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Summer at the Homestead

Posted by fiddledan on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hi Folks,

Welcome to July in Ohio! That’s right, still here in Ohio for the summer. Old Time Music camp is coming right up, the sun is shining, vegetables and flowers growing, lawn mowed and birds a'chirpin' away! Homestead Old Time Camp for banjo and fiddle together is July 18-20 at the homestead. There is still time to register for one of the 3 spots still available.

The Banjo Hangout Tunetorials have been going well. There are 6 up already and it will keep me busy doing weekly tunes. And Tunetorials is exactly what they are. Each tune is played three times up to speed, then three times slow. In those I start with a basic version and build the tune each time through. Next I play just the basic version slower before starting to break the tune down into phrases. Each phrase is played 3 times. Once in full view, once for the left hand (fingerboard) then once for the right (stroke). We do all of that once more with the advanced version too. Quite a workout! Each lesson runs about 30 minutes and only costs $6. Currently the tunes are coming from my latest book Old Time Favorites for Clawhammer Banjo. I plan to do fiddle versions as well but those have not started yet. Let me know what tunes you might like to have and see as well as how these videos are working for you.

On the home front, the garden is in, mowing happening and I even harvested my first cucumber last week. June 28 to be exact – my birthday present this year! Tomatoes are hanging on the vines (none ripe yet, dang!), more cucumbers growing, beans, melons and basil are all coming along and of course the flowers. The Black Eyed Susans are not doing as well this year. Great foliage but the flower petals are being eaten before they bloom! Internet suggests Japanese Beatles – I have found some – but if any of you have any ideas let me know. I’m missing the great yellow hedge of flowers in front of the porch. Trumpet vine is thriving and so is our hummingbird population – hmmmm… might be a connection eh? Cardinals, robins, woodpeckers, and this year, the Eastern Towhee has made several appearances – right up on the porch! He’s not shy – but we haven’t seen many goldfinches this year.

Other work this summer includes finishing up the latest Fred Cockerham and Tommy Jarrell – Clawhammer Masters book with Bob Carlin. I hope to have it to Mel Bay this month and released shortly after that.

I am taking students here at the cabin while in Ohio. Hour, afternoon, day or longer. It’s a chance to come to the country and work on your instrument away from it all. I’m a bit internet constrained this year here as we are far enough from town to NOT have any cable or strong phone lines so I have to limit my time on line. That has caused me to have to suspend skype lessons for the while, but if I have enough interest I may be able to get a studio in town to go in once a week.
I am starting to plan the return trip to Tucson and gigs along the way. The current plan is to leave Ohio on or around Labor Day and take a couple of weeks getting back.

Finally, it looks like Miss Jennifer and I will be playing Saturdays at the Gallipolis Farmers Market. That starts on July 12 for us and should keep us playing throughout the summer except for camp weekend.
Not much else new for now. Reading a lot, hanging, gardening and mowing, a visit from you perhaps. Keep an eye on the website ( for gig updates.

Fall gigs include Tucson, a dance in Phoenix and a special concert at the NAMM’s Museum of Making Music. October 25 for that one. It is the close of their special Banjo exhibit, which runs all summer. I’ll have it up on the website soon, but for now, should get you to their site.

Feel free to email me about upcoming events and as always…
Play Nice,

2 comments on “Summer at the Homestead”

hendrid Says:
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 @9:04:06 PM

Hi Dan, glad things are going smooth for you. As far as internet, wonder if you have used a cell phone 3G or 4G hotspot. They can be easily set up as a wifi hotspot for your connection if you have 3 or more bars of service. Not sure how long 2G or 4G or so of data would last in the lesson video world and paying for data over runs is expensive. Not sure you have cell service back in the hole but just a thought. Don

fiddledan Says:
Saturday, July 5, 2014 @7:44:04 AM

Hi Don,
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I do tether the phone at the homestead (luckily now there is a phone signal which was not the case until last summer) but data is limited and skype intensive. 2 G per hour session! $15/gig cost over my limit. SO, I use it sparingly and for daily checking of the hangouts, processing orders and basic research when needed. Library in town (30 minutes away) for big uploads.

I am working on studio space in town but that will require a few folks setting up in advance to be able to go and use that option. Should happen next week though. Let me know if you are interested in Skyping.

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