Vintage Hymn Picks

Jim Cornwell

An acoustic, instrumental album of traditional, beloved hymns played on acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin.

This is an acoustic, instrumental collection of well known, beloved hymns that have been tastefully arranged for acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin. You can feel that hard, wooden pew underneath and almost hear the harmonies of the choir as they sing these treasured tunes that you know so well, and might miss hearing on Sunday morning.

Jim plays his 1942 Martin D-18 and his 2002 Collings MF-5, pictured on the front cover, as well as his 2003 Colllings D-2 BaaaA and his 1921 Gibson A-4. All songs arranged and played by Jim Cornwell except track 4 based on an arrangement by Bob Minner, track 5 based on an arrangement by John Moore and track 12 based on an arrangement by Kenny Smith. Jim previously released Track 10, Amazing Grace, on his At the Water's Edge CD but did a remix adding freshly recorded mandolin parts to the previous solo guitar version.

These hymn’s diverse, centuries old, composition dates, listed in the order performed, stand as a testimony that good music and the truth are truly timeless and can not be restrained by history. 1. 1818, 1868, 1879 2. 1873 3. 1912 4. 1887 5. 1885 6. 1868 7. 1893, 1898 8. 1912 9. 1923 10. 1779
11. 1929, 1947, 1840 12. 1860

To quote King David, a pretty good picker himself, Psalm 147 …play music on your instruments to God…Psalm 150…praise him with banjo…fiddle and mandolin. Hallelujah!

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Nothing Left to Break

Jim Cornwell

This is a singer/songwriter type album composed of all original, acoustic guitar driven songs accented with mandolin, dobro and pedal steel guitar.

Country? At times. Folk? Kind of. Bluegrass? A little. I suppose these 14 original vocal songs, driven by the acoustic guitar, are a combination of all three which some might label Americana? We all share our own unique but similar experiences while traversing life's highway. I hope this music gives you comforting companionship for your journey.

My life is in your hands. Literally. I wrote some of these songs in my late teens and early 20's. I wrote five of them during the recording process. I selected these particular songs from "my archives" to cover from the day I met my wife, our courtship and marriage, the raising of our children, to the final days of my father's life who passed away during the production of this project.

I am forever grateful to God, the Original Author and Composer, for giving me the gift of music and the resources to be able to share it with so many people. Thanks to my wife Kathy for enduring all the trials and tribulations of being married to a musician. Thanks to my daughter Christina and my son Daniel for their constant inspiration and purpose they have given to my life. I am so proud of you both!

Thanks to all my musical friends from California to Tennessee who helped raise my musical bar by inviting me to pick with them. Special thanks to Chris Joslin for sharing his extraordinary musicianship and assisting me in bringing my songs to life.

This album is meant to present me as a songwriter, so the vocals are a departure from my previous four instrumental CD's, but I think both audiences will appreciate it's presentation.

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Over the Rainbow

Jim Cornwell

An instrumental album featuring traditional, acoustic music with flatpicked steel string guitar and mandolin playing Bluegrass and Irish fiddle tunes.

Jim Cornwell's "Over The Rainbow" CD is an instrumental compilation of traditional style fiddle tunes played on acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin. The guitar and mandolin flatpick the lead and provide rhythm. There are some flashy "contest winning" arrangements as well as some basic, beautiful melody arrangements of various Reels and Hornpipes from Bluegrass, Irish,and Old Time fiddle tunes. The title track comes from the Wizard of Oz, but the remaining tracks come from heritage much further back in time.

Jim has been playing this style of music since 1974. He and his friend Roger Helton played the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982 and were runner up in the National Mountain Music Festival the same year. Jim Cornwell performed as the opening act for a concert that Doc and Merle Watson played with Mark O'Connor in 1983, and then obtained a "real job" to carry him into the new millennium. Jim continues to play part time primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Some musicians that have influenced Jim are Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Dan Crary and Tony Rice. Jim's CD's have sold in such far away places as Japan, Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany proving music is truly an international language. Jim's music has been featured on several local radio and television shows both as soundtracks and performances.

Jim performs on both vintage and new instruments including his 1942 Martin D-18, his 1921 Gibson A-4, his 1976 Martin D-28, his 1980 Martin HD-28, his 2002 Collings MF-5 and his 2003 Collings D2HBaaaA guitar made with Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Red Spruce.

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Lost in the Woods

Jim Cornwell

Acoustic guitar and mandolin playing traditional Bluegrass, Celtic, Baroque and Classical fiddle tunes.

Bluegrass, Baroque, Celtic, or Classical, regardless of its origin or era of composition, all great music shares the quality of being truly timeless. This music sounds its best when it is performed, as intended, on handmade, acoustic instruments combining the tone woods of spruce, maple, rosewood or mahogany. Hopefully, the music contained on this CD will bring the sacrificial tree back to life and allow each individual listener to travel to their own unique place where they can become "Lost in the Woods."

Jim Cornwell's "Lost in the Woods" CD is an instrumental compilation of traditional style fiddle tunes and music played on acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin. This is his second release following his premier CD "Over the Rainbow." The tunes come from the Bluegrass, Celtic, Baroque, and Classical repertoires, and primarily feature flatpicked lead and rhythm with some fingerpicking. Track eight consists of two original mandolin compositions inspired by Jim's horses. This track was nominated for "Best Instrumental Roots" song for the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in 2006. This was truly an honor being that the nomination was selected out of 25,500 albums, 350,000 songs from 109 countries. Jim's best selling arrangement of Pachabel's Canon in D has been used in many wedding ceremonies across the county as well as his arrangement of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

As always, Jim's goal is to bring this music the dignity and respect that it deserves, and to share it not just with fellow musicians and string music fans, but also with a new audience who might not normally be familiar with this style of music.

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At the Water's Edge

Jim Cornwell

An instrumental album featuring traditional, tastefully arranged,acoustic music and fiddle tunes played on exquisite acoustic steel string guitars and mandolins.

“At the Water’s Edge,” you’ll find a place where one world ends and another begins, both blending in perfect harmony, each providing what the other so desperately needs. Music and water share in a cleansing potential that can quench a parched soul upon immersion. Like the rocks of the shoreline, traditional acoustic music has stood solid against the ever changing waves of cultural trends. May the listener be refreshed and discover their own unique, personal treasures “At the Water’s Edge.”

Jim Cornwell’s “At the Water’s Edge” is an acoustic, instrumental compilation of traditional bluegrass and Irish fiddle tunes combined with other familiar folk tunes played on exquisite, acoustic steel string guitars and mandolins. This is Jim’s third release following last year’s “Lost in the Woods” CD. Besides playing several medleys of various fiddle tunes, Jim also included some familiar classics that are not normally heard played on acoustic guitar or mandolin, such as The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, Dixie and Amazing Grace. Jim composed the refreshing title track, "At the Water's Edge," and also wrote the tune “Old Eagle." Based on his best selling “Pachabel Canon in D” from his "Lost in the Woods" CD, Jim arranged Bach’s Minuet in G for those listeners who enjoy hearing the classics being performed on guitar and mandolin.

Jim plays lead and rhythm using carefully selected, premium instruments made by Collings, Martin, Santa Cruz and Gibson. The hand selected tone woods and flawless craftsmanship of these instruments insure that the listener can meticulously hear the beauty in the music that the composer intended. Fans of this style of music will not be disappointed, and new listeners will be pleasantly surprised and discover why this type of music continues to survive century after century.

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12 Christmas Picks

Jim Cornwell

An acoustic, instrumental collection of 12 traditional Christmas Carols that have been tastefully arranged for acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin.

This is an acoustic, instrumental collection of 12 traditional Christmas Carols that have been tastefully arranged for acoustic steel string guitar and mandolin. These internationally well known melodies have survived since the 14th Century and continue to bring the original joy and true meaning of Christmas to a modern day world that so desperately needs “peace on earth and good will toward men.”

As advertised in the 2008 October, November, and December issues of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, this is Jim Cornwell's fourth CD release and again is an instrumental compilation of tunes featuring steel string acoustic guitar and mandolin. Jim is primarily a bluegrass guitar flatpicker, but wanted this CD to have a “traditional feel” with the taste and respect of Classical or Baroque music with a Renaissance twist! Jim fingerpicks many of these tunes, but still provides lots of flatpicking. Those familiar with Jim’s other CD’s will remember how he used this technique in recording Pachebel’s Canon in D, Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, and Minuet in G. This Christmas CD stemmed from Jim’s frustration with not being able to find an acoustic instrumental Christmas album that had arrangements where the melody was easily recognized by the "common" listener. Frequently, instrumental arrangements are so complicated, artistic or “jazzy”, they often succeed in only manifesting the virtuoso capabilities of the musician, and sacrifice the crucial melody in the interpretation. This can cause the loss of a connection between familiar music and the non musician or "common audience." Jim’s arrangements are “simple” in terms of retaining the melody, but “complex” enough to remain pleasing to the ear and interesting even after repeated listening. Anyone can sing along to their favorite tunes without getting lost. “12 Christmas Picks” provides great background music for decorating the Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, traveling to visit family and friends, and of course opening Christmas presents, but it could also be used in the foreground whenever and for whatever the listener deems necessary!

Jim likes to play his two Collings guitars against each other on most tracks. A D-1A mahogany for the high and mid ranges, and a D-2HBaaaA Brazilian rosewood for the mid and low ranges. This is especially striking on track #5 “Silent Night” and track #10 “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Jim’s favorite, track #8, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” incorporates the use of rounds and blending melodic lines against each other using his Collings MF-5 mandolin. The familiar “Carol of the Bells”, track #11, plays nicely as guitars and mandolins echo each other in harmony. To bring things full circle, Jim starts and ends track #12, “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella”, with the simplicity of a solo guitar. Jim also uses his 1942 Martin D-18 and his 1921 Gibson A-4 to give the listener an authentic vintage tone. All tracks were digitally recorded "clean" with no effects, in the uncompressed linear 16-bit mode, and were closely miked, using a Neumann KM-184 condenser microphone, in an attempt to capture the true acoustic "live" sound of the instruments.

These beautiful “Christmas” melodies are worth hearing year round and shouldn’t be restricted to just the month of December!

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