More that 100 friends and fans of Celtic music gathered in WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio for the first-ever A Celtic Sojourn live broadcast on 89.7 WGBH Radio with host Brian O’Donovan.
Check out the podcast and photos here:
Photos by Sam Brewer
I've been pretty busy with my bands Cat and The Moon, Twisted Pine, and Hot Day At The Zoo. Cat and The Moon and Hot Day have both recorded albums and Twisted Pine has recorded an EP in the past 2 months. We're still working on them and the should be released by mid summer. Anyway I just wanted to give you some eye candy from that past few weeks of adventure. Much love y'all!
Enjoy the galleries of adventure by clicking the the "Read More" link below :D
My band Cat and The Moon was selected to play on a public broadcasting station's show Live From Center Stage. Check what came out!
Hello all you Lunar Cats and Celtic Kittens!
Just uploaded some tracks I rediscovered and a recent trip to California.
This weekend was yet another blast. A special blast. Usually bluegrass festivals are outside and thus at the mercy of the cruel and capricious weather. But not at this festival. The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival takes place inside a castle.
Hey guys and happy Monday to you.
I hope you all had a great weekend filled with unforgettable memories, smiles, and good digestion.
I'm pretty stoked because I just got back from my first ever professional tour. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced musically. I'm talking luxury rental car door to door service, being put up in hotels, professional stages, pro sound guys, premier venues, audiences packing the dance floors to the back, and barricades to keep the audience from jumping on the stage. It was a riot.
Howdy y'all and happy Tuesday!
During the formation of Cat and The Moon we made a list of goals and one of them was to play big festivals. I can happily say that we made a dream come true. We applied to play at The Boston Celtic Music Festival thinking how amazing it would be to be apart of a festival like this and just like that we were assigned the headlining set on Friday night (1/10/14). After the set and when the band was reflecting on the whole ordeal the only word that I could think of to describe how I felt was that it was an honor. I'm incredibly thankful to have a band of such high caliber people on my team and the only thing that captures my gratitude is when we smile at each other on stage in front of a packed house during a badass song. Although the original bass player Charles Berthoud couldn't make it, I asked Adam Moore, my good friend and bass player of Twisted Pine, if he could do it and he did. So big thanks to my boy Adam for learning all the songs and contributing to a good vibe during the rehearsals and the performance.
Read More Below
Hey guys and happy Wednesday. I just got back from a lovely trip to California filled with adventure, friends, good food, and mommy doing my laundry. How spoiled I once was. But now I'm older and back to Boston with some momentum in my career. I got back on Tuesday at 7am and played at The Cantab Lounge (which is one of the premier bluegrass hub in Boston) that very night with my bluegrass band Twisted Pine. The music is great but my favorite part about the group (read with so-cal surfer bro voice here) is the vibe. The vibe, man. Like, everybody just gets along. It's like, super chill man. (end voice) Seriously, the best part about Twisted Pine is the fun we have. It's goofy and spontaneous. On top of that we play the hard driving grass.
It was a good time and I'm looking forward to playing at The Cantab with Twisted Pine the first Tuesday of the month for the next six months.
Here are some pix from the show:
I recently just sent in my application to The Acoustic Music Seminar. They choose 16 young people whose lives are dedicated to acoustic string music. Some of their criteria are the quality of their solors are, how they perform in an ensemble, their chops, and their future potential.
The two videos I sent in are of my band Cat and The Moon playing two of my original songs.
Here are the songs followed by my personal statement. I hope you enjoy them :D
Hello family and friends of The Acoustic Music Seminar!
My name is Ricky Mier and I’m from a small suburb 20 minutes north of San Francisco called Corte Madera, California. My music career began in my high school music class where I first wanted to be a slap bass player. It was there that I learned about Victor Wooten. It was there I learned about The Flecktones. It was there I was taught my first Earl Scruggs tune. There was something about the banjo that just took me away. Something about fingerpicking on the banjo satisfied my soul in a way that nothing else in the world did. What I felt was a very visceral reaction to the instrument. Upon retrospect, that feeling was a calling for mastery. One day my mom brought home a banjo and I would not put it down. I immediately started a bluegrass band the first day of my sophomore year in highschool with the other quasi-bluegrass pickers in the class which lead to a successful band for the rest of my high school career: The Itchy Mountain Men.
I always loved The Flecktones, so after high school I started a band with a slap bass player, alto saxophonist, and percussionist. I played electric banjo, and we performed original material and experimented with complex time signatures. That band was The Cosmic Shenanigans. Somewhere along the way I heard that Berklee had a happening scene so I applied, got a $20,000 scholarship, and decided to move to Boston to study there. It was here I was struck by the sheer awesomeness of the Boston bluegrass scene. At the first jam I went to at The Cantab Lounge on a Tuesday night, I was surrounded by people in their 20s playing twin fiddle harmonies, improvising tenor and baritone parts, and even playing harmony banjo parts. It was that first week I knew in my soul that I was in the right place.
It was in my first semester at Berklee that I sowed the seeds for the myriad of projects that I’m involved with now. First, through meeting bluegrass musicians that I got along with I formed a group and joined the bluegrass ensemble for tutelage under the one and only Dave Hollender. It was here that I learned the importance of playing the melody in a solo or kickoff, how to harmonize bluegrass vocals, and the paramount need for good group chemistry.
At a house party I met the Irish violinist Kathleen Parks, and I got excited because I knew a few pop Irish melodies. She thought I was pretty annoying but we decided to get together later and jam anyway. It turned out that we are both passionate for pushing ourselves in improvisation and composition. This is how our group Cat and The Moonwas formed.
The two songs that I’m officially submitting to AMS are originals of mine entitled Logan’s Farewell and Home Again. I chose them for a couple of reasons:
My personal website (www.rickymier.com) is what I now use for ‘GB’ purposes. I also built Cat and The Moon’s website (www.catandthemoonmusic.com) and update the blog regularly. My newest project is a straight ahead bluegrass band entitled Twisted Pine (www.twistedpinemusic.com).
Currently, two pieces of literature have been directing the course of my life. The first is Bela Fleck’s Picking Styles 6 CD set and tab book. It’s common knowledge that Bela Fleck revolutionized the banjo by producing music that was millions of years ahead of it’s time, but it’s not common knowledge that he revolutionized banjo technique. You see, first there was Scruggs and he said ‘Let there be Scruggs Style’ then was was Bill Keith and he said ‘Let there be melodic style’ then there was Bela and he made Bela Fleck’s Picking Styles where he methodically shows how he optimized fingerings for modal single string technique. Triplets, 4th and 5th intervals, every mode in every key, even some silly fiddle tune endings are included in this revolutionary yet relatively unknown collection.
The second is Robert Greene’s book entitled Mastery. He says the purpose of the human being is mastery. The best way to attain mastery is the apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is where you do something for 7 hours a day for 7 years. For me, now is that time. Bela’s book has served as my mentor as I’ve dedicated myself to this apprenticeship thus far, and the opportunity to finally learn from him in person would be, without a doubt, the ultimate pinnacle of this banjo apprenticeship.
Anyway that’s where my career in music is now. I’m 1,000% dedicated to my instrument and plan on living a life playing the banjo. AMS would allow me to meet people my age who are just as dedicated and who plan on living a life of writing and playing music. Also getting mentorship from Bela Fleck has been my greatest desire ever so that would be monumentally life changing. I recently turned 23 and I realize that there is technically an age limit but I hope that alone would not disqualify my application, given what I know I can contribute to and learn from this awesome experience.
Thanks for reading and happy holidays,
The Jon Cumming Band recently asked Dan Bui and I to play some shows with their band! Last night we played at The Strange Brew Pub in Norwich CT. Halfway through the set the bass exploded and the bridge and the strings fell off. Not pretty. The sound post fell out so we had to finish the set with the bass of the opening band! At least we got a couple cool photos of us with the blue lights and smoke machine.
Notice anything wrong with this next pic? And I don't mean my or Dan's sense of humor.