I play in all kinds of places, including on the street sometimes, and there are always people making videos. Where do those videos end up? I can never find them. If you find some video of me playing somewhere, let me know! I’m so curious. Anyway, here are some of the videos that I’ve been able to find of myself playing.
I’ve been touring lately with my friend Ed Hicks, mainly playing old time tunes and ballads with a simple love for the music and for playing together. Here are a couple videos of us playing together, from our February UK/European tour with Rosalind Masson flatfooting:
“L & N Rag,” Willesden Folk Union, London, 2011
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“Let Me Fall,” with Pete Stanley and Danni Nicholls, Willesden Folk Union, London, 2011
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“Shelvin Rock,” with Ben Somers on bass, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 2011
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My friend Frank made some nice videos of me playing in a jam session at my home bar in Berlin, Room 77. I’m mainly putting these up because Frank makes great videos, but also because all the guys playing with me are amazing! They are David Hagen on bass, Laurin Habert on clarinet, Roland Satterwhite on violin and Oliver Fox on saxophone. And because I love Room 77. Here they are:
And then there’s Galax. The Galax Old Fiddlers Convention is just about my most favorite place in the world. Too bad it only exists for one week every year! It’s a floating island of old time and bluegrass filled with many of my favorite people – my musical family – so I make sure to be there every year. Special Ed and the Shortbus in some form or other has competed in the bluegrass band competition every year since 2001, and starting that first year we decided it would be way more fun to just be our own entertaining selves and have a good time on stage than to try and win the competition. And so, here are some of my favorite Special Ed and the Shortbus videos from Galax:
A quick note about Special Ed and the Shortbus vs. The Hot Seats – This is unnecessarily confusing but anyway – Special Ed and the Shortbus played their first gig in the spring of 2001 with Ed Brogan on guitar, Ben Belcher on 5-string banjo, Aaron Lewis (that’s me!) on fiddle, Danny Plotnik on guitar, Bryan Walthall on cello, Aaron Greenhood on mandolin and Jake Sellers on percussion. That summer Greenhood left the band and Josh Bearman took his place on mandolin. Patrick Turner also joined the band on bass and Bryan switched to tenor banjo. A few years later, with Patrick, Bryan and Danny moving on, the band changed its name to The Hot Seats, with the lineup of Bearman, Belcher, Lewis, Sellers and Brogan. We continued to appear as Special Ed and the Shortbus at Galax, however. Then at the end of 2009 I left The Hot Seats and moved to Europe. I went to Galax in 2010 hoping to reunite with the Shortbus but they were on tour as The Hot Seats, so with original members Patrick Turner and Aaron Greenhood and with new members Joe Troop, Craig Bowman and Cornelius Lewis (and special guest dancer Rosalind Masson!) we rocked the house under the official name Bluegrass Conspiracy, but everyone knew who we were. Then in 2011 The Hot Seats were again on tour, and Special Ed and the Shortbus performed another killer pair of songs on Friday and Saturday night, this time adding Stavros Calos on mandolin for Friday night. (Greenhood was demoted to bass-boy for bad behavior that night.) So it seems to me like The Hot Seats is a working band, touring a lot and making records. Special Ed and the Shortbus, on the other hand, exists only at Galax, and only for fun on Friday and Saturday nights.
Here are a few more videos from my glory days with the Hot Seats nee Special Ed and the Shortbus:
The oldest video I’ll put up here is not of myself playing but rather of a piece I made in 2002-2003 at the College of the Atlantic called “Maximum Vision.”
Finally, in case something new has happened you can find the latest videos of me using the old reliable youtube search: