I'm taking a cue from students this week. My students teach me as much about music, arguably more, than I teach them.
This week was the Swallow Hill graduation, where all of the group classes culminated with a performance for each other. I had several classes perform. The songs spanned Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and Frank Sinatra. I must say they all performed fabulously.
One of my students performed with a class I was not teaching - a fingerstyle guitar class with fellow instructor Jeff Rady. Her class performed "Colorado Girl" by Townes Van Zandt. I'd never heard it before, but it was just breathtakingly beautiful. The original version ain't too bad either.
Down a similar steel-stringed acoustic vein, my student Shannon has been persistently telling me to get in touch with the style of Western Swing, specifically Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. When I mentioned it to Dustin - who has never before this moment displayed any knowledge of country and western - he was like, "Oh yeah, Bob Wills, he's the best." Apparently you can't grow up in the Texas Panhandle and not know about Bob Wills. So much for me, I grew up in Kansas!
I'll share two tracks. The first one is instrumental, although you'll hear a lot of hootin' and hollerin' going on in the background. The YouTube video comes with a thorough introduction to Mr. Wills:
This little ditty is charming my cowgirl boots right onto the dance floor. A couple of listens will have you singing along. It also includes a pedal steel solo that Jeff Rady would probably be proud of. Shannon, I hope I chose well!