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The Travels of Dan

Posted by fiddledan on Friday, March 6, 2015

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Blog March 2015

Hi Folks,

It’s no surprise to most of you that I don’t write all that regularly here in the blogging world. I do aim for a quarterly note, but alas that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. SO, while I finally got a few minutes I thought I’d catch yall up on things.

Seeing the harsh winter in most of the country I am glad that I decided to make Tucson (well, western AZ) my winter home some years ago. Most of you know that after about 5 years in Yuma, Miss Jennifer and I came back to Tucson around November of 2013 and this past fall bought a more or less stable home in one of the mobile home parks on the east side of Tucson. After more than 6 months here it seems like a keeper. We have had some large and many small jams here and I have several students coming on a more or less regular basis. There is always room for more in person or by videoconference mediums such as Skype.

While I don’t miss the eastern winters (even WE had ONE snow on new years day), I do sometimes miss the Ohio homestead so I will be heading back there again this May for most of the summer. Home there is about 20 miles rural to the town of Gallipolis, Ohio and about an hour southwest of Athens, Ohio. Nicely located in the Southern Appalachian foothills on 80 acres of land, folks can come for lessons and camp, hike, hang on the porch and enjoy the country like I do when I’m there. Yes, students are welcome for an hour, a day or multi day residency. I also plan on doing my some gardening and house maintenance as well as some writing and some more video recording. I have also scheduled two camps this year.

Clawcamp comes first – July 10-12. What is Clawcamp? Well, some consider it clawhammer banjo boot camp and others see it as just a nice chance to get away with their banjo and work on sharpening their basic skills and adding new more advanced ones in the company of about a dozen (max) other clawhammer banjo players. Perhaps it is really both! It is definitely as skills based workshop aimed at helping you become a better banjo player. For information about Clawcamp and to register to attend you can go to my webpage at to find out more.
We are half full as of this week so I encourage you to register soon.

Next is Old Time Music Camp. This one is primarily for Fiddle and Banjo players to come together to work on playing together and building their repertoire. Other instruments are welcome (we had a mandolin player last summer) and encouraged to join us as we get into how the music is played within an ensemble context. We do some skills work as well, but the primary focus here is on the tunes. Again, you can go to the website at to find out more and register for camp.

The Road East:  This year I plan on heading back around May 18 but that is a flexible date. The goal is to be back by Memorial Day weekend so tomatoes can go into the ground. That was always the idea back east, tomatoes in the ground by Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes you can push that a bit, especially in Southern Ohio, but Memorial Day is still the first considered “safe” date for planting.

BUT, I’ve also been a slug, which means I’ve basically ignored the “booking” world and not set up any firm stops for the route east. I haven’t even PICKED my route east this year. Yep, that means that I’m searching for gigs on route. Workshops, concerts, house concerts, lessons and all are fair game. Anyone up for sponsoring an event please email me at Clawdan1 at gmail to see if we can set up a show (or workshop…). In most cases all routes (I-10, 20, 30, 40 and 70) lead near enough or through St. Louis where there has been some talk of a workshop or two. However, like I said, nothing is firm yet.

I will be taking the Airstream but the drive will be a solo as Miss Jennifer will be at our Tucson place to keep working (she took a full time gig again this year – health care, yeah) and only coming east for a bit around my birthday (I’ll be 60, go figure) at the end of June and perhaps another one somewhere else over the summer.

The return trip west should be around the end of August. I’m booked at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas for some performances on August 28 and 29 after which I might head down through San Antonio to visit my older son Jon and his family at their new home there. Then back west to Tucson for another wonderful winter west. So, yes, anyone planning their fall schedule wanting to hire the Old Buzzard for shows along the west, it’s not too early in spite of my slacker ways.

Next week I’ll be involved again with the Common Ground on the Border shows March 12-14. You can find out about this fascinating event at which is indeed related to Common Ground on the Hill back east. A three day celebration of music, art and culture. Then Glendale Folk Festival up in Glendale, AZ (outside of Phoenix March 21 & 22) has invited me to do a performance and a couple of workshops there this year. Info on that can be found at including downloading a schedule of all workshops and concerts that weekend. And hey, it’s free! Hope to see many of you there.

SO, that about tells the story for now. I’ll try to write more often but…Till next time.

Play Nice,
Dan “Fiddledan” Levenson

Author of Fiddle From Scratch; Old Time Favorites and Old Time Festival Tunes  For Fiddle and Mandolin AND (both also available For Clawhammer Banjo) and a host of other Mel Bay books as well as recordings both solo and with The Boiled Buzzards Old Time String Band.

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