Almost everyone who comes to the Harp Guitar Gathering is a player to some extent (though we encourage absolutely anyone and everyone to come). So it’s no surprise to see people plucking at an instrument at any time or any place. More often than not, it’s not even their own instrument; they’re just trying something out – for nowhere else on earth can one find this many harp guitars in one place! When ready (or even if not – hey, it’s all good), these players sit down at one of the Open Mic or Performer Showcase stages. While those run nonstop in their timeslots, music can also be heard in the hallways, bar, meeting room, or anywhere someone feels inspired to begin playing. Various impromptu jams can grow at the drop of a hat.
And of course, every single live body that can strum a harp guitar comes up for the concert grand finale.
So here are, not all, but a large sampling of Gathering Goers – some have been coming for years, while there are always many new faces (and thus, new players).
And music is ultimately what it’s all about!
Nate Blaustein (Springfield, IL) with his new Tonedevil harp mandolin.
Stephen Warburton (Ontario, Canada) with his Noble
His wife Linda has taken many of the Gathering photos
Bruce Labadie (Bradenton, FL), trying out the Noble
Steve Farmer (Forest Park, Georgia) with his big Gibson
Martin Leycomm came all the way from Germany for his first Gathering. He left his 3 harp guitars at home, here playing Nate’s harp mando
Nancy Conescu (Portland, OR), investigating John Doan’s new Brunner OHG
Ken Bonfield plays “The Beastess,” Alan Carruth’s latest harp guitar creation commissioned by Ken
Luthier/player Kathy Wingert with her own own short-scale HG
Dan Pease (Iowa Falls, Iowa), in musical ecstasy (either that or having a stroke), with his Dyer Style 7 (with added pg)
Stacy Hobbs plays Dan’s Dyer at the Open Mic, while Dan’s better half Bettie Swarts plays fiddle, along with their friend, Leon
Luthier/player Mike Doolin tries Dan’s Dyer, with Stacy on his Noble
Dan and Kathy and Stacy on harp-mando and…I didn’t know Muriel played fiddle! Dennis Mitchell in background (with a Breedlove mandolin it looks like) and his wife Janice listening
And the jam grows, with Bettie on fiddle, Martin in the back on Dennis Mitchell’s octave mandola, and Dennis again with that mandolin.
Joe Cullison (Macon, GA), trying out Dennis Mitchell’s octave mandola
Larson Living Legend, Bob Hartman, on, what else?
Luthier Jim Worland listens to Worland owner Ed Dowling (Athens, GA)
Michael Schreiner (Miami, FL)
Newcomer Greg Dale (Indianapolis) tries out a Noble HG
We’ll see you at the next one!