Last month while meeting with members of the family of an old-timer ‘juice harp’ player from Knoxville, who sadly died in january, I was asked to perform on the local cable television country music show. This was the highlight of a wild 36 hours visiting the Museum of Appalachia, Knoxville and the Ciderville Music Store. So sit back and enjoy the snippets from the Ciderville Home Farm Show:
Cripple Creek, with David West
Duelling banjos, , with David West
Old Joe Clark, with David West
For the whole show
…and if you do make sure you see the chicken man at 01.10.00
Michael Wright was elected as Vice-President of the International Jew’s Harp Society at the Yakutsk Congress, with the renit to creat a working team to develop the Society’s future. “It’s quite a challenge,” said Michael, ” but I am confident that with the enthusiasm and commitment I have come across these past days, we can achieve much in the next two years.”
Michael Wright’s latest article ‘The Jew’s Harp in Colonial America’ has just been published in the Galpin Society Journal, March 2011, LXIV. During the 50 years from 1732 until the foundation of the United States of America, one tiny musical instrument found its way into every aspect of Colonial American life. It was regularly advertised by ironmongers in the new city presses and was even traded with Native Americans for furs. This is the second peer-reviewed article by Michael on this almost miss-able musical instrument that was imported from England and spread throughout the American Continent. For more information contact Michael (see Contacts Page).
Michael and John Wright have been invited to the 7th International Jew’s Harp Congress “Khomus in the cultural dimensions of the world” in Namskiy, Khangalasskiy Ulus, Republic of Sakha-Yakutia. The khomus (as the Jew’s harp is known in the region) is one of their national musical instruments, hence the event being supported by their government and opened by the President. At the moment John and I will be representing the British and Irish (and French) musical traditions, with other participants invited from Austria, Sicily, Germany, Norway, Hungary the USA, Japan… the list gets longer daily, joining the regional players.
Inspired by their musical collaborations during the last two years, Michael Wright and Dogan Mehmet have been joined by Matt Quinn with a view to recording Michael’s first CD. The project is at it’s early stages and the objective is to show the variety of sounds and the musicality of Jew’s harp. More news as the project develops.
After two years of preparation ‘The Jew’s Harp Trade in Colonial America’ by Michael Wright has been given a date of publication in the Galpin Society Journal. Using previously unpublished material, Michael looks at the evidence of European Jew’s harps in the fur trade as barter goods and the spread of the instrument throughout the Eastern Colonies through newspaper adverts from 1733 to 1783.
In recognition of the project for L’Ile d’Aix during 2010, Michael Wright was awarded the BNRA Chairman’s Award at the annual dinner held in November 2010. “I was truly astonished,” Michael remarked, “and feel this is a recognition of the teamwork that was essential in bringing the various elements of history and music that were integral to project.”