Frost On My Moustache

I made it back from the frozen North and I have stories to tell! I also have upcoming gigs and other fun items to share with you. In this email you will find

— Tour Highlights
— Upcoming Gigs
— Picky Fingers Podcast Feature Teaser
— CBC Radio Interview
— Book Report
— New Videos

So I went ahead and posted my tour journal from the Yukon trip on my website as a separate post. You can read all about it and see some photos here. I can’t remember anything that happened before the tour, it was such an amazing trip.

The last time I went to the trouble of posting a tour journal was five years ago when I went to India with the earliest lineup of Corn Potato String Band. That tour journal can be found here, in case you missed it.

I’ve been doing so many various things lately but I am focusing more on solo work these days, so I have a few solo shows coming up, some shows and recording sessions with Lovestruck Balladeers, and a few wild cards thrown in for good measure. As always, see the calendar on my website for all the details. Check it!

Friday, Mar 1 – Detroit Square Dance at Ant Hall in Hamtramck!
Friday, Mar 8 – Orion Township, MI – Solo Concert at The Living Room at Unity of Lake Orion
Friday, Mar 15 – Toledo, OH – Bluegrass & Green Acres – Black Swamp Conservancy Gala with Eric Lambert and Mark Lavengood
Saturday, Mar 16 – Milford, MI – Rivers Edge Brewery with 50/50/50 Raffle (aka Kyle Rhodes, Keith Billik, and moi)
Monday, Mar 18 – Pittsburgh – Clawhammer Banjo Clinic at Acoustic Music Works
Tuesday, Mar 19 – Pittsburgh – Solo Concert at Acoustic Music Works
Thursday, Mar 21 – Washington, D.C. – Solo Concert at Hamlin Street Diner
Friday & Saturday, Mar 22-23 – Baltimore Old Time Festival with Corn Potato String Band
Friday, Mar 29 – Woods Hole, MA – House Concert with Lovestruck Balladeers
Saturday, Mar 30 – House Concert with Lovestruck Balladeers
Saturday, Apr 6 – Brooklyn Folk Festival with Lovestruck Balladeers
Saturday, Apr 13 – Putnam Valley, NY – Tompkins Corners Cultural Center with Jake Sanders

And as always, there will be more gigs added so keep an eye on that calendar on my website!

This is especially for the banjo pickers out there but may be of interest to anyone who is, you know, interested in the banjo and its picking thereof.

My pal Keith Billik, a fine banjo player of metro Detroit who is also a member of 50/50/50 Raffle, has been producing a wonderful banjocentric podcast called Picky Fingers, and an upcoming episode will feature Yours Truly — Here is the teaser/preview so you can go ahead and subscribe now and it will magically appear under your podcast tree when it’s released. Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast: Bonus — Who Is AJL?

Ben and I did an interview with Dave White on CBC Radio at the start of our tour, and you can hear what we talked about here. And then we ate sushi.

The last time I was in Canada before this last trip (on my way back from Hawaii) I was given a book to read called The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant. Well, I read it and I thought it was well-researched and well-written and one heck of a story. It reached back through layers of indigenous history and culture with some good plant biology and human madness as well. I felt mixed emotions for the main character, who did a horrible thing but had good intentions, while he was clearly suffering from a mental breakdown. This is a book I would recommend, especially if you are interested in relationships between plants and humans, between different groups of humans, and the relationship a person has with her- or himself.

I had to pack super light for the Yukon trip so didn’t even bring one book but I did start reading Noise: The Political Economy of Music, by Jacques Attali, which I had downloaded to my phone. This book, despite having been written in 1977, seems as relevant today as ever. Also well-researched, each paragraph seems to take ten minutes to process, there is so much information in each sentence. And I love sweeping generalizations! This book is full of them.

Ben picked Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, off my shelf for the trip and I read a few pages here and there. There’s another book that is still relevant today. What a world… I have to reread the book properly but it is hard on the soul, isn’t it?

You didn’t think I would leave you without some new videos to enjoy now, did you? Here are a couple of Lovestruck Balladeers videos we are getting ready to release, recorded live at my favorite venue in the world, the GAR Hall in Peninsula, Ohio (but don’t tell the other venues I said that, ok?) — We have a novelty rag that became a standard of the fancy fiddling repertoire called Black & White Rag, and an original number by Dennis Lichtman called Waltz for Camila.

Enjoy, my dears, and I hope to see you out there soon!