Monday, May 30, 2011


Saturday, May 28, 2011


Che hun ta mo!

Just a quick note to say that a couple of big dates have been added to the schedule:

June 4th - Nashville, TN - 11 am

Davidson Academy
Upper School
1414 Old Hickory Blvd.,
Nashville, TN 37207

$30 per person ($25 if taking more than one workshop)
You can see the workshop choices here:

OR, I can create something on the fly and we can work on a piece of music with a look at the technique to play it. It's up to you - if you're interested in attending the Nashville workshops, drop me an e-mail and let me know!

July 1st - Gettysburg, PA - 6 pm

The Garryowen Irish Pub

I'm still playing a house concert the very next day in Gettysburg - this is an added show and should be a lot of fun, as my Irish pub gigs are a VERY different breed of show!

You can access my entire schedule right here: for details on the other tour dates.

Also a mention that t-shirts have been ordered! Be one of the first to get the official RV TOUR PROJECT t-shirt at: (and scroll down - you'll see the shirt designs there.) Allow two to three weeks for delivery (or pick yours up at a tour stop in person!)

That's it for now - please check the schedule as some details have changed (starting times, workshop offerings, etc.) - also, I'm working on a couple of new dates!

Thanks, everyone - sho na bish!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Gearing Up

To bring you up to speed, so to speak, the Winnebago Warrior came home on Wednesday, May 18th. Fully insured, tagged, taxed and titled, the first stop was at Camping World, where I picked up some supplies and prepared to begin systems testing. After hooking up to shore power and city water, we checked things off the list as they proved themselves to be ready and able. DC 12 volt systems - go. Faucets and tanks - go. Coach battery charging - go. Propane gas leak test - go; no leaks. Refrigerator power - go. Range and microwave power - go. The only thing not working correctly is the generator and after about four hours and one rebuilt carburetor later - it's still not working. But that's okay; I probably will not need it this summer.

I have a couple more tests to run - on the water heater and furnace and then the final thing will be a full tune-up, oil change and all points inspection. She's driving like a dream, even at speeds up to 75 m.p.h., though she more comfortably rolls at a smooth 55 or 60.

The two photos in this post have been photoshopped; no vinyl signs have been affixed to the sides or rear...yet. But, after getting a fantastic price ($350), this will be a way of garnering additional promo while driving this big billboard down the road. Folks that see me driving through town may correctly assume that I'm there for a show and will, hopefully, look up the URL, find the info and come on out. It's just one more way of maximizing presence while spending so much time on the open road.

We are still receiving donations and will gladly accept them if you feel so moved. As little as $5 will go a long way towards these start-up RV lifestyle costs and you'll get a MP3 music package for donations of any size. Again, we thank you for helping with this incredible foray into crowd-sourcing. As someone put it on Facebook, "love bought this RV", and we indeed feel the love! To find out more about the donation gifts, visit THE RV PROJECT page.


We are about to add two stops on the tour; Stroudsburg, PA (June 19th-20th) and Louisville, KY area the weekend of July 15th. More details to follow!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Bing Futch: THE RV PROJECT Tour 2011 rolls June 3rd for:

Nashville, Tennessee
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Lancaster, Ohio
Voorheesville, New York
Altamont, New York
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Westminster, Maryland
Louisville, Kentucky

more dates to be announced...

Humble thanks to you and blessings, friends, family and fans!

Jae and I are just simply blown away. Our deepest thanks - mahalo nui loa, sho na bish - love. You've given us a blessing and I just hope that you'll enjoy what I now give to you. It was going to be cool enough to travel 3,000 miles and meet with lots of old friends while making new ones. From the music made to the sights seen, with the spark of inspiration to the joy of being around folks that have tapped into this mystical little instrument and claimed it as their own personal totem.

Now, that's all going to happen again - and this time, I'm coming in with the knowledge - the feeling - the sensation of love from so many of you. Simply incredible.

Listen, I'm getting goofy. So, I'm going to capsulize what I'm trying to say with a snapshot from last summer's tour.

It was at Portage Dulcimer Day last summer, weekend of the 4th of July. An old coal mining town from the turn of the century, peering out over the Cambria County valley with all of its greenery, punctuated by the occasional fireworks display. The organizer, JT Taylor, and his family are hanging in the background with friends and neighbors. Kids splashing. Belgian beer. Cigar. Laughing. Talking about the oil spill and JT's work involving it. Red rockets shooting and noisemakers whistling and popping every now and again. A whoop and a holler from across the street. The smell of barbecue. One deep pool. Cool breeze in Portage that night, though it was still very hot.

I remember just kicking back and looking around at the folks around me. Having played music all day long and fellowshipped around the dulcimer, we were enjoying a holiday weekend in one of the gold veins of America. Small-town in the U.S. and it was the dulcimer that brought me there, like some kind of magic carpet. So many places that we never see when traveling on a plane or a train. At least, on a train, you can kinda see some of these places as you go speeding by. How many of them have I passed? How many spots have you blasted past on the way to somewhere?

Whenever someone says something like "middle of nowhere", I'm always reminded of the song by Daniel Amos - "Nowhere Is Someplace."

I know, I'm as corny as Kansas in August, but I'm in love with this country and the people that are the salt of its earth. You know who you are.

I'm glad that this was made possible, this summer, this tour. Thank you, with everything I've got. Let me tell you what I'm working on for the donations.

"Unreleased Music Collection of MP3s from the entire recording history of Bing Futch."

I've got to find a better name for that. Anyway, it's what it says. To give you some idea of what to expect, you'll hear stuff from 1985 through the present that has never been released, some of it for good reason, but it's all part of history. You think I'm weird now? Wait till you hear "Tamagochi Girlfriend."

"E-Book of mountain dulcimer tablature"

Yes, this one needs a better title too. I figure, the material that gets included will inspire the actual title. Some of this is music that I arranged, or wrote, or learned and transcribed, or heard on a YouTube video. Some of it is directly inspired by the events of THE RV PROJECT, so you can probably expect everything from "On The Road Again" to "Cumberland Gap." So far, it's a bizarre little mix - check out some of these (including two crooked tunes.) Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring, The Old Black Cat Couldn't Catch A Rat, Beauty and the Beast, Abdul Abulbul Amir, Ein Prosit, Donnegal Highland, Faerie's Hornpipe, Lincolnshire Rangers, Texas, Alouette, Arirang, El Rey, Fisher's Hornpipe, Lubby's Lullaby and more. Over 100 pages of tablature and each song has a TablEdit file so that you can play the tune at slower and faster speeds and watch as the playhead follows the music to hear and learn them all!

"The RV Project"

That's the name of the CD - some thought went into that one. : ) I'm really looking forward to this. Basically, all of the material will be tunes and songs recorded during the actual tour. I'll be traveling with recording equipment in the RV and I'm expecting to meet up with lots of wonderful musicians. This may be a single or a double, but it could be a triple. These are all going to be sent out in a folder of music and images from the trip.

The other stuff involves signed books and CDs, private lessons, registrations to the Key West Dulcimer Fest and, the big one, a week of washing cars, weeding gardens, painting walls, cooking food and putting on a private concert. I'm delighted and honored to say that I'll be spending two weeks at two different homes where simply amazing people have shown their support and encouragement for The RV Project.

So, if I see you - be aware that you could very well end up on the record. Don't be shy!

Fundraising is officially over, though we welcome any donations if you feel so moved. As a neophyte RVer, I feel way over my head. Pics and video to come of the Winnie's coming home. Blessings to you - thank you!

Donations -

$50+ - Unreleased Music Collection of MP3s from the entire recording history of Bing Futch

$100+ - E-Book of mountain dulcimer tablature covering a variety of different music styles from all around the world + Unreleased Music Collection

$200+ - "The RV Project" MP3 Collection with special guests, featuring music recorded during the first part of summer tour (will only be available to donors and not released to the general public) + E-Book of tablature + Unreleased Music Collection.

$300+ - 8 Hours of Private Lessons on mountain dulcimer and/or Native American flute (in person or via webcam - a $360 value) + "The RV Project" + E-Book of tablature + Unreleased Music Collection of MP3s.

$500+ - Physical CD copies of "70mm", "Clear Blue Trickling", "Dulcimerica: Volume 1", "Dulcimerica: Volume 2", "Dulcimer Rock", "Kokopelli Rising", "Christmas Each Day" plus "All Over The Map" and the entire 6-book "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band" series (all with CDs), each piece signed and personalized (a $280 value) + 8 Hours of Private Lessons on mountain dulcimer and/or Native American flute (in person or via webcam - a $360 value) + "The RV Project" + E-Book of tablature + Unreleased Music Collection of MP3s.

$1000+ - Physical CD copies of "70mm", "Clear Blue Trickling", "Dulcimerica: Volume 1", "Dulcimerica: Volume 2", "Dulcimer Rock", "Kokopelli Rising", "Christmas Each Day" plus "All Over The Map" and the entire 6-book "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band" series (all with CDs), each piece signed and personalized (a $280 value) + 8 Hours of Private Lessons on mountain dulcimer and/or Native American flute (in person or via webcam - a $360 value) + "The RV Project" + E-Book of tablature + Unreleased Music Collection of MP3s AND….I will come to your house, wash your car, mow your lawn, weed your garden, cook meals for FIVE DAYS and play a private concert for you and your invited guests at the end of the week.

Remember last year's tour?

Friday, May 13, 2011


In these final weeks running up to the start of summer tour, my faithful road companion Buster, a 20-year old Geo Metro LSi convertible, sprung a transmission fluid leak out of a rusted part of his underside, thereby officially rendering him unsafe to take on the 3,000 mile first leg. He's not down for the count yet, and will be fine to scoot around locally. But his days of careening from one end of the country to the other are over unless extensive body work is completed.

The next option would've been to pay around $900 for a rental car (compact) and about $1000 for lodging on the days where I wouldn't be hosted by either a festival or a host family, not to mention fuel with rising gas prices on the march. Jae and I had been talking about getting me into a RV of some sort for a while now, a move that would effectively remove the cost of staying at motels and hotels along the way while also providing more space to carry all of my instruments, books, CDs, P.A., lights and other gear. I'd also be able to prepare my own meals, thus saving a tremendous amount of money altogether. Of course, getting into a camper is an expensive proposition all its own and we simply weren't prepared for this kind of setback, especially with a June 4th tour starting date just around the corner.

Inspired by bands and solo artists, both unknown and nationally recognized, who have offered special incentives of music, concert tickets and other items in exchange for varied donations, I decided to give this idea a shot in hopes that I could raise enough money to purchase a used, late-model RV, and avoid taking out a loan and tacking on huge monthly payments for a brand new camper. Thus was born THE RV PROJECT.

RV Newbie Alert

If you visit the above link, you'll see the various offerings which are compounded with each successive donation level. ANY DONATION, no matter how small, will help in this quest. Initially, when the e-mail went out on May 12th, shortly before midnight ET, I had set the fundraising goal at $2500, hoping that amount would be enough to cover the cost of a functioning Class B van camper, since some of the larger Class C and Class A motorhomes were not only more expensive, but also not very fuel efficient. What I soon discovered was that, for that price, most of the offerings were officially antiques, or lacked most of the necessary features that make life on the road functional. So, the goal was re-set to $3500.

By morning on May 13th, over $700 in donations had rolled in. I began posting pictures of the campers I had gone to see or was considering going to see and that's when people who really know about the RV lifestyle began to comment. "That's too old", "that's got water damage, bad news", "you'll need a generator", "be sure you get into something safe." It became apparent that though I was trying to keep the budget around $3500 - most of the reasonably outfitted RVs were still out of reach. With less than three weeks left, I wasn't sure if I had a choice in the matter. I'd have to pick something to get on the road.

The Mercury Threatens To Break

It was while doing my daily exercise walk in the park that a number of donations began to roll in. Astonishingly, by 5 pm ET, $3,420 in total donations had come in. Absolutely stunned by this development, I raced home and began reading the e-mails which basically said, "you're not going to find anything safe, comfortable or trouble-free for $3500. Set your sights higher. We want you to arrive in one piece."

Now, I honestly don't know if all of these donations are coming from folks within the dulcimer community or if it is a mixture of all kinds of people, some of whom have chosen to remain anonymous. If you've looked through the donation offerings, I can tell you that at least one person will receive a visit from me during a time in which I will be gardener, butler, cleaning service and chef, not to mention putting on a private concert.

I. Am. Floored.

Do you know what my horoscope said today? "It'll be a social day, and you'll share a strong emotional bond with a pal or group of friends. It's possible that your mutual interest in an unusual hobby or humanitarian cause will be your focus." Wow.

I am simply overwhelmed by this outpouring of support and, reading the emails and Facebook posts, it's once again very clear to me just how incredible a world I've been living in for the past six years.

So, Now What?

Based on e-mails, I already know that the goal of $3500 has been met. And I'm being urged to continue accepting donations in order to afford a camper that will be safe, functional and last for more than just a summer. In the first 24 hours of THE RV PROJECT, this has already been an amazing, emotional adventure, one that I'll be sharing here, on Facebook and in-person as I travel across the country from Connecticut to California and back again this year. I'd be content to pick up this Ford Amerigo that I'm looking at tomorrow, but it does lack a generator and I've been told that having one is an absolute must. Class B and Class C campers with generators start to be found in the $6,000 to $8,000 range around central Florida. Bearing in mind that I need to travel to inspect the vehicle, many of the deals folks have found for me out of state are not practical to attempt, especially with a deadline approaching and the need to get whatever RV I settle upon dutifully registered, insured and prepped to go.

So, this is what I'm going to do. Time truly dictates both availability of my options as well as the time in which to close the deal. With the funds raised thus far with your kind and loving assistance, I can continue with an expanded search for an ideal coach. Knowing what I know about the bureaucracy of the DMV and anticipating whatever hoops I may have to leap through with our insurance company, I would say that I need to purchase something in about 11 to 12 days. With that in mind, I'm going to continue accepting donations with a new target of $10,000. If it's reached - it will certainly give me better options. If it's not, I have faith that I'll be able to get into something that will be well-suited for the road. If whatever I purchase ends up costing less than what I've received, then I'll apply the remainder to tax, title, insurance, gas, maintenance, all of those things that will be much more involved as the owner of a recreational vehicle.

Again, for those of you who have donated, I cannot thank you enough. I hope you will enjoy the many projects that are being offered as part of this fundraising effort and that I will get a chance to thank you in person. I'll continue to post updates and there will be plenty of pictures and video, not to mention lots and lots of music.

I have been extremely blessed since becoming part of the mountain dulcimer community. But this. This is just so incredible, it's almost too much to take. Thank you.

With all my love,