Who’s Your Favorite Marigold-Lion Of Them All?

Greetings All,

It’s my favorite time of year, when the heat of summer is nothing more than a vague memory and you can feel winter just around the corner, you hold your friends and family close and prepare to huddle in for the dark times (or the Daylight Savings Times as they case may be).

I’ve been working every day to put together a tour for the Corn Potato String Band next summer in Europe, the UK and Ireland. Progress is slow and it’s easy to get frustrated. We don’t have a pro website or any high-quality videos or photos or recordings yet. These can be pretty expensive, but it may be that kind of risk-taking that is necessary in order to get somewhere. The goal is to get some good gigs and play for people who want to have a good time with us, and make enough at it that we can cover the expenses of airfare, van rental, hotels, etc. and make a reasonable living on top of that (e.g. pay rent back home). So it’s not clear exactly how we’re going to do everything (since my savings are rather depleted at the moment due to recent purchase of a house) but I think that trying our best and not giving up is the best policy. Lindsay and I got together with Ben about a week ago to start working on our trio and the results are very promising, to say the least. I’m posting a new video from that session on our FB page every week or so, so keep an eye on that!

Other than working on my ‘real work’ while I’ve been in Minneapolis, I’ve also been dragged into working on and performing in this huge outdoor (i.e. COLD!) Halloween puppet pageant. Now in its 20th year, the BareBones Halloween Puppet Extravaganza includes giant puppets, aerialists, fire dancing, a big band, another big band, dozens of dancers holding petals and forming giant flowers a la Busby Berkeley, and yours truly dressed up like a marigold-lion and playing the banjo for ““There’s a Rainbow In Every Teardrop”“:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnO4nYafB9w and ““Smile, Darn Ya, Smile.”“:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7cjyr8XIhc (Photos forthcoming, I hope.)

I do have a couple of choice gigs coming up in Detroit in a couple weeks:

Thursday, Nov. 14 – PJ’s Lager House, Doors 9pm, showtime 10pm, $5
Corn Potato duo Aaron and Lindsay gonna rock the Motor City!
with Brett Newski opening

Saturday, Nov. 16 – Music In The Burbs, 7pm doors, 7:30pm showtime, $20
To RSVP and for directions see http://www.musicintheburbs.com/

Other than that I’ll be working on tour plans, also got a square dance tour with Corn Potatos and T-Claw calling coming up in January. I’m moving out of Nashville and into my house in Detroit, and probably going to spend some time in late December in New York but I have to wait and see about that…

Oh, and I’ve been reading some great stuff lately! A nonfiction travel book about Yemen called Yemen: The Unknown Arabia, by Tim Mackintosh-Smith, is a good reminder of how truth can be stranger than fiction. What a fascinating place, not completely untouched by the rest of the world but so far off and with such a different way of life. I’ve also been reading Satan In Goray, by Isaac B. Singer, a fictional account of an historical event, the events surrounding the appearance of Sabbatai Zevi, a false Messiah, told from the perspective of a tiny and relatively isolated village (or shtetl) in Poland called Goray. (An example of fiction being truer than truth.) This book is powerful and chilling, maybe because of the simplicity of the language or the horror of some of the imagery, and maybe because I can recognize these tendencies towards mass hysteria as a timeless element of human nature, present in every individual and in every society as a potential time bomb that could go off at any moment.

Well on that happy note…! I’ll include a link to one of our new videos here for those of you who eschew the FaceBook (and I applaud you!) This is an original tune I wrote about a year ago, recorded once but never released, and have since played with various groups. Here Lindsay and I twin-fiddle the thing and Ben plays guitar. Originally I called it the Bell and Anchor Rag but Lindsay persuaded me to call it the Leather Daddy Rag. Enjoy!