Chubby Dragon

I was fortunate to know Ray Alden for many years. To learn from his recordings, play tunes with him and work on a few projects with him.

Toward the end of his life, he was very much in my thoughts. A week before the Lake Genero festival in Sept of 2009,  a tune came to me and I realized it was for him. What better name for it could there be than "Chubby Dragon"? Knowing that time was short and there was little I could do for him, I hoped that the tune would cheer him. At Genero, I gathered a handful of his friends and taught them the tune. Then we did a "field recording" of ourselves playing it. I then moved on to another camp and repeated the process.

by the end of the weekend we had 10 versions of the tune. Gil Sayre delivered and played the cd of those 10 versions during his last visit with Ray. I'm told that Ray appreciated the project. A group of us played it at Ray's memorial service.

 

Joel Wennerstrom and I have made a recording of it that we are proud to share and

to make freely available to his many friends in our community who might wish to learn it, play it and remember Ray:

CHUBBY DRAGON (mp3 for download)

 

Video of Joel playing Chubby Dragon at a concert performance by Hammer and String (Cleek Schrey, Joel Wennerstrom) with guest fiddler Tashina Clarridge sitting in for Rhys Jones during the Appalachian music weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia

 

To read more about Ray Alden's life and work:

Ray's Field Recorders Collective

Paul Brown's NPR obituary