Joe Troop at The Ark 9/21 + Public Old Time Jam in Detroit

Did you know that getting a tetanus shot can result in side effects? I was helping out on a roofing job last week. I didn’t want to get up on the roof and I also didn’t want to demo the old lead paint-covered walls in the house (since my beard prevents a tight seal with a respirator) so I stayed outside to gather shingles and tarpaper and put them in the dumpster.
Within about ten minutes I had stepped on a rusty nail deep enough to draw blood. We got the wound cleaned up and bandaged, and I spent the rest of the day looking for a place to get a tetanus shot that would be covered by my insurance. Long story short, I got a tetanus shot at the local drug store for $60 (no insurance coverage) and I’m feeling fine. And I’ve experienced some unexpected side effects, i.e., a mild case of the runs. Funs!
The main thrust of this email is twofold, but I have some bonus book reports and other tidbits to share as well. First of all,

Joe Troop at The Ark 9/21 (one week from today!)
  • Doors Open: 7:30 pm
  • Show Starts: 8:00 pm
  • Ticket Price: $20
  • Ticket Link is HERE
I will be sitting in with Joe and his new band on a few numbers. (Joe and I are old pals and even recorded a duo album of our own a few years ago – You Bring Out The Hamster In Me, also on Spotify – I’m still quite proud of it.)
While we’re on the topic of The Ark, the Corn Potato String Band will also play there, on Thursday, February 10:
  • Doors Open: 7:30 pm
  • Show Starts: 8:00 pm
  • Ticket Price: $20
  • Tickets are now on sale HERE
along with a handful of other exciting Corn Potato dates TBA, including a concert and square dance in Big Rapids, MI, Feb 4-5, and a concert at the lovely Robin Theater in Lansing on Feb 2.

Now, the other big news for Detroit-area old time musicians, dancers, and music lovers:

New Old Time Jam at Tenacity Craft in Detroit Saturday, 9/25 8-11pm
We hope this will be the first of many jams at Tenacity (8517 2nd Ave) — There’s a big patio so if the weather is nice we can play out there, and if not we will play inside. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell or if you haven’t been vaccinated.

What Further Excitement Remains To Be Shared?
– On Wednesday 9/22 I’m playing in Flint with a great guitar player named Erik McIntyre at Cork on Saginaw (635 Saginaw St), 6-9pm.
– I am still posting Tunes from the Bag to YouTube semi-regularly — Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel for free, it’s only a click or two, thank you!
– Work on my ragtime banjo recording project continues with rehearsals with the ten-piece brass band, the pipe organist, and the five-piece ragtime band.
– Does anyone have experience with fundraising, especially with private donors? I need to raise a few tens of thousands to pull this project together, as it’s the most ambitious recording project I’ve ever attempted. Pointers and resources needed and appreciated!
The American Banjo Fraternity‘s Fall Rally is happening (9/30-10/2 in Newark, NY) and I plan to be there. I’m so excited to see some of my banjo family and share what we’ve been learning.
The Banjo Gathering is also happening, (11/4-7 in Williamsburg, VA) and I plan to be there as well! I’ll see even more of my banjo family and bask in the warmth of deep banjo scholarship and fellowship. (Yes, it’s like a nerd convention for people fascinated with banjo history, banjo makers and players, all things banjological.)

Book Report
I’m having trouble keeping track of everything I’m reading, but here are two great books I’m happy to tell you about —
One is called Fup, by Jim Dodge, a very short book about a rough old grandpappy and his odd but goodhearted grandson, and the duck (named Fup) who they adopt. It reads a bit like a fairy tale and a bit like Tom Robbins, but a bit calmer. Overall, delightful. I’d give it a strong recommendation.

The other one is called Remembering Bix: A Memoir of the Jazz Age, by Ralph Berton. This is a sensational and eye-opening portrayal of the early days of jazz entering the popular (i.e., white) realm, as told by the kid brother of the manager Bix Beiderbecke’s band, The Wolverines (Vic Berton, who happened to also be the greatest drummer of his time).

The author forms a fascination and an attachment to jazz in general, and to Bix in particular, around age 13 and leaves out very few of the sordid details, if any. I really appreciate his inclusion of the larger historical context, as well as the finer points describing the different characters in the story. If you love early jazz, I would recommend this book. If you’ve never heard of Bix Beiderbecke, I would recommend this book. If you don’t care about music, I’d still recommend this book. It’s beautifully written, and it’s a highly enjoyable read.

That’s All For Now
Of course, if you made it this far please consider joining my Patreon for only $3/month you’ll get exclusive content and access. Unemployment benefits have ended in Michigan so now is a great time to sign up and help me keep making music (and newsletters)!