On the Road Again!
Follow the show! See where Dan’s going to be by going to my schedule page and lets play on the road!
Rolland Camp Confirmed!
I’ll be back at Rolland Fiddle Camp this year. June 23-29, 2013. It was a great time last year and one of the best camps I have been at for many years. Come join us for a wonderful summer camp in the Colorado mountains.
News March 2012
I know it has been quite a while since I wrote last and thought it time to bring yall up to date on what’s been happening here in the desert as we pick our first spring tomatoes.
It is hard to believe it has now been three years since we have been year round residents of Yuma, AZ. Well, except for my touring time and stops east to run my camp. But, it has been less travel for me each of these last three years and most of that touring time has been solo since Miss Jennifer has a full time gig working here as well. And that is a trend that appears to be continuing.
This year for the first time in MANY years, I do not foresee a trip east. That’s right, it appears that I’ll be staying west this year and will have to miss many of my favorite events back there like the Evart Acoustic Music Funfest in Michigan and even Clifftop! No homestead camp this year either I’m sorry to report.
I’d say this year gas prices are the largest factor in my decision as with costs at about twice last summers’ prices, it just won’t make economic sense for me or many others who have said they are staying closer to home this summer instead of traveling to distant events. There are other reasons as well, but gas was kind of the last straw for me.
It has been a slow and steady but curious change for me. It started with deciding not to resume teaching in San Diego this past fall which turned out to be quite a great decision as I now have about a dozen students here in Yuma who come for weekly lessons and even a couple of regulars taking webcam lessons via Skype and other methods. It has been wiser to stay home for them than have to travel 3 hours each way and stay in hotels and such. So, while we replaced the Expedition in late August (the old 2008 had 109K miles on it!) with a new one, I have only put 7,000 miles on it so far! That’s record for me for sure.
As I said, it has been a curious transition but with three books under contract with Mel Bay and another in the works for the Clawhammer Masters series (the Wade Ward book came out in December), combined with my current student load and activities with the Old Time Fiddlers here in Arizona there has been no end of work to keep me busy. Add to that a few instruments being bought and sold and keeping up with a real house, hiking and yoga, and we have a full time gig right here!
I WILL be traveling some out this way this summer. I have been hired as a Judge for the Nevada State Fiddle Contest the weekend before the Weiser, Idaho contest so it is looking like I will finally get to go to Weiser for the first time. Nope, not competing, but just to check it out and play some. I have no idea what to expect there so any advice is welcome. I am planning to take the Airstream but will likely be going up and back in just a short two-week window.
The folks in Nevada are also talking about a workshop (fiddle) and looking for a concert venue for me so keep an eye here and on my website for more on that. Mike “Bluesage” Iverson is also looking into a workshop venue near Salt Lake during that same time period and you are always welcome to help me with gigs along the way. House concerts, workshops, demos – I’m open. Another event in the early planning stages is a banjo workshop in San Diego which is a pretty cool place to escape the Yuma heat in the summer AND get to go to Trader Joe’s so lets work on that and keep in touch for more on that. There has been a movement afoot (like since yesterday!) to bring me up to Peter Rolland’s Fiddle Camp in Westcliffe, Colorado July 8-14 (http://www.peterrolland.com/Rolland_Fiddle_Camp.html). I would be teaching banjo but there is a great fiddle stable there as well.
August also finds my Boiled Buzzards Old Time Stringband workshop happening again at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. I’ll be leading the fiddle/mando/melody instruments, Miss Jennifer taking the banjo players and Miss Annie Trimble again working with the guitar and bass players in the am and forming up bands to perform each afternoon. It was a hoot last year! Over 20 players joined us for this and we look forward to at least as many this year.
On the retail front, all of my CDs remain in hard form (real cd’s) as well as downloads as do all 7 of my current Mel Bay books and plans are to keep that up regardless of the e-revolution that seems to be hitting both the print and recorded music world. As long as you want them, I’ll keep em.
I have in stock a couple of the new Eastman Whyte Laydie banjos for sale as well as some Gold Tone OT’s. I like to keep a few instruments available for my students but will gladly ship one to you if you got to have one now! I even have a couple of used fiddles and even that Chinese Er Hu I got a few years ago and just never played.
I am also continuing to write for Banjo Newsletter including my Old Time Way section that so many of you have told me you love.
Like I mentioned, it has been a busy winter and Spring is now here looking to be as busy as ever.
New Eastman WL’s available now from Clawdan
It has been a VERY busy month with the Yuma Fiddle Contest, the NAMM show and a trip up to Quartzsite along with getting started on 3 new books and welcoming more students every week. But, I did want to let yall know know that I now have instruments for sale here at the studio including the new Eastman Whyte Laydie that was reviewed in this month’s Old Time Way. John Bernunzio of Uptown Music in Rochester, NY went to great lengths over 3 years to develop this heirloom banjo which I am able to make available by special arrangement with him. Price will be $1350 including the double bump hard shell case plus shipping which adds $50 to the cost. Of course, if you come pick one up here, you can save that and perhaps stay for a lesson or two as well!
I also have available Gold Tone’s CC-OT which sells for $325 including the gig bag (yes, plus shipping) and a nice assortment of specially selected tuners, metronomes and some parts. Fiddle bows too!
I’ll be posting more information later this week including photos for those of you who have not yet seen these banjos but for now it is just good to be home.
Home at Last!
I know I have been promising an update for quite a while now and am finally able to write one for you. I left Yuma for summer touring July 5 and have been fortunate enough to have had gigs every week through August. Miss Jennifer came down to meet up with me in Texas at Gerald Jones’ Acoustic Music Camp. From there we both went up to The Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas where we were joined by longtime Buzzard Annie Trimble to teach Stringband Camp. What a great time this was! Mornings working with each individual instrument group, afternoons as bands! I hope we get to do that again next year!
Miss Jennifer and I took a full week to get home from there stopping at Holbrook, AZ on the way to see places like the Petrified Forrest and Painted Desert. We even took a short drive down to Snowflake, AZ – birthplace of Arizona Fiddler Kenner Kartchner – known for tunes such as The Rattlesnake and Walk Along John to Kansas. We camped north of Phoenix for a couple of days. That gave us the opportunity to visit the new Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale. WOW, what a great place! Amongst other instruments we got to see many banjos from SO many different cultures and countries. Get thee to that place!
Upon returning to Yuma around the 30th of August, it took over a week just to catch up on paperwork and bookkeeping! WOH! Then putting the final touches and edits to the Wade Ward, Clawhammer Banjo Master book which went to the publisher about a week ago. I just have to finish recording the sound files, which should happen this week, and then they go to Mel Bay in hopes of a quick release before year’s end. Once that is done, I have several contracts to write more books for Mel Bay including Fiddle From Scratch the fiddler’s companion to Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch – still a favorite among clawhammer banjo students.
Just as we were starting to settle back in, Miss Jennifer’s father passed away. He had been ill for a while, but nonetheless, it was a sad time for her and her family. We were able to make a trip up to Seattle last week for the funeral and memorial service. It was difficult but important trip.
Combine all that with a deep ear infection that had me down for about a week and phew, a bumpy landing here in Yuma. Today is the first day it really feels like I am home, so now it is garden prep, house maintenance, recording and writing, updating my websites and more.
I’ll be starting my Fiddlers’ Jam Workshop this coming Tuesday (20th) at the Yuma Library in the Foothills. This happens every 3rd Tuesday from 3-5 pm. We work on fiddle tunes as a group learning many of the standards as well as a few regional favorites. All fiddlers are welcome and other acoustic instruments can join in in their stringband role. We stay in key for a while, so you clawhammer banjo players (and cross tuning fiddlers) won’t find yourselves having to retune every couple of tunes. You can find out more at the Jam Workshop link on our fiddlers’ site http://www.YumaOldTimeFiddlers.com. Take a look and stop on by if you are in town.
Finally, while I have not started my trips over to San Diego to teach this year, I am starting to take fiddle and clawhammer banjo students here in Yuma and by webcam. You don’t have to sign up for a long term. You can even take a lesson now and then as you wish so if you are here all season, on the way through, or just want a touch up from far away, drop me a line (email is best).
That ought to catch us up for now. Hope to hear from many of you soon. Salome in November!
Till next time…
Spring has Sprung!
Well, almost, well at least here in Arizona, well almost! Imagine my surprise to drive over to San Diego two weeks in a row in SNOW!!!! Yeah, that’s right, snow. Something to be thankful for all those years driving in the stuff, it didn’t cause any problems but wow, what a shot to the senses. But, enough of that for now. It is March and time to start thinking about my spring and summer touring schedule which starts pretty soon.
This weekend I’ll be heading up to Lake Havasu City to help out the folks at San Diego Old Time Music with their booth there. Yes, bluegrass mostly but Miss Jennifer and I promise to be emisaries of the Old Time Way and are looking forward to seeing some of our friends up there too.
Starting the 16th, I’ll be on the road for about a month. First stop - Clawcamp Ozark in Mountain View, Arkansas. This is a wonderful week long opportunity to work with you and your banjos in a relaxed mountain atmosphere where we will have class for a full week! Still a few slots left for that but I have heard it was filling up last I checked.
Off to Kansas after that for a concert and workshops at Woodwiz’s (Mike Richwine) new shop with KC Strings in Merriam, KS just outside Kansas City and not too far from where Jim Curley’s old place in Shawnee used to be. Should be some old friends there as well.
Next I’ll be heading up to the Homestead in Southern Ohio for a few days to pack up the last few remaining things we need to have out here at our new home in Arizona, then on to Pittsburgh, PA for a visit with Mr. Isaiah - my grandson and his family! FUN FUN. Then I turn around to get back here to Arizona in time to unload the moving truck before heading up to Salome, AZ for the Spring Campout. This one is becoming a nice old time gathering out this way. No admission charge, dry camping by donation and I’ll have the big tarp for jamming in the sun!
OH, and lest I forget, it is true. We did cancel “Scratchcamp” at the Fur Peace Ranch BUT BUT BUT I have been convinced to hold a less formal Old Time Music camp at the Ohio Homestead the same weekend. I lot lower cost for you but a real weekend in the woods also. Don’t worry, the old homestead house still has the plumbing and electric. Plenty of camping space for tents or rvs and just as much work and fun as the past camps have been. Fiddle and Banjo players are all welcome and I’ll be teaching both throughout the weekend. Plan on communal meals and jamming at the campfire.
That’s probably enough for now. I’ll tell you more about the upcoming summer when we get closer. Remember, since I’ll be filling orders from the road, it may take a day or two more, but I’ll get them out as quickly as possible.
Yes, the Buzzard has Landed! We have moved to a real house here in Yuma. That’s right, no more wheels (well, under our “home” anyway). SO, we are having an Open House here Sunday December 5th from 1-9 PM. Tunes, treats and just general hangin out. I’ll be teaching in San Diego on Saturday the 4th but home that evening to prepare. Please rsvp to us especially if you are coming from a distance so we have an idea of the number coming from afar.
We still have our Airstream for festivals. But, as usual, change there also. We sold our 1999 - 25 footer and got a 2003. Still a 25 foot Airstream but a few more features that I wanted in our next last Airstream. We had our first campout in it a couple of weeks ago at the Salome Old Time Fiddlers’ campout but that is another story.
Also, the Kyle Creed book is on it’s way to me. I’m starting to take pre-orders now and I’ll send them out hopefully early next week. Cost for pre orders received before Monday Nov. 22nd is $25 including priority first class postage. Mail directly to me at our new place please.
AND what is the new address? 13445 East 34th Place; Yuma, AZ 85367.
Still lovin the desert, still enjoying the road.
More soon. Promise!
You may be able to tell from the lack of updates last month that I’ve been on the road.
Getting Ready for the Road!!!
Summer is settling in here in Yuma, the temps are rising. Even though we have yet to see our first 100-degree day, it is quite toasty but comfortable. Tomatoes are almost done for the season (they really stress when it gets to be over 90) but we have been getting some lovely ones for about a month now. Ahhhhh, go figure, tomatoes in May! The rest of the garden experiment is also doing well. We have some very tall sunflowers, swiss chard, beats, carrots and beans. The beans are probably the weakest producer, so I’ll have to do some work there for next year. But, I was quite pleased to find I could have a nice garden here even if it is very different than gardening back east.
I have been busy here getting ready to head east and gotten quite a few things buttoned up so to speak. I will very shortly start making piles of “this goes” things and on the road again before I know it.
Among the projects just completed, TADA – The new book, Kyle Creed Clawhammer Master, has been sent to Mel Bay. We are just waiting for it to be scheduled and a release date before starting to take advanced orders, but it should not be long now! Tentative price for the book with cd is about $23 US. The book has 27 tunes with 2 tabs each (one from me and another from co-author Bob Carlin as Kyle would have played it) and a cd with each tab played for you to hear. Yes, Bob plays his Kyle tabs and I play mine. Keep an eye here and I’ll let you know as SOON as it is available. It would be nice if we could have it by Clawcamp but I am not holding my breath.
Which brings me to Clawcamp East! Clawcamp is more than half full which is wonderful with still 2 months to go. There are still a few spots left and if you register directly from this site, you get a special rate this year! Bob Carlin will join me again and The Lovely Miss Jennifer will be on hand for coaching as well. New this year, we will be playing a Saturday night concert AT the camp as part of the Fur Peace Ranch’s concert series. Your ticket is included with camp registration as is all meals and lodging for the weekend. Never know when or where the next Clawcamp will be so don’t miss this one!
I continue to write and edit for The Old Time Way – Banjo Newsletter’s quarterly section dedicated to old time banjo playing. The next issue will be in the July issue of BNL. Look for articles on that Jason Burns banjo he was building for me as well as an in depth interview with Jason. An interview of Whitt Mead and reviews of a new wire armrest, the Audio Technica 2020 USB mic and Stephen Parker’s new book Clawhammer Banjo String Band Favorites.
A busy trip is in the making. I’ll leave here in just a few weeks and head to Lawrence, Kansas where I will be doing a concert and both clawhammer banjo and fiddle workshops as well as a guest set that Sunday at the Killkenny Concert, which is a fund raiser Americana Music Academy. Next, on to Mountain View, Arkansas for a concert set and then a 4 day Old Time Back Up Guitar workshop during Stringband week. Matt Brown will be teaching fiddle and Lucas Pool will be teaching clawhammer banjo. There gonna be a whole lot of music that week!
Then it will be home to Ohio for a few weeks r&r before Clawcamp. I have a few private lessons scheduled there and you are welcome to email me about a visit during July. It will be good to be “home” for a bit in the hills and green before heading down to Arlington, TX (near Dallas) the first week of August as we head back west. First stop, Gerald Jones’ Acoustic Music Camp. This is my third year there and I can tell you it is a WONDRFUL weekend (Thurs – Sat) of music. All instruments, all levels, great instructors and facility! That will be August 5-8 and those eagle eyed among you may realize that it is Clifftop week! Well, you are right. That means for only the third time ever, I’ll be missing Clifftop. I’ll be sorry to miss it and seeing so many of you there, but this is a great camp and I’m very glad to be asked back. I know several of you have already registered for it and we are going to have a great time in Texas together.
So, time to close up here for today. I’ll be heading over to San Diego for one more weekend teaching over there. It’s time for those students’ summer vacation too so they get a couple months off. I’ll start back there in either mid August or early September. It has been fun! As always, event details are on the schedule page, so click on the “Schedule” link and keep up with what is happening.
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in my travels. Always remember:
Concert Friday - Read about it in The Yuma Sun
Yuma Concert Coming Up
Just back from Salome and what a great fiddlers’ weekend it was. We founded “little appalachia” or perhaps it should be better called “clifftop west” since we even had our own water tower! No water in this one either, and the weather was almost as hot as the music. Our new sign at camp “Old Time Stringband spoken here. Pick (a key), Stay (in it) and Play (a while).” Charlie and Martila’s van, our Airstream, great weather (okay, another difference from the eastern ct) and great music. Played almost all day each day from Thursday afternoon on.
The next big thing for us on the books is my concert at the Historic Yuma Theater in downtown Yuma. It is a great restored old theater with wonderful acoustics. I have played here a couple of times before and look forward to the next show. Come see us out west! It’s happening on Friday, April 30. One of my few formal concerts this year.