Fall is in the Air!

August 25, 2017

Erynn & Carl’s news August 25, 2017

Dear friends,

Apples are on the old tree in our yard and this morning there was a chill in the air. Carl saw some leaves drifting to the ground. Could it be summer is drawing to a close already! The summer season full of festivals, music camps, jams, travels and campsites just goes by too fast. It’s Laurel Bloomery time this weekend (a lovely music gathering) but we needed time at home more than anything else just now. We’ve been weeding the garden, putting in seeds for a fall crop of veggies and dreaming of which places we will go the coming year, music we get to play, friends we get to see…. We will be going to Happy Valley (NC), Hoppin’ John Fest (NC) this fall and maybe Blackpot (LA) too so hope to see you there!

Thank you to all the music camps who hired us this summer and the wonderful students that took our classes. We had a stellar time at Swannanoa Old-Time Week (NC), Blue Ridge Music Week (NC), Kaufman Acoustic Kamp (TN), Ashokan Southern Week (NY), Fiddleworks! (BC), SAMW (NH), John C Campbell Folk School (NC), Breakin’ Up Winter (TN) and Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (KY)! We often think the kind, compassionate, creative, fun folks who come to music camps for their holidays to enrich their music and lives are the best people on the earth. It’s inspiring to be in these instant musical communities even for their short duration. This really helped us have a good feeling towards humanity during these trying political and divisive times. We need the arts and to bond together as a community more now than ever.

Also we are grateful for an amazing 3 week tour to Australia with the Galax Bogtrotters (Eddie & Bonnie Bond, Eric Hill, Carl and myself). We released our new CD: The Galax Bogtrotters “Old-Time Jubilations” at the National Folk Festival in Canberra to very receptive crowds. We all think the world of and thank banjo player/engineer Ian Alexander and tour mastermind/sweetheart Linda de Cieri who were the most gracious and kind hosts…taking us literally all over the country, introducing us to everyone, sharing their time and energy. The band had great jams with old-time musicians everywhere and the animals and birds were astounding. The band missed out on seeing any wombats so must go back soon. Our favorite part? The beaches in western Australia (Perth) and the wonderful new, musical friends we made there.

Following that Carl and I spent two extraordinary weeks in China with musical friends Chris Hawke and Kirk Kenney. Thanks guys!! The four of us played 8 concert/squaredances near Dali and in Beijing (Chris can call dances in Chinese you see). We played the American Embassy and the Beijing Conservatory as part of a Silk Road Conference. People in China were so kind to us and the landscape was stunning. Food was delicious from veggie dumplings, “ba-ba” buns baked on grills on the street, all the fresh made noodle dishes, along with beautiful tea ceremonies of the finest green, black and red teas! It’s hard not to get hungry thinking about it. There were people making traditional indigo dyes, cooking with roses, Chinese moonshine and more. A couple highlights included staying at the Linden Center and playing music in the garlic fields for the villagers harvesting garlic. Traveling is the most amazing part of being a musician!


Coming up next? Carl and I are enjoying being at home again, learning new tunes, gardening and cooking up a storm. One misses domesticity on the road. Erynn is working on a book of original fiddle tunes with banjo tab and an accompanying CD with recordings of the tunes. Carl has plans to make an old-time mandolin instructional book. We already know in 2018 we will be at Swannanoa, Midwest Banjo Camp, Kaufman Kamp, and John C Campbell Winter Dance Week – all great camps!! We are planning a trip to the UK and will be on the westcoast this January (Portland Gathering to BC –woot!). Erynn has also been digitizing footage of fiddlers Art Stamper and Melvin Wine whom she visited a bunch 13+ years ago so sign up to follow our YouTube channel dittyville so you see the new footage as it gets posted. Some of it is very special.

Thanks so much for stopping by and Have a Nice Fall Y’all!

Sincerely, Erynn and Carl