Celebrate National Thumb Day July 18 with Staunton Media Lab

For Release: July 18, 2018

Staunton Media Lab Celebrates
National Thumb Day — July 18, 2018
with 4-CD Set of Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer

~ Legendary Master of the Appalachian Thumb Piano ~

Over 40 Relaxing Tracks ~ All on One "Thumbs Drive" ~ USB Flash Drive

thumb dayJuly 18 is National Thumb Day

(Staunton, VA) July 18 is Thumb Day in the USA and the Staunton Media Lab is celebrating with a fistful of new recordings by thumb piano virtuoso, Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer. On Thumb Day, Staunton Media Lab issues a 4-CD set of original tunes by Dr. Pianeer on a single "thumbs drive" — a USB flash memory drive — for easy import into music systems. The collection, Dr. Pianeer's second, is called 2 Thumbs Up!

2 Thumbs Up! contains over 40 tracks of therapeutic thumb piano balanced over four CDs. The thumb piano is an African musical instrument that goes by many names, including mbira, kalimba and sanza. Dr. Pianeer says he plays "Appalachian thumb piano," with double keys, rattles and "mountain tunings" to generate a sound that is both authentic and mesmerizing.

2 Thumbs Up! showcases several exotic new thumb pianos. The CD, Thumbin' Round the Mountain features a student model, 8-note thumb piano made by Mountain Melodies in the Blue Ridge. Several of the tunes on this CD include duets with birds. The title track on the CD, New Friend, refers to a vintage Hugh Tracey kalimba that recently came into Dr. Pianeer's collection. The CD also introduces the Erin thumb piano from China. Birds are talking on this CD, too, on Bird Walk, Red Wings and Tango de Pato -- "The Duck Tango" -- named after water fowl heard in the background and the funny "duck" sound of a note Dr. Pianeer toys with.

The third CD, Sand Dance, introduces Dr. Pianeer's creation, the sandbox, a seed box attached to the thumb piano. Hear it played on Bird Seed, Island Breeze and Watauga. The fourth CD, More Karimba!, features a fiery, double-decker thumb piano made by Hugh Tracey in South Africa that has rattles attached. The CD includes Nashville, an extra-jangly, super-blingy barn burner played on "Sandbox Karimba" and recorded live in Nashville's Centennial Park.

Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer lives in the mountains of western Virginia and plays for donations at public events. Some of the locations heard on these recordings include Lewis Creek in Staunton, Virginia; Stockley Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia; Day Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia; Royal Oak, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana, and, of course, Nashville, Tennessee.

To order your copy of 2 Thumbs Up: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Thumb Piano, send check or money order for $29 plus $3 shipping to Staunton Media Lab, 644 Greenville Ave. Suite 234, Staunton, VA 24401. CDs are $15 each plus $3 per order for shipping. Track lists are available at StauntonMediaLab.com. Sample tracks are available at the website and at Soundcloud. For more information, contact Steve O'Keefe at 540-324-7023. Thank you!

What's On Your 2 THUMBS UP! Thumbs Drive?

4 CDs — More Than 40 Tracks — All Original Thumb Piano Music

by Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer

More Karimba Cover ImageDisk 1: More Karimba! Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Karimba Thumb Piano

You asked for it, he played it! Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer's second all-Karimba recording features the fiery Hugh Tracey Karimba from South Africa, a thumb piano with rattles attached. On this recording, Dr. Pianeer introduces an exciting new sound, the Sandbox Karimba, on the super-jangly, extra-blingy barn-burner, Nashville.

  • Beginning (2:06)
  • Nashville (5:38)
  • Royal Oak Roundabout (11:40)
  • Special K (2:48)
  • Stockley Gardens (3:14)
  • Lewis Creek (5:29)
  • Day Avenue (3:40)
  • Thumb Is My Drum (4:41)
  • B Roll (1:49)
  • Courtyard (5:38)
  • Savannah (1:44)

Thumbin' Round the Mountain Cover Image

Disk 2: Thumbin' Round the Mountain: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Mountain Melodies

On this delightful recording, Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer plays the simplest of thumb pianos, including the 8-note Mountain Melodies Kalimba. Made in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this sweet thumb piano is ideal for students, beginners, or as a memorable gift for a child. Also included are the 8-note Hugh Tracey "Shield" kalimba and a rustic 8-note home-made thumb piano on Suzie.

  • I Met Her on the Quay (2:20)
  • Wren I Call Your Name (8:24)
  • Marasa (3:16)
  • Eights (4:02)
  • Crazy 8 (4:14)
  • Suzie (2:41)
  • Eight Bird (4:43)
  • The Appalachia Song (2:09)
  • Why Fi (3:24)
  • More Why Fi (2:49)
  • Shield (3:15)
  • Sandy Thumper (1:08)

Sand Dance Cover Image

Disk 3: Sand Dance: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Sandbox Thumb Piano

The "sandbox" is a gadget Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer straps onto his thumb pianos to make 'em shake. It's a small box of "seeds and such" attached to the back of the kalimba that adds depth and rhythm to the dancing ditties debuted here.

  • Shufflebox (1:43)
  • Sand Dance (2:28)
  • Belimba (3:40)
  • Sandman Shake (0:23)
  • Watauga (10:09)
  • The Ledges (1:48)
  • Bird Seed (4:45)
  • Sonar (4:10)
  • Rattler (1:02)
  • Soft Surf (5:46)
  • Island Breeze (8:21)

New Friend Cover Image

Disk 4: New Friend: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Thumb Piano

Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer says there are few things as wonderful in life as welcoming a new thumb piano into the family. "New Friend" refers to a vintage hollow-body treble Kalimba made by Hugh Tracey in South Africa some 50 years ago. Other new friends on this recording are "Blue Steel," a vintage Hugh Tracey treble Kalimba in a different key, and the Irin hollow-body treble Kalimba, Dr. Pianeer's first thumb piano from China.

  • First Impression (1:17)
  • Mowbray Arch (7:36)
  • Irin Bridge (7:24)
  • Blue Steel (1:36)
  • Red Wings (6:23)
  • New Friend (9:33)
  • Hipnosis (3:47)
  • Bird Walk (4:42)
  • Tango de Pato (5:59)
  • Cloud Dance (5:07)

©2018 by the Staunton Media Lab. All Rights Reserved. Find us online at StauntonMediaLab.com

To order your copy of 2 Thumbs Up: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer Plays Thumb Piano, send check or money order for $29 plus $3 shipping to Staunton Media Lab, 644 Greenville Ave. Suite 234, Staunton, VA 24401. CDs are $15 each plus $3 per order for shipping. Track lists are available at StauntonMediaLab.com. Sample tracks are available at the website and at Soundcloud. For more information, contact Steve O'Keefe at 540-324-7023. Thank you!

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