News

Back from Banjoland

November 11, 2022

Ahoy!   I’m back home in Detroit after a few months of tour and travel, and I’ll be here until January. I’m so grateful for the smooth successes of the Corn Potato String Band and  Lovestruck Balladeers tours, as well as the wonderful solo show at the GAR Hall with Alex Belhaj and Grace van’t Hof. In this newsletter we have:   – A Few Upcoming Gigs – I’m Available for Lessons – Report from the Banjo Gathering + Concert Video – Ragtime Banjo Revival Progress Report – Zombie Stringband – Book Report   A Few Upcoming Gigs – Saturday, Nov 12 – The Detroit Club w/Vlad Tovbin and Alex Belhaj – FREE – Fri/Sat, Nov 18-19 – Detroit Cantastoria Fest at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Saturday, Nov 26 – Detroit Shipping Company – solo show – FREE – Thursday, Dec 1 – Ann Arbor District Library – solo show – FREE – Thur-Sat, Dec 8-10 – Ebird & Friends Holiday Shows at The Ark – Friday, Dec 16 – Ferndale, MI – The Loving Touch – w/Alex Belhaj…

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Taste the Goodness of the Biscuit

October 1, 2022

Greetings Friends and Neighbors,   I have a lot going on this coming month and I want to make sure you know all about it!   – Join My Patreon – Big Queer Square Dance + Potluck in Detroit tomorrow night! – Lovestruck Balladeers Updated Tour Dates – Solo Shows in Late Oct Just Added – Ragtime Banjo Revival Update – Book Report – New Songs I Recorded with Billy Clay   Join My Patreon In case you’re new here, I have a Patreon with exclusive content and fun ways to interact with me. For as little as $3/month you can join and help me keep doing what I’m doing — making music, sharing history and culture, and inspiring future generations! Join here   Big Queer Square Dance in Detroit In case you haven’t already heard, our local Detroit Square Dance Society (aka DSDS) is having our first big queer square dance and potluck in years, or really, ever! Peep the FB event, it’s tomorrow, Sunday, Oct 2, 6pm at Christ Church, 960 E. Jefferson and it’s going to be FABULOUS!…

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Yummmy…! West Coast & Midwest Dates

August 22, 2022

Can you taste that hint of autumn in the air? Cooler weather and indoor concerts are coming to you soon… In this email: – Queer Square Dance in Detroit! – Corn Potato West Coast Tour Dates – Lovestruck Balladeers Midwest Tour Dates – Ragtime Banjo Revival Update – Become a Patron of AJL – Book Report Queer Square Dance in Detroit It’s been a long time but we have finally found a date and a venue for our next potluck and queer square dance — Oct 2 at Christ Church’s Ledyard Hall, downtown on Jefferson, more details coming soon. If you’d like to be on the DSDS (Detroit Square Dance Society) mailing list please respond and let me know, I will add you and you’ll be among the first to know all there is to know. I’m so excited that it’s happening again!   Corn Potato West Coast Tour Dates We were invited to play at this year’s Berkeley Old Time Music Convention and decided to take the opportunity to add some more dates to our time on the West…

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A World Premier!

July 21, 2022

Bonjour Mes Amis! (That’s French for “Hello My Friends!”)   I’ve been back in Detroit for a week or so now and the culture shock is real. I can’t pretend like the systems we take for granted aren’t failing us. I also can’t stop doing the cultural work I’m doing.   For a while my attitude was, There’s nothing else I can do so I’ll make beautiful music on the deck as the ship is going down. Now my attitude is, To the lifeboats! And as I sometimes say at the end of a show when I introduce Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but it doesn’t need to be done in misery and isolation. We can work together with optimism and joy.   In this issue of AJL’s Coolest Newsletter Ever: – A World Premier! – Support My Work — Patreon – Ragtime Banjo Revival Update – September West Coast Tour with Corn Potato String Band – October Midwest Tour + Brooklyn Folk Festival with Lovestruck Balladeers –…

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“Americana Come Over” UK Tour Dates + More

March 19, 2022

Is winter coming to an end so soon? I’m sad to see it go, but with spring comes SPRING TOUR DATES! Let’s get vernal. This tour was originally planned for April 2020, as many of you may know, and for some reason it had to be postponed til now…   I’m not very creative so I crowdsourced the name of this tour and someone named cosmicmeatbagsystem came up with the winning entry: “Americana Come Over” 2022 UK Tour. In this newsletter: – US Tour Dates – UK Tour Dates – Ragtime Banjo Revival Progress Report – New Video – Interview/Concert “From the Kitchen Table” – Book Report – Bonus Fun Thing! US Tour Dates Some very exciting gigs coming up pretty soon on my way to Boston: 4/19 – Chagrin Falls, OH – Send me a message for details 4/20 – Pittsburgh, PA – TBC 4/22 – Sheffield, MA – Dewey Hall – Workshop + Concert 4/23 – Greenfield, MA – New American Banjo Festival 4/24 – Portsmouth, RI – TBC – Send message for details   UK Tour Dates…

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[Aaron Jonah Lewis] “No Spaghetti Arms” Tour Dates + Book Reports + More

January 17, 2022

Ahoy! It looks like I actually have some gigs to announce — fingers crossed — the Corn Potato String Band‘s “No Spaghetti Arms” Midwest Tour is starting in less than two weeks, and this will be our first time playing together as a trio in three years! 1/29 – Three Rivers, MI – Riviera Theatre 1/30 – Grand Rapids, MI – Tip Top Deluxe 2/3 – Remus, MI – House Concert – email thestablefordagency@gmail.com for info 2/4-5 – Big Rapids, MI – Big Rapids Festival of the Arts (concert 2/4, square dance 2/5) 2/6 – Midland, MI – Creative 360 (banjo workshop at 12, concert at 2:30) 2/8 – Grosse Pointe Park, MI – Old Time Jam at Cabbage Patch Saloon, 8pm 2/9 – Fort Wayne, IN – Hop River Brewing 2/10 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark 2/11 – Columbus, OH – Rambling House 2/12 – Peninsula, OH – GAR Hall We have received one request so far, which we plan to honor. If you’re planning to come to any of these shows feel free to respond to…

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Ragtime Banjo Revival, Pt. 1

November 17, 2021

It’s been over a week since I got back from the Banjo Gathering and I am still buzzing with the energy of that experience. Part of the thrill of the Banjo Gathering is seeing friends and exploring this very specific field of study we find ourselves drawn into. Another important part for me is simply being part of a group of people who share understanding.   For me it’s the way we understand the importance of acknowledging the uncomfortable parts of our history in order to be able to move forward. In other words, we all know and can speak openly with each other about the slave trade origins of the banjo and the ways it was used as a prop in minstrel shows to perpetuate  demeaning stereotypes of  African Americans, for example.   This isn’t the only group I’ve found that gives me that special feeling, I am fortunate to have found a few. I hope you all know the feeling of being around people with whom you share very specific understanding.   Greetings and Welcome! In this email…

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

September 14, 2021

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…

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If Crazy Horse Were Here Today

August 5, 2021

This has been a busy time for me despite having very little paid work. I’ve been rehearsing with a new ragtime band I put together, an organist, and the Detroit Party Marching Band, all of whom are contributing to my current recording project. And in the past week not one but two people close to me were suddenly hospitalized. (Both of them are recovering, for which I’m grateful.) So I don’t have a lot of gigs to share but here’s what I do have: – A Gig + More in Feb (with Corn Potato!!!) – A Video I’m In – Bandcamp Friday Is Tomorrow – Join Patreon – Book Reports   My One Big Gig + More in Feb Saturday, Sep 4, at May’s Barn (2439 Arthur Rd, Remus, MI) 7pm, $20 suggested donation — I played here last fall and it was simply quite magical. If you live within 100 or so miles of this place I’d say it’s worth it. We will certainly be hanging out afterwards, too. And in February the Corn Potato String Band will ride…

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New LSB Video Is a Work of ART + Gigs & More Videos + Book Report

June 6, 2021

We have entered warm/hot season! Time to prepare the ice hankies and strategically plan to open windows and operate box fans when the temperature is low and the air pollution meter reads low as well. On the plus side, warming up to practice banjo is much quicker than in the winter.   Big Video Times! In this email my primary goal is to get you to click on this link and watch the Bluegrass Situation premier of the new music video for our original ragtime piece, Rivka Road Rag, by my band, Lovestruck Balladeers. It’s such a beautiful piece of cinema, created by Horatio Baltz, who also made our other music videos. So, that’s the main thing. And if the Bluegrass Situation link doesn’t work for some reason here is the Vimeo link.   More Videos Other than that, I have some other fun videos to share from my Tunes from the Bag series I’ve been posting to all the social media platforms that I use (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok).   Patreon I currently have 46 Patreon subscribers and…

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