Kenny and Amanda Smith


#1

I was lucky enough yesterday to be at a guitar workshop for 3 hours with Kenny Smith. There is a local bluegrass guitarist that sponsors workshops and house concerts in his home a few times a year. Last year I was at a workshop and house concert with David Grier.

Kenny was great; smooth player with some really nice ideas about learning the guitar. And a heck of a nice fella too. The room fits about 10 of us with our instruments, so the workshop is very intimate. Unfortunately, I could not attend the house concert because my wife was under the weather (and I wanted to be home to take care of her).

December brings Robin Kessinger and Wayne Henderson to the workshop and house concert. Can’t wait!


#2

Great am glad you get to go . it is a honor to be around great players that is if they are kind folks . have a great time and let us know how much you enjoyed it ,.


#3

Wish I had access to events like that. Sounds like they could be very informative. I’ve never had a chance to meet Kenny but judging by the many Youtube videos I’ve seen, he seems really likeable. Nice to have that confirmed.


#4

Wow! Congratulations! I hope your wife is feeling better.


#5

— Begin quote from “mreisz”

Wow! Congratulations! I hope your wife is feeling better.

— End quote

Yep… she is on the upswing. I thought she might have pneumonia a few days back, but a trip to the doc confirmed that it was bacterial bronchitis.

It was a fun event. I have been to a few of these and I am very lucky that a player from our area with the resources to afford these events counts me in on the invites.

So far, I have attended workshops with Mark Cosgrove, David Grier, Mitch Corbin, Kenny Smith, Robert Shafer and Robin Kessinger. They were all interesting in their own ways.

David Grier is just a monster on the guitar and probably my favorite player all around. He is exciting to watch, even after a hour or so of playing. And the most amazing part was that he claims not to read a lick of music notation or even tablature. He does everything by ear and memory. At his level, that is nothing short of unbelievable! :open_mouth:


#6

I envy you big time! I’d feel fortunate to just sit and listen to any of those guys play much less attend a workshop with them. And Wayne Henderson next month…just how lucky can one guy be. Hope you get the opportunity to play one of his guitars. I hear he builds some nice ones.


#7

Yep, I feel extremely lucky.

The funny thing is that this has been going on for many years and I only found out about it 2 years ago. I guess my point is that events may be happening near you and you might not know about them. Colleges regularly invite amazing musicians to do workshops (that are open to the public), yet if you are not in the loop you would never hear of it. I heard of this venue while talking to a friend about something completely unrelated.

After finding this gem, I realized that these musicians can afford to do this because they are performing or have some event nearby at an often similar situation. I would suggest that you can look around and keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find.


#8

Doc,

What is the name of the venue? I would like to compare and perhaps find something similar in the Pittsburgh area. I could even consider attending in Philly. Let me know. Send a pm if you are hesitant to openly post the information or whatever works for you. I am beginning to think that AMW in Pburgh may hold these type concerts. I’m just not sure if the workshop is part of their events.

John


#9

Hey Doc,

Skip that last request(s). I found all the info. Who knows, might run into you down that way!

Thanks… John


#10

Hey John,

I was out your way a few weeks back visiting my Alma mater (IUP). I was showing my son (a junior in high school) the old haunt. I doubt he will go there since he thought it was “too big”. But the leaves were in full color and it was a perfect fall western Pennsylvania day.

My only memory of Johnstown is that I bought my first decent guitar amp there at some small music store (can’t remember the name) in 1980. I still own that Yamaha G100-112 and it is sitting not 4 feet from me right now. It is a great sounding clean amp with serious volume… great for larger jazz gigs and when I played in a big band. As I remember, Johnstown is a pretty town with hills all around it. Beautiful in the fall.


#11

Thank you Doc for the kind words about this area I call home. About eight years ago I took a job that required extensive travel all over North America. What a wonderful opportunity to see our great country and I am grateful that I have had the chance to be in 41 states in the US plus spent some nice times in Canada as well. It definitely made me realize how beautiful and unique this part of western Pa is.

If you bought a yamaha amp in Johnstown in 1980 it was probably at University Music. Yes? I remember quite well that in that era yamaha produced some really great amps. A keeper I’m sure.

If you get out this way again I’ll buy lunch or dinner. It would be great to sit and talk with a musician such as yourself!!

John


#12

— Begin quote from “jbsjr”

I remember quite well that in that era yamaha produced some really great amps.

— End quote

Yessir they did. In the mid 80s a guitarist I played with a had a Yamamaha 2X12 combo and I had a Yamamaha bass head. Both were killer sounding and we didn’t have to work on either of them even once that I recall.


#13

Yep, now that you said the name I remember it. University Music.

It was funny. I went there to purchase a Music Man amp and after playing the Yamaha, I was in love with the fatter sound and extreme tonal control of the Yamaha.

My Yamama… err… Yamahama… ugh… Anyway, my amp has only had to have the reverb tank replaced (for $23 as I remember back in the early 1990s). Other than that, I have had it apart twice to spray clean the pots. It still has an amazingly clean tone and a huge voice (much louder than a mere 100watts solid state would normally be). :open_mouth:


#14

The only problem is the resistors and capacitors they do go bad so when buying a new amp think of when you do that you are just replacing caps and resistors with new ones. I have actually replaced every cap and resistor in an old Zenith TV and it had the most amazing picture after that. It is good to spray the pots about every six months to a year to make sure there is good contact with the wiper and no scratchy sounds as you turn the pot or adjust it.


#15

— Begin quote from “drguitar”

I was lucky enough yesterday to be at a guitar workshop for 3 hours with Kenny Smith. There is a local bluegrass guitarist that sponsors workshops and house concerts in his home a few times a year. Last year I was at a workshop and house concert with David Grier.

Kenny was great; smooth player with some really nice ideas about learning the guitar. And a heck of a nice fella too. The room fits about 10 of us with our instruments, so the workshop is very intimate. Unfortunately, I could not attend the house concert because my wife was under the weather (and I wanted to be home to take care of her).

December brings Robin Kessinger and Wayne Henderson to the workshop and house concert. Can’t wait!

— End quote

I actually used to be good friends with their mandolin player. A bunch of junk happened and now we are not really friends.
But from what I know, Kenny and Amanda seem like good people. Not a bad band ether.

So if you don’t mind me asking, where was this workshop exactly?


#16

This is a private house concert so I would not be comfortable giving an exact address as they are by invitation only. However, I can say that these concerts/workshops happen at a home about 20 miles west southwest of Philadelphia.


#17

— Begin quote from “drguitar”

This is a private house concert so I would not be comfortable giving an exact address as they are by invitation only. However, I can say that these concerts/workshops happen at a home about 20 miles west southwest of Philadelphia.

— End quote

I can understand that. I just knew that Kenny and Amanda were in Nashville TN, so I was curious to see if it was around there.