What happens when you take all the super talented and artistic musicians in the world, and shut them all in for a year with next to no live performance opportunities? Well… you get all sorts of creative solutions, as we have seen, with our bluegrass pickers finding new ways to express themselves online.
All sorts of live stream concerts have popped up, plus online learning options, from very casual to carefully produced, as touring pros seek new income streams to support themselves with their primary method for earning a living shut down.
Tone Tuesday is a similar effort, a trio of east Tennessee musicians, who have been recording videos that they post on the second day of the work week. Spearheaded by Dan Boner, Director of the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University, it also features his star pupil, fiddler Aynsley Porchak, and former student Lincoln Hensley on banjo, who posts the videos on his Facebook page.
They have developed quite a following for these videos, which are sincere representations of bluegrass classics, played in a soulful – and toneful – fashion. Boosted substantially by regular plugs in Sonny Osborne’s weekly columns, the Tone Tuesday trio have a sizable audience online, a gratifying response for something they created just to keep some fresh music out there in the midst of the pandemic craziness.
Among the many comments they have received on Facebook and YouTube, have been requests for some music for sale. This was never the reason that Dan, Aynsley, and Lincoln started making videos, but since ETSU has a fully-equipped recording studio, they figured, ‘why not?’
And so their first single is just out, a reworking of one that Pete Goble recorded in 1961 called Save Me All the Heartaches. It was written by Billy Gill and La Verne Wright, and cut here with a distinct Osborne Brothers style.
You can get a taste in this video snippet…
Since this isn’t a single in the traditional sense – of seeking widespread radio play and touring opportunities – the track is only available for download purchase on Dan’s web site. You won’t find it in iTunes or Spotify, by design.
But you can always count on new music each Tuesday from the Tone Tuesday trio.
Here are a couple of their past efforts archived on YouTube. First, Aynsley displays her award-winning fiddle skills on Howdy Forrester’s Wild Fiddlers Rag.
And here Dan sings a Flatt & Scruggs classic, Cora Is Gone.
Hats off to Tone Tuesday for keeping this wonderful vintage music alive. Be sure to watch out for their new videos each week on Facebook.