Greetings from Gainesville, Florida. It is has been a long time since I have written, so here’s
an update of recent happenings.
First and foremost I am blessed with a happy, healthy
This past summer I had an opportunity to teach banjo at the Mars Hill College
Blue Ridge Old-Time Week. My old pal,
Hilarie Burhans and I taught advanced clawhammer together. We had a crew of talented, friendly students to share music
with. It was big fun. I conducted an akonting workshop, where I met Andrew Hensley
and Emily Poole, fine musicians from the UK, and as it turns out, editors for the
British publication Old-Time News. I
am proud that they chose to interview me, and to review Banjourneys.
We were also delighted to host Jola
akonting/banjo scholar Daniel Laemouahuma Jatta, in Gainesville, while He attended
the Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive at the University of Florida.. We had a grand time with Laemouahuma. During his visit, Greg Allen stopped in to interview him for
National Public Radio. Laemou, Scoot
Anderson and I presented and banjo/akonting lecture and demonstration. Laemou and I visited the Staleys in Micanopy for music and to
swap tales. Laemou really enjoyed North Central Florida, in part because it reminded
him of The Gambia.
In September, Jim Strickland and
I directed the Stephen Foster Old-Time Music Weekend. Our Special guests were Art Rosenbaum, Beverly Smith, and Erica
Weiss, along with Chuck Anton and me as instructors, and Kerry Blech and Jane and
Gordon Scott as Florida Masters (Jim did some teaching too). It was an old-time music lover’s dream, filled with great
music, and good fellowship. You can
find videos of the concerts and www.youtube.com/banjochuck although you
may have to dig a little.
In December, Bob Carlin stopped by and presented banjo workshops to enthusiastic
students with his usual flare. In January, we hosted Moonshine Holler (Paula Bradley
and Bill DIllof) and Jeni and Billy in separate house concerts. I joined Paula and Bill on the banjo for John Lover’s
Gone, (one of my favorite tunes)and on Chicken Ridge, Cecil Robert’s Hand,
and The Robin and the Banjo with Jeni and Billy. With J. and B, I played the cello
banjo, which I thought filled in nicely under Billy’s banjo playing.. Paula, Bill, and I played as the Polliwanna
Crackers (Susan Trammel was unavailable) for the Melrose dance with Susie Rudder
calling. Toes were tapping, heels
were flying, partners were swung. The
Right now, Ken Perlman and are gearing
up for what promises to be a terrific Suwannee Banjo Camp, March 15-18. Our line up includes: Ken and I, as well as, Scott Anderson,
Alan Munde, Janet Davis, Tony Trischka, James McKinney, Paul Brown, Brad Leftwich,
Mark Johnson, Kathy Barton Para, Mac Benford, Greg Adams, and Erynn Marshall www.suwanneeebanjocamp I am also happy to
announce that the Ferrets of the Mall (Aisha Ivey, Aaron O’Rourke, and Chuck
Levy) have some appearances in the next couple of months.
In the coming weeks, I hope to be
able to announce the Ferrets dates,
and report on our faculty for the Stephen Foster Old-Time Weekend,.
Well that is it for me. What is happening in your world?
Drop me a line. I would love
to hear from you.