News

What a Strange and Funny World This Is

February 8, 2016

What a strange and funny world this is, I sometimes think. Then I think, Maybe it’s not a strange and funny world, maybe I just have a lot of strange and funny thoughts… Here we are in the depths of winter. It’s the mildest winter Detroit has seen in years but it’s still pretty cold. I’m starting to enjoy this place a bit more, I’m finding more people to play with, more local gigs, but I am still adjusting to this place. Lots of great people here but no acoustic music scene. So I started a weekly series at my house with a fiddle and a banjo workshop once a month each, and two potluck jams per month. Last month I had my first guest teacher for the fiddle workshop, the one and only Erynn Marshall and her wonderful collaborator and husband, Carl Jones, and that was fantastic. The Detroit Square Dance Society events at the Gaelic League have generated a lot of interest, too. The last one we had was so crowded it was almost too crowded, but it worked and…

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More Agency Than Common Sense?

December 2, 2015

I woke up this morning around 8am, early by my standards, but maybe I had a subconscious premonition of what was to come. Around 9 I heard the rumbling and whine of a chainsaw and thought nothing of it at first. I looked out the window and noticed a tree care crew had chopped off some of the branches from the lovely tall maple tree across the street. “Oh, they’re pruning it up a bit before winter, that’s good,” I thought. But they didn’t stop there. They took the whole tree down to the ground, passed it through the wood chipper, and were on their way before 10. Later on my neighbor told me he had them cut it down because he was tired of raking the leaves and it had to happen sooner or later anyway, right? Sometimes it seems people have more agency than common sense. On the other hand, trees and houses are a tricky combination that will often lead to some kind of trouble sooner or later, right? Happy Tree Appreciation Season, everybody. In this email…

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[Aaron Jonah Lewis] “I’m a Wiener!”

September 5, 2015

What did the hot dog say after it won first place in the fiddle contest? (Scroll to the bottom to see the answer…) HELLO What a summer it’s been, friends. Lots of excitement, great music, great food, great friends, interesting weather, travel, and, you know, a lot of stuff going on! So once again I haven’t kept up with my goal of sending monthly missives, and as a result I probably have more to tell you than will fit into one email. But a guy can try, right? In this email I want to make sure and share my upcoming tour dates — We leave Monday for a seven-week tour in the UK and Ireland, during which we will record our next album (!) — Scroll down if you want to see those dates first. I’ll also share some highlights from the summer so far, including a few choice videos of yours truly on the news in various locales and other such fun type things. I am prepared to discuss ever so briefly some of the things I’ve been reading this…

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Awesome Rain Storm

June 27, 2015

just passed through the neighborhood last night. I sat on my porch for about six hours as the wind slowly picked up, the intermittent thunder and lightning became more frequent, and the rain went from a drizzle to a patter to a solid torrent, the wind whipping around in all directions and water coming down in such a volume I felt like I was a car at the drive-through car wash. Before going to bed I saw a single raindrop illuminated by a flash of lightning as it was right in front of my face before it hit the ground. It’s been about two months since my last newsletter and there’s no way I can get everything in that I want to share with you. The main thing to communicate is that I am well and busy these days, very happy with my recent tours with Luke Richardson and Ben Belcher in Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, where I saw old friends and made some new ones and saw a lot of great bands as well. I’m also very…

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Great Big Corn Potato Tour In The USA

March 13, 2015

Howdy Friends, I got home to Detroit yesterday and while I’m catching my breath before the next tour I will take a moment to catch up with you. In this email: – How did it go? Recording in New Orleans and in Lebanon, TN, with two different groups – There’s a Corn Potato tour? When? where? TOUR DATES, yes! – That might be all because I haven’t been reading or anything. – No, wait. I’m going to add a bonus joke. I got this from my friend Lyle in New Orleans: What do you call a Tyrannosaurus Rex on the beach during Christmas time? (Answer at bottom of email…) So, the past month wasn’t always easy but we worked hard and it was well worth it. We successfully recorded eight songs to wax cylinder with Roochie Toochie & The Ragtime Shepherd Kings. In the end we recorded with Martin Fisher, our friend in Nashville who recorded our first album, because of technical difficulties in New Orleans. Still, we had a great time rehearsing in New Orleans and visiting with all the great musician friends…

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We Have Liftoff! Corn Potato String Band Volume Two Is Officially Here

February 14, 2015

Greetings from New Orleans, I arrived here last night after spending two nights in Nashville. I write to you now from Roochie Toochie HQ, where I will spend the next two weeks in intensive concentration with Roochie Toochie And The Ragtime Shepherd Kings to prepare our newest efforts for the wax cylinder machine, and, of course, for your welcoming ears! In this post I will keep it pretty brief. I’m just going to tell you about – The Big News, i.e., today the new Corn Potato record is officially released! – Quick story or two about what I’ve been up to the past month or so – Some recent Corn Potato reviews and writeups that have made us proud – Book reports – And that’s about it. I don’t have any shows coming up in the next month because I’m only focusing on recording with the Roochies, and after that, the Old 78’s and friends back in Nashville, en route home to Detroit. So! You may have already taken advantage of the bandcamp link for Volume Two, which allows you to stream the album for free…

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Where There’s Smoke There’s… Corn Potato String Band, Volume Two!!

January 14, 2015

Party People In The HOUUUUUSE…! I’m back in the D and I’m staying warm amid the below-zero temperatures with the help of a forced-air heating system, lots of hot tea, and dreams of the future. Winter is my time to thrive, in terms of sitting in front of the computer and writing to you. I hope. Anyway, here’s what I have for you in this particular newsletter: – The big news! Corn Potato String Band, Volume Two is almost here. – Upcoming tour dates, aka Please help me find a gig – News and videos from the American Voices Abroad tour in Eastern Europe with Tumbling Bones and from the UK tour with Luke Richardson – Too much personal information – Extensive book report (I’ve read a lot since my last letter to you) and some of what I’ve been listening to Let’s dive right in to the big news — I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting this new record, and this one especially goes out to those of you who have asked for a record with more vocals. We’ve creatively decided to…

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Let’s Turn On The HEAT – US, UK Tour Dates and MORE

October 11, 2014

Guten Tag Meine Freunde! You see I’ve still got some German left in me. Those three months of language school plus three years of living in Berlin have really paid off, hehe. Now that summer is really and truly over and done with and we’re in the midst of my favorite season of the year, I recall how I used to heat my flat in Berlin — That’s right, with coal! Yesterday (or a few days ago) was our first truly cold day here in Detroit but I don’t have to call the coal delivery people and schedule a dropoff, I just have to press GO on the old thermostat. So glad I actually bought a furnace and had it installed professionally. That’s definitely the biggest, most expensive thing I’ve ever bought. Until I turn it on I will continue to drink lots of hot tea but I think today is the day… In this email I will share my upcoming tour dates through to the end of the year, as far as I know, tantalizing tidbits regarding the forthcoming…

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A Glorious Return To The Motor City

August 31, 2014

Hello Dahlings! I’m back in Detroit, the city where I was born and raised, and I plan to live here for the foreseeable future. My house is now habitable (meaning we got plumbing and electrical mostly figured out, working doors and windows, and a good furnace installed) and looking great, although there is a lot of work left to be done. I’m staying home to work on the house, work on the upcoming tours, and most importantly meet people, make friends, and find out where the music is happening around here. Just today I had a fine time with my friends Ben, Ben, and Rachel of Behind The Times, who opened for us Corn Potatos this past Wednesday at PJ’s in Corktown. (That’s in Detroit.) And Lindsay and I got to play some tunes with them and meet a bunch of their great musician friends. And tomorrow we’re going to the Hamtramck Festival to see polka bands, Breezee One, and who knows what else. In the coming month I have absolutely zero gigs to announce. The next big thing I…

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Smash Success In Europe! Plus, Free Download!!

July 24, 2014

Greetings from Berlin! I’m in my former home town where I used to live for a few years, catching up with friends and searching out all my favorite places for food and drink. The weather is great. Today we rented bikes and visited the Soviet War Memorial, an incredible place in Treptow. I’m winding down from nearly four months of incredible touring with only one more concert here in Berlin and another in London before I fly back to the US at the end of the month. In this email I might give you some BRIEF tour highlights. (Just about every day had some highlights so I could never put it all in one email. Maybe I’ll put the tour log online like I did with the India trip and you can see all the highlights there… But that will come later.) I will also include some videos from our tour, a link to download a free track from our session at RTE in Dublin, upcoming tour dates and plans, and a little book report, too, if I can still think clearly…

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