Summer at the Ohio Homestead 2015!

Hi Folks,

Welcome to July in Ohio! That’s right, still here in Ohio for the summer. Homestead Old Time Camp for banjo and fiddle together is coming right up. July at the homestead. There is still time to register for one of the 3 spots still available.
The Banjo Hangout Tunetorials have been going well. There are 6 up already and it will keep me busy doing weekly tunes. And Tunetorials is exactly what they are. Each tune is played three times up to speed, then three times slow. In those I start with a basic version and build the tune each time through. Next I play just the basic version slower before starting to break the tune down into phrases. Each phrase is played 3 times. Once in full view, once for the left hand (fingerboard) then once for the right (stroke). We do all of that once more with the advanced version too. Quite a workout! Each lesson runs about 30 minutes and only costs $6. Currently the tunes are coming from my latest book Old Time Favorites for Clawhammer Banjo. I plan to do fiddle versions as well but those have not started yet. Let me know what tunes you might like to have and see as well as how these videos are working for you.

On the home front, the garden is in, mowing happening and I even harvested my first cucumber last week. June 28 to be exact – my birthday present this year! Tomatoes are hanging on the vines (none ripe yet, dang!), more cucumbers growing, beans, melons and basil are all coming along and of course the flowers. The Black Eyed Susans are not doing as well this year. Great foliage but the flower petals are being eaten before they bloom! Internet suggests Japanese Beatles – I have found some – but if any of you have any ideas let me know. I’m missing the great yellow hedge of flowers in front of the porch. Trumpet vine is thriving and so is our hummingbird population – hmmmm… might be a connection eh? Cardinals, robins, woodpeckers, and this year, the Eastern Towhee has made several appearances – right up on the porch! He’s not shy – but we haven’t seen many goldfinches this year.

Other work this summer includes finishing up the latest Fred Cockerham and Tommy Jarrell – Clawhammer Masters book with Bob Carlin. I hope to have it to Mel Bay this month and released shortly after that.

I am taking students here at the cabin while in Ohio. Hour, afternoon, day or longer. It’s a chance to come to the country and work on your instrument away from it all. I’m a bit internet constrained this year here as we are far enough from town to NOT have any cable or strong phone lines so I have to limit my time on line. That has caused me to have to suspend skype lessons for the while, but if I have enough interest I may be able to get a studio in town to go in once a week.
I am starting to plan the return trip to Tucson and gigs along the way. The current plan is to leave Ohio on or around Labor Day and take a couple of weeks getting back.

Finally, it looks like Miss Jennifer and I will be playing Saturdays at the Gallipolis Farmers Market. That starts on July 12 for us and should keep us playing throughout the summer except for camp weekend.
Not much else new for now. Reading a lot, hanging, gardening and mowing, a visit from you perhaps. Keep an eye on the website ( for gig updates.

Fall gigs include Tucson, a dance in Phoenix and a special concert at the NAMM’s Museum of Making Music. October 25 for that one. It is the close of their special Banjo exhibit, which runs all summer. I’ll have it up on the website soon, but for now, should get you to their site.

Feel free to email me about upcoming events and as always…
Play Nice,

Schedule filling in

The schedule is filling in and has FINALLY been updated! Lots happening starting with a concert on Valentine’s Day evening. Join Dan in Tucson for an intimate evening of fiddle, banjo, songs and stories of the road.

Long year comes to a close

It now finds Miss Jennifer and me in Tucson, Arizona again after almost 6 years in Yuma. It was time for a change but it has been a very long, strange and stressful trip this year so we are working to relieve some of that. We will be taking more shorter trips like the next one up to Seattle and back at the end of March and early April.

I promise more updates and more of the story later this month (I hope) but thank all of you who have been checking here to see “what’s up with Dan” and wish you a great holiday season and wonderful New Year.

Remember the Yuma Old Time Fiddlers’ contest comes up January 10-12, 2014 and I plan to be there followed by a trip to the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA where I’m playing the dance on Saturday the 25th of January then a short hop over to Santa Barbara for a House Concert there. Ajo, AZ Fiddle campout and contest starts on Thursday January 30 this year so check that one out too. We should be there, Airstream in tow!

I will also be playing dances in Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, Feb 8 and Tucson, AZ the following week in Tucson on Saturday February 15 (same date as the Tucson contest, btw). I’m working on setting up a concert in both of those towns right around those dates so stay tuned as we say. More and details coming later this week.

Till then, Play Nice,

No more international orders

Dear friends outside of the US.
It has become very costly to send orders out of the US these days both in dollars and time (customs forms and such AND international charge card fees) so I have had to stop taking international orders. Please don’t worry as one reason that I have found that companies such as Amazon have all of my materials available for international customers with very reduced and often free shipping fees.

SO, while I am glad to you are interested in my products, please know that it is with your interest at heart that I now ask my international friends to order in this way.

I will continue to process US orders as I have been so feel free to contact me for orders within the United States and I will endeavor to get them out with the most possible speed I can.

Play Nice,


Hi Folks,
Last week I got to record a couple of spots for the Nevada State Fiddle Contest and Concert where I am performing this week. The concert is Thursday evening at the Welcome Station RV Park just west of Wells, NV. There will be a community BBQ starting at 6 and the music starts around 6:30 or so. The contest is all day Saturday June 14th and I’ll be one of the judges for that event.

Enjoy these videos from KENV-TV 10 NBC Nevada. Thanks to News Director/Reporter Lori Gilbert and Production Engineer Jim Burns the opportunity to appear and to Matt Holford of the Wells, NV Chamber of Commerce for making it all happen. See ya in Wells!

Play Nice,


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.

Spring Update

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 ( 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.

Play Nice,

New Eastman WL’s available now from Clawdan

Hi Folks,
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.

Play Nice,

Moving Day

Finally getting the rest of the sites moved over to GoDaddy for hosting. FrogNet really let me down several times and in several ways. Hated to do it but it was a must. MANY THANKS to JWalk who has taken up the brunt of the main site move. Please bare with us all if things don’t quite work for a couple of days. Let us know what you find that “just ain’t raht” at clawdan1 (at)

Mail Problem

Hi Folks,
I am SO sorry to report that my .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) address has been non functioning for a while now since Frognet had a server crash this summer. Several times they told me, hey it’s all fixed, no problem, but NO. SO, if you have emailed me at that address and not gotten an answer, I apologize for the SO not excusable appearance of being unresponsive. I have partially fixed the issue as of today and am looking into a more permanent solution so this is not likely to happen again. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE forgive me and email me again if you would like to contact me. I also get mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)com should you feel like being more sure and my cell is 412-551-0933 if you would rather trust a phone.

Home at Last!

Hi Folks,

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 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…

Play Nice!

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