And now for my next trick…

Even with one hand tied behind his back (a skiing accident he told me as we arrived), Keith Bennett is still one of Canada’s most gifted harmonica players and an expert on the topic. I had the pleasure of taking the first level of Keith’s in-home courses on playing harp this past weekend with four other newbie players and it was a total treat!

In the photo Keith stands beside a partial collection of harmonicas he’s obtained over the years including a Chinese Sheng – the granddaddy of the harmonica! In his hand is a chordal harmonica (big sucker – it’s heavy!) and in the mouth rack a standard harmonica.

IMG_1398

Over the course of three hours I learned about different types of harmonicas, draw vs blow, where the notes and chords are on a C harmonica and how to write them, how to play rhythm over a full blues chorus and solo, how to clean and maintain my new instrument and even how to bend a note – success!

IMG_1395

But probably the highlight was meeting Boris, a fellow student, who at 80 years young is convinced he can improve his skills – alright Boris! (watch out ladies!)

IMG_1388

I love the challenge of learning something new musically and working with a pro like Keith is probably the best way to get a leg up on this instrument. I’m looking forward sitting in on a gig soon with my new mad harp skills.

Contact Keith here if you are interested to find out more about his playing or courses.

IMG_1405

New Video – Original Song with E Avila

A while ago I received a call from a talented music pal of mine, Erick Avila, asking whether I’d consider singing a demo of an original tune he wrote called, It’s Not Enough.  He sent me an Mp3 with a scratch vocal.  He wanted me to take a run at it which I was happy to do as I loved the song and was just getting my new home studio up and running.  We sent files back and forth (Canada to Mexico – or really who knows where the heck they got routed via the net) and eventually Erick was able to use the vocal tracks from my studio to complete the song.  Erick played all the instruments and mixed it himself.  AMAZING.  I’ve been around long enough to remember using DOS and fax machines which used that horrible white shiny paper.  You know what I’m talking about people.  WAAAAY before Iphones and Youtube.  Then Erick suggested we do a video – long distance – and, well, I got out my handy dandy macbook and again files were transferred.  Anyway, click here for the result.  It’s incredible what’s happening these days technology and creativity wise. (Thanks Erick – you’re awesome!!) :) Not Enough – LJ Mounteney, Vox, Erick Avila, composer, musicians

‘Tis the Season… for carolling!

photo-7

Wow – another year gone by so fast.  And every year for the past several years, I’ve carolled with the Angelus Singers – headed up by the wonderful Melissa Howell – an amazing and skilled trained Opera vocalist.  We’ve got some of the sweetest gigs in Vancouver including the lovely Century Plaza Hotel.  Come down and enjoy some lovely 3 part harmonies of your favourite traditional and popular Christmas tunes!  (And the Century Plaza has the most amazing lunch buffet!)  Check out the shows page for days and locations.

New Website!

website

Finally a new website!  Looking forward to posting on musical adventures and inspirations – stay tuned! :) LJ