Friday, May 30, 2008

4-Year Anniversary

Today marks four years of matrimony for Jae and I, begun here in Key West where we have a number of traditions, including karaoke at Two Friends. On this trip, however, we've decided to do some things that we've never done before, which has been a real blast as we sort of "rediscover" the island.

Usually, at Two Friends, I go up and sing "Rock Lobster" with Sheri, my sister-in-law, and also "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." We went "down, down" with the B-52's as usual last night, but for the first time in our marriage, Jae and I performed together at karaoke. Check this duo out!

Too much fun! There were quite a few tunes in the mongo-sized karaoke book that weren't there last year, including one that is part of my solo sets, "Texas In My Rearview Mirror":

All of this came just after I spent two hours performing as part of the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration for the first time. I'm willing to bet that mountain dulcimers don't get a fair amount of action there, as even the other performers were intrigued when I was given my first-timers slot, right in between Warren the magician and Reid, the fire juggler. Viva Key West!

We're at the Duval Beach Cafe currently, having just taken an exciting ride in my brother-in-law's open cockpit Stearman bi-plane. Tonight, who knows? Sheri has something planned for us, which she'll divulge after lunch. More pictures and video to come!

Thank you for all of the anniversary wishes - we are having a blast!


Bing and Jae

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

300 Subscribers and more!

YouTube - dread66mon's Channel

I just hit 300 subscribers on YouTube, and that's just people who have actually signed up to be notified about new videos. The number of people who simply cruise YouTube looking for material is probably larger than that since there is so much out there.

The two most recent videos I've posted are from The Dulcimerica Video Podcast and are from the Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Festival in Virginia. There will be two more coming soon from my trip to Townsend, Tennessee, where I performed at the Wood 'N' Strings Pickin' Porch and had a superb time visiting with Mike, Connie and Cherith Clemmer.

When I got back this week, there was plenty of video editing to do, not just for Dulcimerica and not just for Dulcimer Players News, but also for some local clients, since I won't be in town much after this weekend; there's Dulci-More 14 that I'm flying to this weekend and after that, Jae and I are heading down to Key West for our yearly anniversary celebration - this one will mark number four.

You know, as much as I love traveling and being on the road, it's so wonderful to come home again. Jae is a homecoming queen, knows just the right kind of kiss to deliver on the front lawn after I roll up, gives just the right length of firm and loving hug, says goodnight in the most warm and embracing way imaginable. Our brood takes turns snuggling up to me, Bella Dolce stands on her hind legs and jumps up on me; the cats, Sluefoot Sue and Blackjack Savage are more subtle, yet they are vociferous still and full of loving head-butts. When I'm away for awhile, it's easy to see the growth in our backyard estuary, from the herbs and water plants to the flower beds. Even the goldfish in the pond seem to have gone through some kind of growth spurt.

It's already Wednesday and I've been an editing fool, time is slipping past quickly. In the evening, it's been mixing the Manitou record with Roger Zimish - again, just chock full of things to do.

But I am blessed by God for all of these involvements and bright lights in my life. I'm truly thankful for the guidance that I've received over the past year and am delighted to witness the newest fruits as they grow heavy on the branches. It makes the next series of trips even more exciting.

More to come down the road - until then, be well and joyful, cousins!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


What a long strange trip it's been,
hangin' at the Holiday Inn

Those of you who know what that means know what that means. : )

The Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Festival was such a blast! First of all, the countryside is simply breathtaking; second, camping with a bunch of dulcimer folks is a real hoot, and I made a lot of new friends. One thing I've now noticed, in this 21st century, when you go out and perform, it is more than likely that you will end up on YouTube, so you'd better not suck. As a result of my performance and workshop at the festival, I've gotten my first booking of 2009 already. How sweet is that?

It did rain both nights, so when I arrived in Chattanooga to do some production work for Dulcimer Players News, I put the tent up in the driveway to let it air out. I've been producing the audio and video podcasts for five weeks now and the word is just now really getting out about the new weekly service. Editor Dan Landrum also recorded me playing mountain dulcimer and Native American flute on a tune to be included in the next issue (each issue of DPN comes with a CD of music - for subscribers, anyway.)

Today, I head up to Townsend, Tennessee where I'll be kicking back for a couple of days at Wood 'N' Strings where I'll get some interview material with Mike Clemmer, the guy who built the double-necked dulcimer that I've been favoring lately. Then, I'll be teaching three workshops on Saturday, May 17th and performing a concert later on that night. Sunday morning, I head home for a busy week with videos to edit, albums to finish mixing and ground to till.

Sending you lots of love from the road and hoping life is good where ever you are!