, Alric (mka Robert Gratton) to say some of it in Old Norse! Which is totally cool, but definitely adds to the memorization burden as well as brushing up on my Old Norse pronunciation. Although, since every ON instructor I’ve ever had pronounces that ancient tongue differently, I feel like I have a certain amount of leeway. 😉

Last night, after a five hour (!) phone call with a friend, I did get my Coronation gifts for the new King and Queen made. So that’s one Coronation preparation task I can cross off my list, along with the jewelry for my Bards and students (see Jewelry for Coronation and me ).

While I was at it, I made this necklace for myself. It is a Swarovski crystal in “Amethyst” that I set and hung from a gold-plated chain:


Now I need to find appropriate containers for the gifts to Royalty (I can’t post pictures of them here yet because that would spoil the surprise factor), but that will have to wait until I get my May 1st check. Woo hoo! 😉