Eric Thompson took up the guitar as a teenager in Palo Alto, California in the early 1960's, at a time when very few folk guitarists were playing more than basic rhythm guitar. Among his earliest bands were the Black Mountain Boys (with Jerry Garcia and David Nelson) and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. He quickly became nationally known as an exceptional lead flatpicker, winning the World Championship Cup at Union Grove, North Carolina with the New York Ramblers (which also included David Grisman and Winnie Winston) and flying to Nashville, Tennessee to record "Beatle Country" with the Charles River Valley Boys (reissued on Rounder).
During the 1970's, Eric continued to play old-time music. He also took up the tenor banjo, organized the Graineog Celidh Band around two master musicians from County Clare, Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan, and spent six months in the west of Ireland, visiting and learning from older traditional musicians there.
Eric is a knowledgeable and patient teacher, who has been a staff member at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Bluff Country Gathering, Augusta Heritage Old-Time and Cajun-Creole Weeks, Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp, and Lark In the Morning. His latest writing project is "Playing Bluegrass Guitar", published by Backbeat Publications. Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop distributes Eric’s guitar instructional materials. He is featured in the Mel Bay publication Flatpicking 2000 and has also written instructional columns for Flatpicking Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines.
Irish Dance tunes, with their evocative modes, engaging ornamentation, and rhythmic variety, make great flatpicking pieces, offering a wealth of exciting material with which to broaden horizons and deepen roots. Eric Thompson has been fascinated with this repertoire for a long time, and was fortunate to perform with master Irish musicians in the 1970's in both San Francisco and the west of Ireland, including the legendary Joe Cooley. Here Eric teaches several of his favorite jigs, reels and hornpipes, and coaches you in the triplets, grace notes, and nuances that give Irish ceili music its lilt and feeling. For intermediate students.
Lesson One: Discussion of ornamentation, grace notes and triplet playing. Sligo Maid, Bright Star Of Munster, Fulham Broadway, Gallagher's Frolics, Tommy McCarthy's Jig and Untitled Reel.
Lesson Two: IRISH DANCE MUSIC: Pigeon On The Gate, Sweets of May, The Wise Maid, The Pipe On The Hob and Apples In Winter.
Lesson Three: MORE IRISH DANCE MUSIC: Sean Sa Ceo, The Mooncoin Jig, The Traveler, The Old Customs House and The Choice Wife.
Level 2 • 32 page tab/music book with three compact discs.