Shows This Weekend + Book Report
Snowy Spring Greetings,
This will be a short newsletter but I do have a few online shows coming up soon:
Tomorrow! Saturday, 4/24 I’m playing The Blacksmith Shop online series with Rollie Tussing (guitar, vocals), Ross Huff (trumpet), and Serge van der Voo (bass). Register to attend and there is also a FB event if you like that sort of thing.
Also this weekend is the first annual New American Banjo Festival, very exciting! My set is on Sunday, 4/25, at 8:10pm Eastern time, with Cameron Celestia joining me on piano, but the whole weekend will be full of fantastic performers and discussions, all online. Here is a FB event for this one.
And I already mentioned Banjopalooza at Fiddle Tunes, the first weekend in July. More info on my website.
So, other than these I don’t have anything else confirmed yet but there are a few maybes! And I am slowly working on getting my team together for the next recording project.
No big hurry there, as I still have 800 copies of Mozart of the Banjo: The Joe Morley Project. I thought I would have sold most of them (or at least half?) by now, with the touring schedule I had booked. So maybe the next release will be online-only.
Is anyone interested in pre-ordering a CD? How about vinyl?? I have a six-track album of banjo duets with Ben Belcher mixed and mastered, all I need now is a strategy for releasing it and some eager fans who want to buy it.
Tunes from the Bag
I have been continuing my series of randomly selected fiddle tunes. You can see the whole series in this YouTube playlist.
Edinburgh Tradfest Podcast
Speaking of lovely gigs I was booked to play — The Edinburgh Tradfest is keeping their momentum despite lockdown and they are releasing a podcast featuring their performers, including moi! Check it out… (coming soon)
Since our last newsletter I read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. These books are a bit darker and heavier than I had anticipated but I would still recommend them highly. She gives the reader a lot to consider.
One of my biggest takeaways is that, like a frog in a cooking pot set to boil, we won’t have a definitive moment when “the world ends” or “society collapses.” Life will continue to go on, even as meaningless chaos persists all around. If you’re able to say “No, nothing like that is happening,” then either you’re very good at lying to yourself about your own conditions or you are privileged enough to be ignorant of what’s going on in the rest of the country/world.
I’m not saying this to be pessimistic or to stoke fear but it’s one perspective I picked up from these books (and elsewhere). I tend to remain optimistic, simply because good things will always happen. And when it comes to larger change, I can’t predict or control anything like that but it does seem like something has to happen soon.
I also finished reading Working, by Studs Terkel, and I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you have any sense of curiosity about recent history, if you enjoy documentary work of any kind, or if you, like me, have always dreamed of doing every job that exists, this book is for you. I could go on much more about the power of this book but suffice it to say there’s nothing else quite like it.
That’s all for now, folks!
Stay cool this spring,