Hello from West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

  1. Kenneth Cooke
    Kenneth Cooke
    As my profile indicates I have played Guitar since I was 15 which is 50 years during that time there lave been long layoffs as I have not enjoyed the best of health. In the 60's I played actively around folk clubs which were usually located in the upstairs rooms of pubs. Folk music and folk clubs were springing up all the time in the 60's and in Leeds UK were I grew up there was a club every night of the week in fact The Grove Inn Folk Club was the second oldest in the country outside London only beaten by 3 weeks by The Topic Folk Club in Bradford. Both of those clubs are still running and the Grove also hosts a Bluegrass Club the last Thursday in every month. OLd Timey/ Bluegrass were a difficult genre to pedal in those days, most clubs were very traditional and in one or two clubs one rarely saw anyone play guitar it was all finger in the ear unaccompanied song.

    My first decent guitar was a Levin Jumbo with a blonde front. It was sometime later that got my first Martin, a Brazilian Rosewood D35. I was also playing a little bit of mandolin, autoharp and fiddle and fronted various Old Timey/ Bluegrass bands with a leaning towards Old Timey stimulated by bands such as The New Lost City Ramblers. We learned alot through them and I remember playing with a guy called John Healey who owned 3 fretless banjos. We played various small festivals and visited The Cambridge Folk Festival for a good few years. Cambridge had a strong Bluegrass following and some excellent musicians. My first wife and I played duets similar to the style of Sandy and Jeanie who toured here from the States and were a big influence on many of us

    I came back to playing again in the 80's but having sold all my instruments I bought a Brazilian Rosewood HD28 and a Brazilian Rosewood 0021. My musical tastes continued from the 60's playing finger-style with National finger-picks and a Dobro thumb-pick and Flat-pick guitar. In the late 80's I had 4 strokes which disabled my left hand making it impossible to play so with very great sadness I sold the Martins.

    At the beginning of 2013 a longtime friend and Dobro player suggested that I might try to play again and after some consideration I bought a new Martin D35. Progress was painfully slow but at least I was trying and that pleased me . About a month later I read an article on the net about a limited edition Bozeman Montana Gibson LG2 3/4 Arlo Guthrie Guitar. I envisaged that a 3/4 size guitar might help me form chords easier so I bought on and in fact it did help. I was then able to transfer that skill over to my D35.

    The Gibson is a beautiful guitar, Sitka Spruce tone-wood top with Mahogany back and sides. The neck is also Mahogany with a Rosewood finger-board. I am now considering looking into open tunings which I have no knowledge of, hence me joining a forum like this. I have acquired a glass slide and a brass slide and I propose to get a Dobro slide and nut raiser but I will discuss that with my Dobro friend.

    He has played Dobro for many years, longer than I have played guitar and he has a beautiful 1927 Dobro plus a new one he bought when last on holiday in Nashville. He also bought a couple of Gibson F5 mandolins, why 2 I can't answer, and he has recently acquired an Indian Rosewood D45. In fact I am planning to visit him on Wednesday this week as I have not seen him for some time. I am not planning to take the music back out again it will just be really good to be involved once more, and wow the internet was not around when I last played. There is so much great stuff out there, this forum included. And also unlimited access to records, or should I say CD's. My favourite label has to be Folkways Records out of New York.

    Any how I think that covers my playing life. I have had 2 marriages and I have a daughter to each. I also packed in the booze in the 1990 as I was drinking myself to death. It was the best move I ever made and I am pleased to say that I have remained sober although sobriety threw up a whole heap of life issues that I had masked with the booze

    Regard- Kenneth- West Yorkshire- UK
  2. Beanzy
    Hello from the other end of the country Kenneth. I'm afraid I'm a bit slack on checking in on the groups, but better late than never.
    Have you checked out the FOATMAD website for listings near you. They've a Facebook page too which I find useful to lurk on. There's a picking weekend up at Lake Windemere Lakeside YMCA at the end of July which I'm hoping to drag some friends along to.

    Anyway welcome, and glad you're managing to get out and pick and hopefully we'll coincide at some stage in the real world.

    All the best

    Eoin - Cornwall
  3. Kenneth Cooke
    Kenneth Cooke
    Thank you Eoin I am posting on the main forum at the moment interested in a mandolin, possibly an A mandolin and possibly a Gibson A style mandolin?
  4. woodwizard
    Hello from Arkansas! It was a very nice read about your playing history Kenneth as well as all the wonderful instruments you discribed and played down the line. Keep pickin'! Hope you guys are doing well over there and glad you found the cafe'. It's a fun place here for pickers.
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