Hogs sometimes can be lazy, so can a MandoHog. Well, I won’t necessarily say lazy, but perhaps a just a little slow in embracing a new technology. So after many false starts, I now am going to try to kick start this blog in earnest. It may come as a shock to you, but I, MandoHog, do love mandolins. I have a couple instruments (a bunch?) and some say I Hog them. Like they say, how many mandolins do you really need…”Just one more!” I am a picker, and I love to play. However, it seems at this busy stage of my life, with that pesky work gig taking so much of my time, I find myself playing Mando much less than I want. I still have the music in my heart and maybe connecting with others that share this love is a way to feed the need. I, my, mine, me…is this what bogging is about? I am tired of talking about me…you talk about me for a while now…
I really don’t know where I am going with this blog, so I guess we’ll find out together. I suppose some background information on me might be helpful to establish my credentials. Or perhaps establish the fact that I have none. (See picture for documentation of credentials). My Mom and Dad played music & I grew up hearing country and old time acoustic music. I would take naps in a playpen in the middle of a jam session, but at the time they were just called a pickin’ (well I guess they still are). My dad loved guitars and instruments, and was always bringing home something new. In spite of all this exposure though, my siblings and I found we were drawn to that popular rock & roll type stuff (ya ever heard of it?). But there was a band of that time period in the late 1960s & very early 1970s by the name of Credence Clearwater Revival that everyone in the family enjoyed. Well, they had a song called “Looking out my Back Door”. On this song they played a Dobro or, resophonic guitar to be politically correct, but it was a Dobro brand anyway. (Curtis Lowe didn’t play a resophonic guitar!) Ok. I’ll get off the soapbox. That will be a subject for another day. Back to the song….
This song seemed so different to us than the music we were listening to. It was a turning point for my brother and therefore, me as well. My brother was so inspired that he drug out the closest instrument we had to a Dobro, which was a Silvertone open backed banjo, and had Dad show him a couple of chords. Before long, he got to where he could actually play a little bit. This was in about 1970, and he was about 13 years old at this time. I was 11. Before long I was jealous of the attention big bro was garnering with his newly discovered talents. So dad found me a Harmony mandolin, an instrument my size, that I could try to master (I am still trying today although not on the Harmony… I still have it though).
Dad showed me the two fingered chords of G, C, & D. The first song I ever learned was “I don’t love nobody”. It was not long after this that I also invented the capo!… well, I thought I did anyway. I used a pencil & some rubber bands so I could play in the key of “A”. I played this way for about a year before someone showed me how to use 4 fingers to make a cord. I was so shocked when I first heard someone that could really “play” a mandolin. Well I guess the real shock came in my learning the fact that I could “not” play, or at least was not very good. And this lesson has been made painfully evident to me over and over through the years since!