Track 11—From When We Were
Al Dunkleman, Heartfelt Americana
In the late 1970s, I learned to play the
two-finger Piedmont Blues guitar style from Rick Stone in Boone, North
Carolina. Rick is a fine blues guitarist, mandolin player and incredible
instrument maker who now lives in Blowing Rock, NC.
After creating this haunting, C minor
melody, for several weeks I didn’t know what to call it. I asked my wife what
she thought it sounded like and she shared that it reminded her of a raven.
As I considered songs to include on the
CD, I had no intention of recording “The Raven.” I didn’t feel that it was that
outstanding and didn’t really think it would fit into the overall theme of the
project. It was my son, Joseph, like the persistent widow in the New Testament,
who kept ragging me about including the song on the album.
“Now you are going to include ‘The
Raven’ aren’t you?”
And I would normally respond, “Are you
pulling my leg—are you serious?”
“I’m serious Dad, you’ve got to send it
to Tim Crouch,” was my son’s persistent plea.
I finally gave in. As I emailed the
track to Tim Crouch in Strawberry, Arkansas, I wasn’t sure what I’d get back.
After speaking with Tim on the phone, he shared that he was going right then to
his studio to work on it and that I needed to check my email in an hour or two.
Two hours passed and the track arrived in my inbox along with this message from
“I played my solos a little out there.
The melody was being carried really well by the acoustic
guitar, so I went out of the lines a little. See what you think.”
As I put my ear phones on and began
listening to the track, I was stunned by what Tim had done. “The Raven” had
taken on a contemporary jazz flair. I immediately sent Tim this message:
As our young people today would
say, "That was sick!" Totally love it! What school of jazz did you
attend? Unbelieveable mando and fiddles! This track will certainly bring some
unique variety to the overall CD project. Thanks so much--I am not
In a few minutes this response came
LOL…thanks Al…I love jazz. Never been to
any kind of music school either. Love Herbie Hancock and pretending I'm in his
band with a fiddle section. The Raven, was so fun...MAN. WOW that fired me up.
Proud you liked it. You played great on this.
Joseph for your persistence and thank you Tim Crouch—you hit this one out of