Monday, April 24, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Friday April 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm The Homegrown String Band™ will be performing as part of the Levittown Public Library's "Live @ the LPL" coffeehouse/cabaret style music series. Seating is limited. Call the Library for more information and seating availability.
1 Bluegrass Lane
Levittown, NY 11756
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
The Homegrown String Band™ returns to the Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. The show, part of the Live! Folklife Concert Series, is free, and starts at 7pm.
Crandall Public Library
Crandall Public Library
251 Glen Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Sunday April 2, 2017, at 2pm, The Homegrown StringBand™ will be performing "their "Unbroken Circle" program at The Franklin Square Public Library. The show will feature original arrangements of traditional tunes that have been covered by: The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, and others. Tickets are free. Call the library for more information.
19 Lincoln Road
Franklin Square, NY 11576
Friday, March 10, 2017
by Don New
I've been using Don New's barnwood Clawhammer bridges for about a year now. His clawhammer-specific bridges feature a raised fifth string which means that, at about the point where the neck and pot meet, the fifth string is even with the other strings. When I replaced a Snuffy Smith bridge on my Wildwood Troubadour with one of Don’s clawhammer specials I noticed a little more bass response, but what I really liked was the raised fifth string especially when dropping thumb. I liked it so much I ordered another one for my Mike Ramsey fretless banjo. The story should end there, clawhammer banjo player lives happily ever after, right? But recently Don contacted me to tell me about a new design. He calls it “The Bigfoot” and says it’s his best sounding bridge. How could I resist? The one I got has the same, wider "Crowe" spacing, as well as the raised fifth string feature of the “Spillway Dam” bridge I've been using, but the Bigfoot has more open space under the strings. It also has three big maple “feet” attached perpendicularly to the barnwood portion of the bridge. I decided to give it a try figuring if there isn’t a big improvement in the sound I would put the Spillway bridge back on. Well, I was pleasantly surprised, although I shouldn’t have been surprised at all; Don said it would sound better and it did. It has even better bass response and significantly more volume. It also seems to somewhat tame the overtones and even out the response between the fifth string and the other strings. Don goes by the name Stringbean45 on Ebay where he sells his bridges and some other banjo related stuff.
This review was re"printed" from the March 2017 issue my e-newsletter "Rooster Rick's Clawhammer Banjo Gazette." If you are interested in receiving the monthly Gazette contact me at:
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday February 17, 2017 - Day 1, Year 5:
Cold and clear at 6 am in Rocky Point. At 25 degrees with 15 mph winds, wind chill 14, and 8 inches of snow still on the ground, it was a Frosty Morn' for sure. I got started around 6:30 and had a good boil going by 7 am. I averaged about 2 1/2 gallons an hour on my homemade evaporator and brought the syrup in to the kitchen for the final boil around 4:30 pm. They say you should get one gallon of syrup for every 40 gallons of sap, it seems to be more like a 50 to 1 ratio form me, my trees, and my evaporator. I ended up with a little less than a half gallon (7 1/2 cups) of Long Island Maple Syrup from my 25 gallons and ten hours of toiling over the hot stove.
Cold, clear and calm, mid to high 20s at 6:30 am. Disappointing sap flow the last two days, only collected about 2 gallons, but good flow Saturday and Sunday. Today I boiled about 22 gallons of sap in 9 hours to yield 4 1/2 pints of syrup. The weather forecast for the next ten days doesn't look good for sap flow, night time temps are predicted to stay above freezing all week. This year was the earliest I tapped my trees, but conditions were good (nights below freezing, days above) a couple weeks earlier. I hope I didn't wait too long.
Monday March 6, 2017 - Day 3, Year 5
One of my trees started flowing brown sap last week, I pulled the tap and put a second tap in a big tree that was producing well, even so it took nearly two weeks to collect 15 gallons of sap. First it got too warm then too cold. Went out at 7am this morning, all the sap in my buckets was frozen solid. The sap I had in my barrel was encased in about four inches of ice. I manage to get about five gallons of liquid to start my boil and had it all thawed by 11:30. I brought the syrup in to finish the boiling on the stove at 1:30. Six hours of boiling yielded one quart of syrup that tastes a little off, slightly less sweet. Buddy?, or just because some of the sap was two weeks old? Oh well, I pulled my taps today, so I ended up with one gallon plus five cups of syrup including today's iffy batch which will be used for cooking only. I only collected about 70 gallons of sap this year. Although this was the earliest I ever tapped my trees, I was apparently still two weeks too late. Chalk it up to global warming, I guess.
2016 Maple Sugaring Blog
2015 Maple Sugaring Blog
2014 Maple Sugaring Blog
2013 Maple Sugaring Blog