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Cowboys In Cybersp@ce - May 2000
© 2000 Bob Howe
"Live and Learn"
It's been over two years since Cowboys In Cybersp@ce dedicated a column to resources for musicians on the World Wide Web. This time in particular, I'm going to focus on the tutorials and lessons that are available to download. The Internet excels in delivering short packages of information and this holds true for educational material. There is no point in studying 'How To Play Harmonica in One Hour' when the harmonica championships start in 30 minutes, trust me!
|Would you like to play guitar
like Albert Lee?
Me too !
In a fast moving world we demand short, easy to digest snippets. Guitarists and bass players will find their answer at a site called TrueFire. As well as E-publishing original music, poetry and digital art, they have over 1,000 guitar lessons packaged as MP3 sound files with accompanying tablature. They have a large section dedicated to Country and another for Acoustic music. Choose from titles like '25 Country Licks You Should Know' and 'Chicken Pickin' Delight'. The best thing is that you can join for free and be given $10 to spend on whichever lessons you choose.
When you get to TrueFire, follow the Join Us link and make up a username and password.
They will E-mail you a certificate number that gives you $10 to spend for free
(also make sure that when it says, 'If you were referred to the website by a TrueFire member, enter his/her TrueFire username:'
type cyberbob and then click the GO button)
When you get your $10 you can download free lessons - MP3 sound files and corresponding PDF text files. Pretty cool. Ready? Click here to get to TrueFire.
Riff Interactive takes a different approach. They specialise in Live Internet Guitar Lessons. If you are lucky enough to be on-line at the right time, you can chat with the Celebrity teachers during the lesson. All the interactive examples given, can be slowed down (in real time) to suit your own pace. Simply stunning technology! If you're late for a lesson, don't worry. They file them in an archive which includes lessons with Albert Lee and the legendary Hank Garland, who also sat in on their recent acoustic Kentucky Bluegrass series.
You'll find a stack of other links and lessons at Guitar Bazzar, the premier guitar players community. More Country licks can be found at GuitarCool who also have an interview with the great Junior Brown. There are plenty of resources for other instruments out there too. Drummers could try Drum Bum, the Internet's first and largest Drum Lesson Database. Vocalists can pick up some tips from Mark Baxter, Vocal Therapist or take a free Voice Training Session with Billy Purnell. Steelers might enjoy a sample of Jim Loessberg's Pedal Steel Guitar Course. Fiddlers look here, at Michele's Fiddle Lesson notes and songs, and don't forget to check the Fiddley Friends links page at our very own Fiddlers Festival Online.
If it's linedancing you want to learn, there are plenty of sites out there for you on the Internet. First port of call should be Country Goss. Not only has this popular Australian linedance magazine gone to a new glossy format as the New Country Goss, their Web Site has had a facelift too. It's packed with information, including where you can find a dance teacher in your area and where to then put your new bootscootin' skills into practice. In the 'Special Features' section you'll find a lot of different views of this year's Tamworth Festival from a linedance perspective, including the Australia Post Longest Linedance World Record. The Dance news is broken down into the different states of Australia, and countries of the World. Country Goss is the best place to start your virtual bootscoot.
And now for our regular round-up of news
and newly found sites: -
- Eric Bogle recently launched his new album 'Endangered Species' at The Basement in Sydney, and Slim Dusty was there in the audience to cheer him on. Bogle is truly one of the great poets of our time. He held the audience captivated with his songs and rollicking with laughter at his stories. You can hear samples from his great new album at the ACMEC Records site. For more information on the man himself and his fine band, have a browse through The Eric Bogle Homepage. How many other artists have garnered awards that range from a Gold Record to the Australian Peace Medal?
(Pictured right:) Eric Bogle performing at The Basement
- 'Mr. Versatile', Craig Giles now has his own Web site. There is a biography and list of Craig's considerable achievements and awards, a discography and tour dates. Two of the most popular pages will no doubt be the Fan Club page where Craig's legion of fans will continue to grow, and the Guest Book where those same fans can leave their messages and good wishes.
- Speaking of Craigs; Craig Byrne's Web site has moved and grown considerably since the last time we visited. There are lots of details about Craig and his music, including a free download of a complete song available for radio and personal listening. If you have a look in the Tour Photos section, you'll even find a picture of him with the other Craig!
- Have you seen the video on CMT where the girl in the office logs on to the Lyn Bowtell Web site? She then decides it's time to leave work and go bush because her ' Hearts In The Country'. You can do the first part, and visit Lyn's site. Hear some MP3 samples from her album and read her history, illustrated with photos from the family album. Oh yes, you can join her fan club as well.
- Also on CMT, 'Restless', the single written and produced by Steven Dix. This is the title track from his album of middle of the road country pop sounds, capturing cheerful moments of life and love in song. Steven's Web site features great design, and there is an MP3 for you to download.
- Hot newcomers Brad Paisley and Phil Vassar are also video favourites, and you can find them both at 'TwangThis!'. If you like Paisley's hit 'He Didn't Have To Be', take a peek at some video footage that was shot especially for a private Nashville party, honouring Brad for his first No.1 hit! Have your tissues ready for the testimonials from Mothers and kids though! Phil Vassar's debut hit, 'Carlene' is only one of five tracks from his excellent self-titled album that you can hear in full at the Web site. You'll soon realise why Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Diamond Rio and BlackHawk all had hits with song from his pen. Now with his rolling piano and energetic vocal style, he looks destined to have plenty of hits for himself.
- Joel Smoker is a unique performer who combines multimedia presentations with his music. His show 'North of the Tropic of Capricorn' incorporates a slide show, storytelling and songs. It tells of the Smoker family in the Kimberley region of Western Australia during the 1950's to the 1970's and the story of Joel's time there during the 1980's. At his Web site you can learn more and view some of his stunning photos of the Kimberley landscapes.
- Australia's richly varied heritage places have inspired the winners of a national song, video and writing competition. Winners of the Australian Heritage Commission's Celebrating Australia's Heritage competition were announced in Canberra by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill. Two works share the winning $5000 first prize in the Songs of Place competition. They are Wilderness Trail, written by two established song writers who have known one another since they were 11 years old, Mick Hamilton of Glenhuntly, Victoria and Keith Glass of Marrickville, New South Wales, and Heritage, written by Linda Lockyer, a mother of four from Walcha, New South Wales. Josh Arnold, of Toowoomba gained a highly recommended award of $800 for his entry Heart of the Nation.
The winning songs can be heard at the Australian Heritage Commission Web site, and a commemorative CD has been released. Judges were impressed with the overall standard of entries. Well-known performers and musicians, John Williamson and Slim Dusty (with a Joy McKean song) were among those who contributed. Their songs each received Special Merit Awards. Read the full story here.
Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce
each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of
Murri Country, 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane).
If you want to share the location of an
interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in
future columns, why not
next month, happy surfing.
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