Scott Greeson & Kevin Ludwig | Wabash Gypsies

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Folk: Fingerstyle Easy Listening: Background Music Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Wabash Gypsies

by Scott Greeson & Kevin Ludwig

Acoustic guitars, projecting real life stories through the tones of wood and steel.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Awakening
2:45 $0.99
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2. Llama Dance
1:56 $0.99
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3. Winter Banks
3:29 $0.99
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4. Gypsies On the Wabash
2:36 $0.99
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5. The Prophet
3:14 $0.99
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6. Tunnel of Trees
2:56 $0.99
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7. Ouiatenon Duet
2:26 $0.99
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8. Church Lot Waltz
3:01 $0.99
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9. Prayer Without Words
2:55 $0.99
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10. Jan's Journey
2:59 $0.99
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11. Goodbye
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Wabash Gypsies,” a collection of instrumental acoustic guitar music from Scott Greeson and Kevin Ludwig, was nearly a decade in the making and will surprise fans that have become accustomed to Greeson’s “storytelling” lyrical style. On “Wabash Gypsies,” the music alone tells the story. “Scott has always been the songwriter, but for him, this was cathartic. It is something for both us that is very pure and honest,” says Ludwig, who wrote and recorded the CD with Greeson over the 10-year span. “We were just dealing with wires and wood and there’s a purity to it.”
The disc is dedicated to the memory of Scott’s first wife, Jan, who died Oct. 13, 2006 at age 43 after a lifelong struggle with congenital heart disease. A portion of the proceeds from the CD will be donated to the Adult Congenital Heart Association in Jan’s memory, to help patients, their families and their physicians overcome this disease.
Scott says composing the music with Kevin for “Wabash Gypsies” was part of his healing process after Jan’s death, a process that took years of writing, composing and recording. “My grief process began actually before her death,” he said. “It was very painful but I knew I had to come to terms with this. We made the decision to tie this in to help families dealing congenital heart disease – it gave the project more of a purpose to me. I knew I had to finish this disc and finish it with a purpose.”
On the tune “Jan’s Journey,” Scott and Kevin put into music what was difficult for both of them to put into words. “The way the song is laid out, it’s different moments from her life – there’s even a little tension in it at times,” Scott said. It represents the life Jan and I had together and its ending – it’s building to something great – something more than all the good things on Earth. It’s saying goodbye to the bad things here and moving to that something great beyond here.”
Kevin admits that he and Scott didn’t talk a lot about the process of grieving in creating the song. “It’s hard for us to put into words,” he said. “We started writing this music while Jan was still here and we played it at her funeral. That was just an honor. It was Scott’s idea to do that and I think the idea of the music helping people in her memory has been in the back of his mind for a long time.”
“Wabash Gypsies” began with one song, “The Prophet,” in 2001. Scott’s memory of crafting the song relates to two thoughts – one, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which was foretold in the book of Isaiah – and secondly, the random occurrence of helping his niece with a history project on “The Prophet,” who was Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee who attempted to unite Native American tribes into a fighting force against western settlers with his brother Tecumseh. Working with Kevin on the song, the two musicians discovered a remarkable improvisational chemistry that resulted in several more songs relating to the history of the Tippecanoe Battlefield area, the Wabash River and their early inhabitants. “ Kevin came up with the counter melody on the song – it wasn’t a spoken thing – it was truly an unspoken thing. He doesn’t usually respond in words, he responds in notes,” Scott said. “That song forced me to express myself musically without the words and to be a better guitar player. It required me to use my fingers and strings to express myself. “The Prophet made its way on to a praise and worship CD in 2000, where it was heard by the producers of a Public Broadcasting System documentary “The Wabash: Life on the Bright White River.” After hearing “The Prophet,” the producers asked for more, and Scott and Kevin wrote and performed the soundtrack to the documentary, which was broadcast on WFYI, the Indianapolis PBS affiliates, on Jan. 29 2006.“They seem to have the river flowing through them somehow,” said Gary Harrison, who produced the show. Scott has found some comfort knowing that Jan heard some of the music before her death. “Jan was so proud of what Kevin and I had accomplished on that documentary,” Scott said. “One of my favorite memories, I remember Jan sitting on the couch watching it on PBS, she was really sick at the time, but I still remember the look on her face when she heard our music. It’s a point of affirmation for me that I am supposed to be doing this and to try to help others with this music.”
The project continued over the years, picking up some momentum in late 2008 when Scott became even more determined to finish the disc. About halfway through the project, Kevin also became more determined that the CD would be completed in Jan’s memory. “Halfway through this, I realized this CD would have my name on it and I wanted to do something that had beauty. I wanted to leave something behind that had beauty to it, Kevin said.” Scott and Jan went up to the Mayo Clinic quite a bit for her treatment, and at some point, they took some of the music up there to see if it could be used in the children’s ward for music therapy,” Kevin said. “Of course, they said yes. I think that’s the best thing that could ever happen with my music. That touched me greatly.” “I don’t consider myself a great musician or guitarist,” Kevin added, “this wasn’t about showing our technique – it was about capturing moods and feelings in the melodies.”
The two guitarists surprised each other at times with their writing process, which Kevin described as occasionally “off the wall.” Parts of improvised melodies and sequences were exchanged between the two, with one or the other guitarist taking the music to a new progression or direction. “A couple of times, we just sit together and just play and see where it went,” Kevin said. “It wasn’t what Scott was expecting a lot of times. We would just dive in and record and see where it took us.”
Another unusual aspect to the writing was that Scott and Kevin rarely composed the music in a regular venue like a studio, said Vickie Maris Greeson, who married Scott in March 2008, and performs with Scott and Kevin in the Lafayette band Trouble with Monday. “They would be in one of the band member’s living rooms at a rehearsal and go off by themselves and come up with something and say, ‘We need to work on that,’ she said. “I always felt like the switching around of venues – with the band – at the farmhouse – even on the photo shoot for the CD – made a difference in the music.”
During the photo shoot for the CD, Scott and Kevin were standing under a bridge at Burnett’s Creek and something came to them, while playing for the photo, she said.
Vickie believes completing the CD is a big step for Scott. His compassion for other people has led him to help other musicians be successful, particularly young musicians, while putting his own work on the backburner, she said. “This project is very important to him and he is so excited to share it with people and honor Jan with it,” she said.
She added that Scott and Kevin also share something unique when playing on stage together – they don’t need words to communicate there either. “Just from playing music with them, I have a sense that when I’m on stage with them, if Scott wants something – a different tempo – something the audience is looking for, Kevin is like putty in his hands. Kevin has intuition in his role as the lead guitar player and he is in tune with Scott as the leader of the band.”
Scott said he found the process of working on the CD in odd places, and not worrying about lyrics, to be liberating – as the writing process and the music became a place to escape and also to heal. “For me, the music is a spiritual thing – it allows me to take a step back from the pressures in my life. It gave me a chance to be creative again,” Scott said. Scott admits that the disc is not perfect, but represents work that is “real” and very personal. “Scott Rottler (who produced the CD) brought it out of me on this disc. It’s because the music does speak for itself and it does transport you to a different place if you allow it to. Each song represents a feeling of an inspired person, place or thing that has affected me. I hope it can take people to a place of peace.”
Kevin hopes that those who listen to Wabash Gypsies” will find relaxation and peacefulness. “I think this CD brings healing to people,” he said. “I hope people like it.”
Naming the CD was also a collaborative process between Scott and Kevin, who wanted to honor their partnership and where the music began, along the Wabash River.
“The whole ‘Wabash Gypsies’ though is this,” Scott said. “All of us who live here go about our lives wandering the banks. The river, like so many other common things in our lives, easily fades to oblivion when it comes to our ability to recognize sustained beauty.”

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