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Acoustic Tonic Music
129 Douglas Ave. E.
Regina, Sk S4N 1H2

Bob Evans Newsletter – Vol. 1 – No. 2

Tune Town

News from Bob Evans

Vol. 1 No. 2 – December 2011

In this issue:

  • an MP3 and transcription for the traditional ballad Lord Randal
  • BREAKING NEWS: Christmas is coming!

Living In The Past

Part 2 – Lord Randal

I   introduced the Living in the Past project in the last newsletter. For those coming in late or needing to jog their memories, you can find the complete details about it here.

But to briefly recap, this project is a response to requests I’ve had to re-release my first album that was recorded almost forty years ago. I can’t do that now for technical reasons. So I decided to revisit and re-record the songs from the album and make them available through this newsletter. As I mentioned previously, the eponymously titled debut album was an eclectic mix from a variety of folk genres. This issue’s tune, Lord Randal, comes from the traditional folk category.

Click to listen online


Click here to download audio and transcription


Lord Randal is one of the most well-known of the English murder ballads. It is the story of a young man who has lunch with either his girlfriend or, in the version I sing, his stepmother. He returns home not feeling well and through a series of probing questions from his mother realizes he has been poisoned. It’s sort of like CSI 1700’s style.

My arrangement is an adaptation of Martin Carthy’s version from his 1972 album, Shearwater. Carthy was one of my guitar idols in the early ’70s. I loved both his unique guitar style and his approach to interpeting traditional songs. On Shearwater Carthy used a dulcimer as the main accompaniment instrument and I was drawn to how it drove the story along. I subsequently arranged a guitar part in Carthy’s style that tried to capture the energy of the’s dulcimer part.

For the Guitar Geeks out there I’ll mention I originally arranged this using Carthy’s tuning of DADEAE. However, I don’t use open tunings very much these days, so I have adjusted the guitar part to be played out of Drop D tuning. You can find the transcription of the guitar part here at my website.

Bob Evans Breaks 5K World Record for Joggling

T hat’s right. You guessed it. I’m not THAT Bob Evans. But this is still a feat worth mentioning, and I’m quite happy to ride his coattails to fame.

This Bob Evans is from Wisconsin and he and his wife Trish are world class jogglers. What is joggling? It is juggling while running. That’s it. Pretty simple, eh? Just try it yourself sometime. And then try running at full race speed.

You can read the complete account of the feat here.

If you haven’t had your daily fix of juggling, here’s a video showing off Bob’s and Trish’s impressive juggling chops. My favourite shots are at 1:25 and 1:50.

As always, if you’d like to check out the complete list of Bob Evans’ that I am NOT, check out “I’m not THAT Bob Evans” at my website.

Juggling into the Sunset

Christmas is Coming!!!

Y es! It’s true. The social media is all abuzz about it, but if you aren’t Facebooked or Twitterfied you may not have heard about it.

And now you’re in a cold sweat. Right? Don’t worry. If you’re looking for gift suggestions, perhaps one of the following CDs might be just what you’re after. They’re all available at the Acoustic Tonic Music Store. Mystical elves in festive costumes are standing by to take your order … yeah, it does sound kind of creepy. But don’t let that put you off.

And if you’d like, I would also be happy to sign your copy to personalize the gift. Don’t worry, I won’t leave this part to the mystical elves.

Dr. Bob’s Acoustic Tonic

Solo vocal and guitar

A mix of vintage and contemporary tunes in the ragtime-blues genre. Lot’s of singing AND guitar picking on this one.

4 On 6

Solo instrumental guitar

Outstanding Instrumental Album – 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards

Twelve classics from The Beatles catalogue arranged for solo fingerstyle guitar.

Caffeinated Coffee

Solo instrumental guitar

Outstanding Instrumental Album – 2000 Prairie Music Awards

This is the one that got me back back into playing guitar. A collection of original compositions and arrangements for solo guitar.

That’s All Folks

T hat’s it for this issue. If you know anyone else who would be interested in these newsletters, please do forward this on to them. If you’re reading this and aren’t already subscribed, send me an email and I’ll be happy to add you to the list.

I hope you have a happy holiday season. See you in the New Year with more music.

Bob Evans Newsletter – Vol. 1 No. 1

News From Bob

AKA "Not that Bob Evans"

Vol. 1 : No. 1 – January 12, 2011

A New Year, eh?

Whew! I just spent last week systematically breaking all
the New Year’s resolutions I was silly enough to have made in that mad dash up to the end of 2010.
I’m exhausted. Tough work, but it had to be done so I could move on to the new things that have to get done in 2011.

So what’s happening?

Upcoming Shows: LA here I come!

This week I’m headed down to play a couple of shows in the Los Angeles area and to take in the big NAMM music trade show.

This is my first time playing in the area, so if you know of anyone living in or near Long Beach, Altadena or Lancaster you think would be interested in coming out to any of these shows, please do pass this information along to them.

Click on the gigs below for full details.

Mon. Jan 17 – Altadena – Coffee Gallery – 8pm
Sat. Jan 15 – Lancaster – House Concert – contact me for details
Fri. Jan 14 – Long Beach – Portfolio Coffeehouse – 8pm

The “Living in the Past” Project

Yeah, I know. You’re thinking, "What’s he doing starting off the year with such a pessimistic sounding project?". I dunno. Just my nature, I guess. But work with me for a moment folks.

The Olden Days

Waaaay back in The Olden Days (ie. 1975) I recorded my eponymously titled first album. Musically, it ran the folk gamut: an Child ballad performed a capella, instrumental ragtime guitar pieces, a few traditional English folk songs, a couple of Americana tunes (although back then we just called that folk music), and a bluegrass instrumental to round it out. It was all served up solo on guitar, 5-string banjo and vocals.

Five hundred copies were promptly pressed in the 12″ vinyl format. Over the next few years ALL of those copies were SOLD!!! Or given away … or lost … or I guess if we’re going to be completely honest … some might even have been thrown out when we moved.

In The Olden Days, that would pretty much have been the end of the story. The album’s story would have run it’s course. One or two copies might still reside, forgotten and collecting dust, in the collections of only the most fastidious record enthusiasts. But for all practical purposes, the album would be long forgotten by now.

So Long Olden Days …

But that was then. This is now. In today’s Wonderful World of Google, it turns out nothing ever really gets forgotten. And thanks to services like EBay, all of those formerly forgotten things can actually be found and purchased.

I first noticed copies of the Blue Album, as people referred to it, surfacing for sale on EBay about six years ago. Since then I’ve seen it pop up a couple of more times.

Over the same period, I’ve received a number of inquiries (granted, probably countable on a near-sighted carpenter’s two hands) about whether I am going to re-release the album on CD.

The short answer is: I’m not.

The slightly longer short answer: I’m not, for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the master tape is long gone.

However, it did get me to thinking it might be fun to revisit those tunes as a little side project. So, I’m not going to re-release the album as a CD. But I am going to re-record those songs over the next little while and make them available through my website to the insatiably curious.

Maple Leaf Rag

To start things off, here’s one of the ragtime guitar instrumentals I included on it: Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag. Now the keeners amongst you will say, "Wait a minute. That’s cheap. You recorded that on Dr. Bob’s Acoustic Tonic last year."

Well, yes and no. The version on DBAT was a vocal based version that included an obscure set of lyrics for the tune. However, it is true the instrumental portion of that recording was the same arrangement I played all those years ago on the Blue Album. Sue me.

So, for those of you who have always wondered what this piece might have looked and sounded like if I’d been forty pounds heavier in my youth, here’s a Youtube video of me playing it today … well a couple of days ago actually, but you get the idea.

Once again, for the guitaristically inclined, I’ve uploaded a transcription to my website for those who would like to have a go at it themselves.

Ok, that’s it for kicking off the Living in the Past project. Watch for more tunes in future newsletters. Thankfully, they won’t need to be as long winded as this one explaining the project.

Enjoy. That’s all for now.