I shot a majority of the video below on a boating trip on the Withlacoochie River with a close friend of mine. It was a chilly fall day with blue skies that reflected off the clear freshwater. Inspired by the simple beauty of the river, I felt like I had just the right piece to go with the footage.
The piece is “Sligo River Blues” by John Fahey, recorded on his debut album “Blind Joe Death” in 1959.
Fahey’s style is what he himself labeled as “American Primitive Guitar”. To the rest us, we hear a fusion of country blues guitar, and a bit of postmodern minimalism.
Fahey was unorthodox as an artist of the late 1950’s. Instead of going to a record company, he created his own record label to give himself complete artistic freedom, regardless if the release gained any commercial success. His marketing approach was random, as his album was never promoted in any way. Less than 100 copies were pressed and mailed to folklorists and scholars around the country. He would later share that he even planted records in music stores and Goodwill bins to attract prospective listeners.
In 2010, “Blind Joe Death” was added to the United States National Recording Registry as a recording of “cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance”.  Today, a copy is preserved in the Library of Congress, only a few miles from where it was recorded.
In regards to gear, I used a very simple setup to record it. I plugged an Apogee iMic into my iPad Pro, opened a GarageBand session, recorded it straight through a couple of times, and chose the best take.
sligo river blues
2019 has been an interesting year thus far. It began with conducting large ensembles of guitarists on the college and high school levels.
The first engagement was with the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA). There I had the opportunity to work with the most accomplished junior college students in the state. We had two 8 hour days of masterclasses and rehearsals in the historic Danforth Chapel (see photo), followed immediately by an evening concert in front of a packed house at the Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium. It was an exhilarating experience.
The second engagement was being guest conductor for the Polk All-County Advanced Guitar Ensemble. These students were very accomplished, especially for teenagers. The repertoire chosen was an operatic arrangement of mine and two pieces by my close friend and accomplished composer Roger Hudson (www.rogerhudson.com). The full auditorium gave us a standing ovation at the end. The event was a very rewarding lesson experience.
Overall, it was great to be able to conduct again. Hudson’s piece titled “Delta” in 5/8 time was a bit of a challenge for both me to conduct and for the students to play. The end result of all the practice and study left us with a feeling of confidence and community.
I have to think Dr. Joseph Stallings for his efforts in coordinating the FCSAA Symposium for guitar, and Sam Ortiz for coordinating the All-County concert.
St. Petersburg College is honored to present Andrew York in Concert on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the SPC Music Center located at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus located at 6605 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
It is with great honor and respect that I have recently accepted a position teaching classical guitar at Florida Southern College. The school has a special place in my heart and my development as a musician.
From a very young age, I’ve had much admiration for FSC’s guitar program, and in particular Dr. Mark Switzer, as both a classical guitarist and teacher. I was fortunate enough to study with Dr. Switzer and benefit from his wisdom. We have become very close over the years, and I hope to make him proud.
It is within my efforts to build and contribute to the long-standing legacy of the program that he began over 30 years ago.
I will still maintain my teaching position at St. Petersburg College, as well as my private studio in St. Pete.
However, this is an exciting opportunity that will help me expand my guitar teaching to Central Florida.
Nylon & Steel: An Evening of Classical and Fingerstyle Guitar
Thursday, June 14, 2018
6:30pm to 8pm
Safety Harbor Public Library
101 2nd St N
Safety Harbor, Florida
Jimmy Moore, Guitarist
Check in on this blog for updates on public performances, musings of musical inspiration, lesson tidbits, gear reviews, and all around everything guitar.