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…