Back around 1972, when my friend Neil Hogan and I were still in high school, we were in a band with a bunch of older hippie guys from Santa Cruz, fine musicians all. From them I learned my first John Prine song, which I offer here as a humble tribute to John’s uncanny genius for cramming more truth into three chords than anyone before or since. As Kris Kristofferson wrote in the liner notes of John’s first album in 1971, “twenty-four years old and he writes songs like he’s two hundred and twenty.” Can’t say it much better than that. Rest easy, John, and eternal gratitude for your incredible body of work.

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Jerusalem – Solo Guitar by Neil Hogan

by admin on March 13, 2020

James Taylor’s 2020 Audible book Break Shot included a few short music pieces mixed in with his narration of the first 21 years of his life. His arrangement of Jerusalem popped up about 35 minutes into the 90 minute presentation and I was knocked out by how great the arrangement was. I had to grab the guitar, figure it out and write it down. I shot this take of it the next day and still needed to read the music, as I am still working on how I want each note to sound. I hope to put together a lesson at Totally Guitars in the near future.

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Danny Boy – Neil Hogan

by admin on December 18, 2019

Danny Boy ranks as one of the most beautiful melodies to ever come out of Ireland, although the lyrics as we know them were written by an Englishman, Frederic Weatherly. He wrote the lines in the early 20th century to a different melody before he was introduced to the tune known as Londonderry Air, which had its origins in the 17th century.

This arrangement started out as a project for a student and I thought to try to keep it somewhat simple or straightforward and just bring in a little harmony below the melody notes, most of which are thirds or sixths. The main difficulty became playing it lyrically and connecting the voices smoothly.

My student begged off as he thought it was too hard but I figured I might as well make the most of it and polish it up a bit. I hope you enjoy it.

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