Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Texas Sized Fun!

Well, to say that I had a blast in Texas is sort of understating the plot point. The Bayou City Music Festival was a lot of fun in Houston while t.v. appearances, workshops and a wild three-hour show at the Logon Cafe organized by Linda and Barry Evans of Sweet Sounds Dulcimer Shop was an exciting end to this stopover in the Lone Star State. I'll be back in September. Check out my three friends Gwennie (with floppy ears), Molly (all shaved up) and Briona (whom you can't miss, even if you tried.)

Now, I'm en route to Kentucky Music Weekend in Louisville. Here's a great summation of what I'll be doing there along with Stephen Seifert, from Stephen's page:

"Bing Futch and I will be teaching, performing, and contest judging THIS WEEKEND at Kentucky Music Weekend 2010 in Louisville, KY. Here's the details:
Mountain Dulcimer Workshops

10 to 11:30 AM, Saturday, July 31 - Bing Futch and I are each preparing a 90-minute lesson plan covering a kind of greatest hits of each of our most popular topics. ($20 per person) We are both presenting our material in a way that easily scales from novice to intermediate. Before we begin, we'll each talk briefly about what we're going to teach so we can split into separate groups. In addition, we will both be available throughout the weekend for private lessons at $25 per half hour. If you want to be a better player, we want to help. Just let us know.


I will be performing a 20 minute set during Friday night's concert while Bing will be performing a 20 minute set during Saturday night's concert. You might catch us both sitting in on other sets as well.

I don't care how good a player you think or don't think you are. Come to this contest and play something you've been playing for a while. Don't try anything new. Some years, there's not very many contenders. Seriously, come give it a shot."

Thanks, Steve!

Now, I'm checked into a place in Forest, Mississippi where there is a Mexican restaurant within sight across the parking lot. How cool is that? Looks like I have a date with destiny. See you soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Houston Means That I'm One Day Closer To You

Had a great time at the Indiana Dulcimer Festival - huge thanks to Richard Ash and everyone at Folkcraft who made this event happen. Looks like you have really started something! See a neat article here. Pictures and video are now being posted on the IDF official website.

Got home and had just enough time to pack, go to Epcot to see 2U, and then roll out for Houston, Texas where I'm now getting ready for the second day of the Bayou City Music Festival. This is my first official show in the Lone Star State and they aren't kidding about Texas hospitality (though I had a taste of that at the Winter Creek Reunion last year, where I'll be returning in October.)

Looking forward to another fun couple of days of music before heading out to Beaumont Texas on Monday to teach a workshop and perform at the Logon Cafe.

Be sure to check my Facebook page for tons of video and pictures from this final leg of summer tour!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

To all who come to this happy place...

I'm safely ensconced at the hotel in Woodburn, Indiana where the first annual Indiana Dulcimer Festival is taking place today and tomorrow. When the idea first came about from Richard Ash, president of Folkcraft Instruments, it was a shining beginning to yet another chapter of a wave created by the mountain dulcimer and its many enthusiastic supporters.

It's an honor, not only to be endorsed by Folkcraft, but to be a part of this first festival and to share teaching duties with Stephen Seifert and Lois Hornbostel, performers who have directly influenced my own journey on the instrument.

We're about to embark on two days of instruction and performance on a cornerstone set by Walt Disney 55 years ago with the dedication of Disneyland. When Richard mentioned the dates, the July 17th benchmark rang like a gong in my head. So, as we go forward in celebrating the music and legacy of the mountain dulcimer, not to mention the promise of the instrument as it moves into a wonderful and progressive future, I'm reminded of the spirit that infused the opening day of such a beautiful place not so long ago.

Many pictures to come, and video. Suffice it to say that this is a special weekend to be shared with enthusiasts of music and magic alike. Peace and be well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Detroit Airport

Posted by ShoZu

Detroit Airport

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Orlando International Airport

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Orlando International Airport

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En route

I'm the cab, heading to the airport. Hope Outback is open.

I've grown out my fingernails on the right hand in anticipation of focused fingerpicking. Takes some getting used to when they're usually nubs.

Will post some pics from the Florida-to-Indiana transition. Happy Friday, y'all!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour Update!

I'd like to call it a whirlwind tour, but three weeks does not a whirlwind make! It was more of a steady breeze that carried me through six state stopovers, two major festivals, a trade show, three house concert/workshops and more Mexican food than I've had in a number of months. As I've discovered, it's easier to update via the iPhone than attempt to find wi-fi and use my laptop, which is why I mainly shot tons of pictures and then posted them on Facebook. There are over 400 photos from Nashville, Tennessee (NAMM Show), Townsend, Tennessee (The Pickin' Porch and the Great Smoky Mountains), Bardstown, Kentucky (Kentucky Music Week), Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio (Doug and Deena Snapp's), Portage, Pennsylvania (JT and Missy Taylor's) and Westminister, Maryland (Common Ground On The Hill.) You can find those pictures in three albums on Facebook entitled "Summer Tour 2010" parts 1, 2 and 3. The photos and captions tell the story:

Summer Tour 2010

Summer Tour 2010 Pt. 2

Summer Tour 2010 Pt. 3

Tomorrow, I fly out to Woodburn, Indiana for the
1st Annual Indiana Dulcimer Festival, teaching and performing along with Stephen Seifert and Lois Hornbostel, both of whom I've rubbed elbows with earlier on tour. Looking forward to a great weekend at Folkcraft Instruments headquarters. Returning on Monday, I'll have a quick shot at Epcot to see U2 tribute band 2U before climbing back into Buster and heading westwards to Houston, Texas for the Bayou City Music Festival, thereby kicking off the second leg of this crazy summer tour.

I'll try to be better about at least posting updates here on the blog - but if you follow me on Facebook and/or
Twitter, you'll probably get more info until I'm back home with reliable wifi.

Many thanks to those of you who have signed up for the mailing list and regularly drop a line to say "hey". I do my best to answer each e-mail in timely fashion and sometimes the spam filter arbitrarily grabs a message. If you don't hear back from me, try again. We'll see you on the road.

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