News Archive 2007


I’m dumping older news, from before the move to a blog here. If there are pictures or videos that don’t show up, you’ll find them here:

Dec. 1 2007

3 more gigs – the 11th and 17th Dec. at the Monkey House in Winooski, VT and the 15th Dec. at the Skinny Pancake, Burlington, VT. My buddy Casey Abair will be there on fiddle.

Oct. 23 2007

I’ll be playing a gig at the Langdon Street Café in Montpelier, Vermont on the 4th of December. Dr. Oakroot, who makes and plays cigarbox guitars, will be there that evening as well. Things get going at 8 p.m.

October 5 2007

Have moved to Burlington, Vermont. The demand for banjo players unexpectedly plummeted on Crete.
I’m giving clawhammer banjo lessons here and just started looking into gigs.

April 17 2007

A website for The Ostrich Testimonies with biographies of the crew, a trailer and so on, is up and running:

April 12 2007

Kurt Vonnegut kicked the bucket yesterday – his teeth no longer hurt him as the French say. He was one of the good guys. Fare thee well Mr. Vonnegut!

March 22 2007

I recently finished recording the score for a documentary, “The Ostrich Testimonies”, by Jonathan VanBallenberghe. Some pieces I composed for it, some are traditional tunes – most are played on either a nylon-strung S.S. Stewart or a metal-strung open-back Gibson; there are also a few pieces played on various guitars. I’ve worked before with Jonathan (he’s a banjo fan – he plays and has built gourd banjos) and this was a fun piece of work to do.

The Ostrich Testimonies is an engrossing documentary, well made, with a gripping story:

The Ostrich Testimonies tells the story of a living nightmare that happened on the largest ostrich ranch in North America. On Feb. 3, 2002, just outside of Tucson, Arizona, two hot air balloons launched too close to the 1,600 bird flock, resulting in a stampede that killed 800 of the birds. The balloonists trespassed and ran from the scene. So why did the rancher lose the lawsuit? The Ostrich Testimonies is an investigative documentary that reveals a sequence of events more strange than you could possibly imagine.

You can see the trailer here:

Here are three tunes from the score: Unclouded Day (played on the S.S. Stewart with my wife Féréale singing harmony), Painted Bird (the Stewart as well) and Merry Scene (played on the Gibson). The two instrumentals were of course made for the documentary, if I were to record them as “listening” pieces I would arrange them differently.

News Archive 2006


I’m dumping older news, from before the move to a blog here. If there are pictures or videos that don’t show up, you’ll find them here:

Dec. 25 2006

This from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones:

Joshu’s Zen

Joshu began the study of Zen when he was sixty years old and continued until he was eighty, when he realized Zen.
He taught from the age of eighty until he was one hundred and twenty.
A student once asked him: “If I haven’t anything in my mind, what shall I do?”
Joshu replied: “Throw it out.”
“But if I haven’t anything, how can I throw it out?” continued the questioner.
“Well,” said Joshu, “then carry it out.”

This reminds me of a friend of mine who questionned his philosophy professor one day on that old saw, cogito ergo sum. He said “But sometimes I don’t think, but I still am. How does that work?” His professor didn’t quite know what to make of that.

Dec. 23 2006

Another film score in the works with Jonathan VanBallenberghe.

Nov. 9 2006

Just came across this excellent quote on Luke Mercier’s site (nice banjo’s and banjo hardware, fiddles too):

“Music is not an escape; it presents a way to make it possible for life to go on.” – John Cohen

November 1st 2006 has something for banjo players of all creeds, denominations and factions. Check it out.

October 16th 2006

So, films… One fell through, but the other, If You Are Not Willing to Eat Fire, is done and off to the festivals! Three of my recordings are used in it – You Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond, Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin’ Bed and I Did Bide.
Check it out:

If You Are Not Willing to Eat Fire
Documentary, color, 2006
Directed and produced by Jonathan VanBallenberghe

What happens when your business is your life and your business is dying? If You Are Not Willing to Eat Fire puts the spotlight on two of the quirkiest entrepreneurs in the world. Meet Peter Scott: a motivational speaker whose corporate pep rallies leave him suicidal. Peter’s public pronouncements of passion, excellence, and accountability work magic on his audience. People have called him a cross between Jay Leno and Tony Robbins. But his professional façade is counterbalanced by a private life dominated by severe anxiety and depression. Tom Cox is an alternative healer who just spent all his savings on a $25,000 device called a psychophotonic healing chamber. Involving crystals, light, and sound, the chamber is said to eliminate stress and weaken disease. But if, as Tom believes, the machine can cure the world, he will first have to decide if becoming a businessman is worth it.

April 18th 2006

Well now! Pigs will fly and cowboys will… throat sing. Hear Arthur Miles, recorded in the ’20′s, yodel and throat sing.

April 15th 2006

After a lengthy hiatus from the internet, I returned to find musicians on myspace simply plastered everywhere. Never one to turn down a chance to flock with the herd:

April 2nd 2006

Have a look at the Cylinder Preservation and Digitalization Project, University of California. Tons of wax cylinder recordings available to download (they even provide the original, unprocessed .wavs if you’re interested in restoring them yourself). This is a real treasure trove, 6000+ recordings, with some old timey banjo stuff, more “popular” recordings and several streaming cylinder radio feeds!

March 31st 2006

My recordings are going to be used in two films. More as it progresses.

March 17th 2006

Several .mp3′s are now available to download over on Hark.

March 13th 2006

Pictures and a recording of my tin can banjo here.