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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Celtic Guitarist Christopher Dean To Release Beautiful New Arrangement of 'The Parting Glass'

'The Parting Glass' is set for release on September 1st 2021.

The origins of The Parting Glass can be found in Scotland. A version of the lyrics was known at least as early as 1605 with variations and fragments appearing in various songs down through the centuries. The melody was first collected in 1782

'The Parting Glass', or 'Stirrup Cup', was the final hospitality offered to a departing guest. Once they had mounted, they were presented one final drink to fortify them for their travels. The custom was practised in several continental countries.

The song and tune have always been one of Christopher Dean's favourites. He wrote the

arrangement for 6 and 12 string guitars, mandolin and bass. He left sections open for Uilleann Pipes and Accordion.

Richard Schmidt, who owns a studio in Scotts Valley, CA performed and recorded the Accordion in his studio. Aaron Shaw performed and recorded the Uilleann Pipes at his home studio in Los Angeles, CA. Jim Soldi performed the backing Fiddle track (VI) in his studio in Ramona, CA.

Jim Soldi is one of the most talented musicians that Chris knows. He was the lead guitarist for Johnny Cash and Ricky Skaggs. His main instrument is guitar, but he is a multi instrumentalist.

Aaron Shaw is the Highland Piper for the group Wicked Tinkers. He is also a highly respected Bagpipe instructor. He is accomplished on Uilleann Pipes and Guitar also with a very impressive resume. He recorded two tracks on Chris' 2006 album, Celtic Journey.

Richard Schmidt, and Chris have known each other since the first grade in Los Gatos, CA. During the early years they both pursued music. Richard started on the accordion and added guitar. Chris started on guitar at 5 years old. (his grandfather taught me to play 'Ghost Rider' in the 5th and 6th grade, Chris was learning violin and playing in the school orchestra. By the time they were both in Jr. High they were playing guitar and playing in rock bands.

In high school Richard had established himself on accordion and guitar and was performing in 'The Dig Beats', a rock group. Chris joined that band as well, as a rhythm guitarist. After high school Richard continued in music and performed in a number of groups. He still performs today, although now he is a multi-instrumentalist.

After high school they both lost touch. They had not seen each other for about 30 years when they hooked up on Facebook. On a tour to Northern California Richard attended a concert. The friendship continued where it left off, and when this project was in discussion, Richard volunteered to record the Accordion and did a fantastic job.

When Chris was five years old, his grandfather introduced him to the acoustic steel string guitar. His grandfather taught him a few chords and the melody to "Ghost Riders in the Sky". From that point forward Chris' life was altered, he was addicted and dedicated to music and the guitar. That has never changed.

After playing in several Jr. High and High School bands in California, Chris started his professional career in 1966 as a full time performing musician in Tucson, Arizona. The Night Sounds were a four piece band specializing in rock and R&B. Chris performed with that group through the beginning of 1968. During that time they released two singles, were the opening act for the rock groups "The Doors" and "The Rascals", and toured the south west extensively. Chris then performed with another R&B group, The Rick Durham Band, which was touring out of Little Rock, AR. He spent 4 months on the road working with that group. During that period he had the opportunity to open for the "Rolling Stones" in Los Angeles at a concert MC'ed by the legendary DJ, "Wolfman Jack".

After serving in the Army, Chris returned to Tucson. At that time he became content to play fingerstyle guitar recreationally for his own enjoyment. After about seven years, Chris became active in performing again. This time playing bluegrass music on a 5-string banjo.

Chris and his wife, Ann, relocated to Southern California in 1980. In 1981 Chris started a bluegrass band with mandolinist Peter Lauderbach. (Pete can be heard on Chris' second album, "The Gael"). He also began teaching the 5 string banjo and guitar at a local music store. Chris became interested in, and involved with banjo competition. In 1983 Chris won First Place in Intermediate Bluegrass Banjo, and in 1985 First Place in Advanced Bluegrass Banjo. Both at the Julian Bluegrass Festival (The New Expressions' Guitar, Banjo and Fiddle Contest). During those years, that festival would generally draw an audience of approximately 6,000 Bluegrass fans.

In January 1996 Chris started performing Scottish and Irish traditional and contemporary folk music on solo fingerstyle guitar. His performances began as an occasional gig at a record store or wedding, and escalated to being booked as the opening act for the Celtic group "Skyedance". Since then, Chris has toured extensively and performed at a variety of venues, including shows with Dan Crary, Alasdair Fraser, Men of Worth, The Wicked Tinkers, Skyedance, Brian Baynes, and more. Over the last several years Chris has added American traditional and contemporary folk music to his shows, as well as adding 12 string guitar.

With the encouragement of friends Jimmy Keigher and Donnie MacDonald (Men of Worth), Scottish singer/songwriter Dougie MacLean, guitarist/recording artist Edgar Cruz, and Johnny Cash/Ricky Skaggs guitarist Jim Soldi, Chris released his first solo album of Celtic instrumental music, "Highland Heritage", in September 2000 on the Cairney Hill Music label. His second album, "The Gael", was released in June 2002. Chris' third album "Celtic Journey" was released January 16, 2006. A single, "Last of the Mohicans/The Gael", off of his fourth album was released for mp3 distribution in December 2010. The fourth album, "Shenandoah" was released in August 2013.Chris' music has also been released on multiple compilation albums in Italy, the U.S., and Japan.

Throughout the years Chris' performance venues have included PBS/NPR, Commercial Radio, Celtic and Folk Festivals, Performing Arts Centres, Arts-In-Schools Programs, Corporate Events, and Resorts ....... just to mention a few



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