Sunday, December 21, 2014

HGSB Winter Solstice Music

Today is the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice occurs at 11:03 tonight, tomorrow will bring a brighter day. 



The Homegrown String Band "Praying For Spring"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Homegrown Phishy Phun at 89 North Saturday Dec.13th


On Saturday December 13, 2014 The Homegrown String Band will be opening for the Phish tribute band, The Lawn Boys at 89 North in Patchogue, NY. Doors open at 7:30 pm, tickets are $10 and the show is 21 and over only.

89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue
Patchogue, NY
631-730-8992


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Unbroken Circle at the Bryant Library 12/6/14


On Sunday December 7, 2014 at 2:30 The Homegrown String Band will be presenting a program of traditional songs that have been covered by popular folk and rock bands of the 20th and 21st centuries. The program takes place at the Bryant Library in Roslyn, NY,  it's open to the public and admission is free

2 Paper Mill Road
Roslyn, NY 11576
 (516) 621-2240
.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amityville Public Library November 8, 2014

Join us in Amityville this Saturday afternoon for an extraordinarily engaging, energetic, and entertaining educational experience. A Homegrown String Band program of American Roots Music at The Amityville Public Library, corner of Oak and John Streets, Amityville, NY 11701. This show is free and open to the public. Call the Library for more information.
  
2 pm - Saturday, November, 8, 2014
631-264-0567

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Homegrown String Band @ 89 North - Dec. 13, 2014


Mark your calendars, on Saturday, December 13th 2014. The Homegrown String Band will be performing a set of their high energy original compositions and arrangements of "Rad Trad" material as part of an evening that will feature Phish tribute band The Lawn Boys. This exciting show takes place at one of Long Island's premier music venues 89 North in Patchogue, NY. Doors open at 7:30 pm, our set starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now!

89 North Ocean Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772 
631-730-8992

Monday, October 20, 2014

The HGSB Odyssey Heads North

We here at The Homegrown String Band, as always, have been working tirelessly to provide amazing musical experiences to the people of planet Earth. As you can see, by the photo on the left, we have been utilizing our sophisticated satellite and high tech computer imaging software to do some preliminary reconnaissance in preparation for our next sonic adventure; a trip to New England this weekend. This expedition will feature the full band performing two 90-minute concerts in Massachusetts. On Saturday, the HGSB Odyssey will be rolling into Marshfield, MA, for a show at the Ventress Memorial Library. Then on Sunday we will refuel and point the Odyssey north, towards the town of Haverhill, for another 2 pm show at the Haverhill Public Library. Both shows are open to, and free, to the public.


Ventress Memorial Library
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 2 pm
15 Library Plaza
Marshfield, MA 02050
781-834-5535

Haverhill Public Library
Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 2 pm
99 Main Street 
Haverhill, MA 01830
978-373-1586


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Long Island History Project - Homegrown String Band

The Homegrown String Band a Long Island Family Band
A couple months ago I was asked to do an interview for the Long Island History Project at Dowling College. The lady who asked me to do the interview was the president of the LI Radio and Television History Society. I thought the interview was going to be about the influence of radio on traditional music, but what they really wanted to hear about was the historical significance of our family band. The interview was supposed to be a half hour long, but Georgianne and I talked about our family and our music until the hard drive on the recorder was full, about 90 minutes, the discourse was then edited down to an hour. Our music was also used as the introduction for all the other interviews in the series. 

Listen to the interview here:
http://longislandhistoryproject.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/the-home-grown-string-band/

Monday, October 6, 2014

Summer is Officially Over

End of Summer Harvest - photo by Rick Jackofsky
I am officially declaring today the end of summer. I know it was really over a couple weeks ago, but I have my own seasonal indicators that don't always match up with the calendar or solar year. One of my seasonal markers is that the first weekend in October is our cut off date to accept an outdoor gig (at least north of the Mason Dixon line) and yesterday we did our final outdoor show of 2014 at the Long Island Fair in Old Bethpage, NY. We were blessed with a beautiful "Indian summer" day and we got to share a stage with Paticia Shih and a very entertaining team of jugglers. By the end of the day, as the sun got low (summer's over!), the temperature was beginning to drop. After the show we went home, changed into some warm clothes, enjoyed a hot meal, and listened to a baseball playoff game on the radio (another sign summer is winding down). Then, at some point during the night, the heat kicked on; at that point I knew summer was indeed over. So now that I am resigned to the fact that fall has arrived, I decided today was a good day to pull my tomatoes and eggplants out of the garden. I picked three almost ripe Brandywine tomatoes, three small white eggplants, some ripe cherry tomatoes, and a bunch of green tomatoes. The big green tomatoes will be wrapped in newspaper and put in a brown paper bag to ripen. The green cherry tomatoes were put into an airlocked fermentation jar along with some green beans, garlic, pepper, a horseradish leaf (the horseradish leaf provides tannic acid which keeps the pickles crisp), and a brine solution to be enjoyed in the coming weeks. The maple leaves are starting to fall, which, as you may know, tends to happen once summer is over. Soon I'll start raking those leaves to begin a new round of composting while I prepare my garlic beds. In a month I will be digging up my horseradish and planting my garlic while I start thinking about maple sugaring and pea planting, two of my signs that winter is over.

Time to start "Praying for Spring"???

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Long Island Fair - October 4th and 5th, 2014

 This weekend, October 4th and 5th, 2014, The Homegrown String Band will be performing two sets each day at The Long Island Fair. The fair takes place at The Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Our sets will be happening at 2 and 4 pm on the Flagpole Stage. There will be all sorts of things happening throughout the weekend, including; jugglers, magicians, elephants, music, and dance. Check out the fair schedule page for more details.


 The Long Island Fair
Old Bethpage Village Restoration
1303 Round Swamp Road
Old Bethpage, NY 11804

Monday, September 22, 2014

Music & More at the 2014 Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Once again it's time for the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival. This festival, in honor of "The Stinking Rose," is one of the biggest food festivals in the country attracting over 50,000 visitors each year. The festival features great food, music, and crafts. The big event, which has been taking place on the last weekend of September since 1989, will be happening on Saturday and Sunday, September 27th and 28th, at Cantine Park in Saugerties, NY. There will be eight musical acts, plus puppets, dancers, and a theater troop performing throughout the weekend on 5 stages. This year, The Homegrown String Band will be sharing the Pavilion Stage with our old friend, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Mark Rust. We will be performing 3 sets each day of the festival.

Other acts appearing include:

Annie & the Hedonists
Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers
Mike + Ruthy
Sundad
Passero
NY Country
One World Puppetry
Morris Dancers
Arm of the Sea Theater


Saturday September 27th 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday September 28th 10 AM - 5 PM
 Cantine Park, Saugerties, NY
N
Y
Country

N
Y
Country

Monday, September 15, 2014

- Music at the 25th Annual Long Island Apple Festival -

Activities will include old fashioned games and crafts, traditional music, wagon rides, house tours, homemade food, sheep shearing, colonial cooking demonstrations, and apple relay races. The festival takes place on the grounds of the historic Sherwood-Jayne House at 55 Old Post Road in East Setauket, NY.

The Homegrown String Band will be sharing the traditional music stage with Larry Moser and Mary Nagin. Larry and Mary start the music a 11am, we will be performing two sets at about 12 noon and 2 pm.

The Long Island Apple Festival is co-sponsored by Homestead Arts, the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities & the Three Village Historical Society.

Tickets: $7 adults, $5 members, seniors and children

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rooster Rick Blue Chip Pick

Blue Chip Guitar Picks are hands down my first choice in flatpicks. They sound great, make zero string noise, last forever, and glide easily across your strings. The space age material used to make these picks is not only incredibly durable, it also provides the most comfortable non-slip grip I have ever found in a flatpick. My favorite model is the little Kenny Smith Signature pick in 40 or 50 thickness; with my custom imprint of course. The 40 equals a 1.0 mm pick, the 50 is about a 1.25mm thickness.

Rooster Rick Blue Chip Guitar Pick  - photo by Rick Jackofsky

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scourge Spraying Tonight!

We got a robo call last night announcing that our neighborhood would be sprayed with Scourge tonight. The purpose of the spraying is to kill mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus. There have been no reported cases of WNV on Long Island this year. I researched Scourge a bit today and found that Scourge (resmethrin) is a broad based insecticide that will indiscriminately kill all insects including, bees, spiders, butterflies, ladybugs . . . I called the Suffolk County Division of Vector Control and explained that I have an organic garden teeming with beneficial insects that I do not want killed, I also asked why residents were not consulted and why we were given such short notice warning us to close our windows to avoid potential human health hazards. I was told my neighborhood would be sprayed, but I could put my property on the “No Spray List” I was also told that if I had any questions about the process I should call Dr. Tomarken at the Suffolk County Health Department. If you are in the area between Hallockville Rd and the Shoreham Town border north of 25A (or any other area scheduled for spraying) you have a couple hours to call and ask if your property can be spared.

Suffolk County Division of Vector Control 631-852-4270
Suffolk County Health Department 631-854- 0100


Here's an article about the dangers and ineffectiveness of spraying Scourge, and other poisons, to combat West Nile Virus. 
http://www.rense.com/general39/scourge.htm
http://thyroid.about.com/library/weekly/aa072600a.htm

Monday, August 25, 2014

Strap Keeper - A Safety Belt For Your Guitar

Tapastring Strapkeeper  photo by Rick Jackofsky
This isn’t a new product, it’s been around for several years, but it is a clever solution to a persistent problem. The ubiquitous acoustic electric endpin jack is a clear and present danger to any well loved acoustic guitar. Anyone who gigs with an acoustic electric guitar knows how easily a strap can pop off an end pin jack. Keith Gipson at Tapastring Guitar Care has come up with a clever and functional solution. Keith’s Strap Keeper is a thin leather harness that attaches to the end of your guitar strap and locks onto the endpin jack with a sturdy C clip. I added one between my Lakota Leather strap and my Larrivee 000-50 which has an LR Baggs Lyric pickup installed with a standard endpin jack. It seems to be very secure and definitely affords me some piece of mind, giving me one less thing to worry about when playing unplugged or miked rather than plugged in. I suppose it could be a bit of an inconvenience if you take your strap on and off a lot, but even though I have D'Addario quick releases on all my straps, I leave my strap on whether I'm using it or not.  I will definitely be installing Strap Keepers on my two other acoustic electric guitars in the not too distant future. You can order one directly from Keith at Tapastring Guitar Care Products for ten bucks ($9.99), with free worldwide shipping. I consider it cheap insurance for a valuable acoustic guitar.


Monday, August 18, 2014

The Homegrown String Band -O- The Unbroken Circle


Come join us at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, for a program of traditional (and early commercial country) music that has stood the test of time by not only surviving, but thriving and flourishing for hundreds of years via the folk process and oral tradition. We will be performing a selection of traditional songs that have been performed by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Mettalica, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and The Grateful Dead.

760 Ocean Ave
Connetquot, NY
631-567-5079

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thanks!

The Cacklin' Hens photo by Ed Neale
We had a great time performing at at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum this weekend. Big thanks to everyone who came out to see us, and also to The Islip Arts Council, Astoria Bank, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation for making the concert series possible.

Garlic Harvest 2014

The 2014 Homegrown garlic harvest is in. The crop has been cleaned, cured, and stored. Because of the long hard winter everything was about two to three weeks behind normal this year. As usual I pulled the garlic when half the leaves had turned yellow, let it dry for two weeks, and then cleaned the bulbs, cut the stalks and stored the "stinking roses" in nylon mesh bags. We should be good, with fresh garlic, till February or March of 2015. This year I planted 120 cloves and the yield was a little less than eight pounds. I saved the twenty biggest heads (which accounts for about 1/4 of the weight) to re-plant in November.

Some of The Homegrown String Band's 2014 Garlic Harvest

Monday, August 4, 2014

Homegrown String Band at The Bayard Cutting Arboretum 2 pm, August 10, 2014

Come enjoy a summer concert by The Homegrown String Band on the beautiful grounds of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum 2:00 pm this Sunday, August 10, 2014. Make a day of it; stroll the grounds, (don't miss the majestic European Weeping Beech tree), visit the  mansion and grab a bite to eat at The Hidden Oak Cafe. Admission to the park is $8.00 per carload.

The concert series is sponsored by the Islip Arts Council with support from the Natural Heritage Trust, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Astoria Bank.

Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Historic Park
440 Montauk Highway
Great River, NY 11739

Monday, July 28, 2014

Musikfest Saturday August 2, 2014



On Saturday August 2, at 3 pm The Homegrown String Band Trio will performing a 90 minute set on the Liederplatz Stage at Bethlehem Musikfest. Musikfest is a ten day event, that features ten stages, taking place in Bethlehem, PA from August 1- August 10. The Liederplatz Stage, sponsored by the Red Stag Pub, is on the North side of the festival and features Folk, Blues, and Americana music.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Musical Moments In Kings Park


On Friday July 25th The Homegrown String Band will be appearing as part of "The Musical Moments in Kings Park" free summer concert series at Russ Savatt Park on Main Street in Kings Park, NY.  (next to Ralph's Italian Ices) The show runs from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Great South Bay Music Festival is a Huge Success!



EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Newsday July 21, 2014
 


A Big Time on the Big Bluepoint Brews Stage!

The Homegrown String Band performing A minor Catastrophe yesterday afternoon at
 The Great South Bay Music Festival.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

HGSB at The Great South Bay Music Festival July 20th


On Sunday July 20, 2014, The Homegrown String Band will be performing on the Blue Point Brews Stage at The Great South Bay Music Festival. Come early to hear us do our thing on the main stage, stay late to see blues legend B.B. King do his thing. Other acts on the big stage include; The Kerry Kearney Band, Commander Cody, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Anders Osborne.

Monday, June 30, 2014

American Music for America's Birthday

The Banjo - America's Instrument

Kick off your Fourth of July weekend with a concert of American Roots Music performed by "The Family That Plays Together." On Thursday, July 3rd,  The Homegrown String Band will be performing a set of high energy traditional, and original, American folk music at the Mattituck-Laurel Library located on Long Island's beautiful North Fork.


Thursday July 3, 2014  7:00 pm 
 
 Mattituck-Laurel Library
13900 Main Rd.
Mattituck, NY 11952
(631) 298-4134
  
  

    
   photo by R. Jackofsky 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Outdoor Summer Concert - Spring Valley, NY

Another outdoor Homegrown String Band show this weekend, 7:00 pm Sunday evening, June 29, 2014, on the grounds of the Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley, NY

Finkelstein Memorial Library
24 Chestnut Street, Spring Valley, New York 10977
845 352-5700


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Garlic Scape Harvest Time

Garlic Scapes 2014  - photo by Rick Jackofsky
For me, the first day of summer is the day I start snapping the scapes off my ophio garlic plants. So, today is, (unofficially), the first day of summer! Garlic scapes are a delicious bonus you get from hard neck garlic plants. Scapes taste, (and can be cooked like), garlic flavored string beans, we like to roast them. They store really well too, we've sometimes kept them in the vegetable crisper of our fridge for months. Here on Long Island the scapes, of garlic planted in November, are usually ready to eat in mid June. You can start snapping them off when they begin to curl around. You should be able to snap them off cleanly with your fingers. Don't let them go to long or they will get too woody. I'll be digging up, and starting to cure, my 120 garlic bulbs in about a month; right before our two big summer music festivals, The Great South Bay Music Festival and Bethlehem Musikfest.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Festivals!

How are you going to spend your summer vacation? How about making some room on your summer schedule to catch some live music at one (or two) of the region's most excellent summer music festivals. This summer we have the privilege of appearing at two of the country's biggest and best music festivals. Our first stop is right here on Long Island. On July 20, 2014, we will be performing on the main stage of The Great South Bay Music and Arts Festival at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, NY. This is the biggest and best music event on Long Island. The festival runs from Friday, July 18, to Sunday, July 20, and features over 50 bands: from national acts like Moe, Taking Back Sunday, and B.B. King; to local acts like The Homegrown String Band, The Kerry Kearney Band, and Miles to Dayton. This festival is not only incredibly hip and cool, it is also family friendly. The Kidzone will be open Saturday and Sunday and will feature interactive arts, crafts, educational programs, musical instrument making, drum circles, puppeteers, story telling, musical entertainment, and games. On Sunday, the festival opens with a concert by Laurie Berkner who has been dubbed "Queen of Kindie Rock" by USA Today. The festival goes on rain or shine and it's really important that Long Island music lovers attend so we can keep this world class event happening here on Long Island. Ticket prices are very reasonable, less than what it would cost to see just the headliner at most venues, and you can save a few bucks by buying your tickets in advance.


visit  www.greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com  for detailed info and news


On August 2, 2014, our trio, Homegrown 3.0 will be doing a set on the Liederplatz stage of Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Musikfest is billed as the U.S's largest music festival, it runs for ten days from August 1st to August 10th on multiple stages around downtown Bethlehem. Some of the national acts that will be appearing throughout the ten day affair are ZZ Top, The Moody Blues, Steely Dan, Sheryl Crow, The All American Rejects, and Weezer. www.musikfest.org




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

West Islip Public Library Sunday June 8, 2014

On Sunday June 8, 2014, at 2:00 pm, The Homegrown String Band will be presenting a program of traditional and original acoustic American folk music at the West Islip Public Library. The concert is free and open to the public. The following day Georgianne and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary; I told her we could make beautiful music together!

3 Higbie Lane
West Islip, NY 11795
631-661-7080

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Two Upcoming Events at Long Island Historical Sites


Tri-Hamlet Day at Manor of St. George
Neighborhood Road and Smith Road, Shirley, NY

On Saturday, May 31, 2014, Homegrown Two: The Duo, will be part of Tri-Hamlet Day festivities. Rick and Georgianne will be performing unplugged at The Manor of St George between 10 am and 4 pm. Other activities at The Manor will include Revolutionary and Civil War  encampments. The Manor of St George will be one stop on a tour of various points of interest in the Mastic, Moriches, Shirley community. 631 281-5034


The Sayville Historical Society's Edwards Farm Day
39 Edwards Street, Sayville, NY


On Sunday, June, 1, 2014, The Homegrown String Band will be making our annual visit to Edwards Farm in Sayville. The band will be performing between 2 and 5 pm. Other activities include ice cream making, craft, and farm animal demonstrations.

631-563-0186




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Homegrown 3.0 - Saturday Night at Crazy Beans

Are You Prepared? Get ready for a great time at Crazy Beans Cafe!
Homegrown 3.0 Live Saturday Night May 24, 2014
7 to 9 pm   

 465 Route 25A
Miller Place, NY 11764
(631) 403-4954

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Homegrown Three at The Sayville Library May 18, 2014

Golden Mouldies


Come on down to the Sayville Library, Sunday afternoon, to get your fill of blues, ballads, and breakdowns in an intimate concert setting. Rick, Georgianne, and Annalee will be performing some of Rick's original music as well as some examples of the rural American music that was recorded before and during the time that record companies were just beginning to establish well defined genres and musical categories. Pre-bluegrass and pre-blues music performed on guitar, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, jawharp and percussion.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rocky Point Farmers Market Opening Day 2014


Mothers Day, Sunday May 11, 2014 - 8 am to 1 pm
http://rockypointfarmersmarket.org 
 It's opening day at the Rocky Point Farmers and Artisan Market.
  Come on down to Depot Park (Prince Rd. and Broadway) in Rocky Point
to pick up a homegrown or handmade gift for Mom!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Roots of the Dead

The Roots of the Grateful Dead at the Port Washington Library

 photo by Steve Gravano

Jerry Garcia, founder and “spiritual adviser” of the psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead, was an avid listener and student of American traditional music. He and his bandmates were well versed in American blues and bluegrass as well as the folk traditions of the British Isles. Like the Grateful Dead, The Homegrown String Band has drunk deeply from the well of blues, ballads, and breakdowns that have helped to shape the sounds of American popular music. At 7:30 pm on Friday, May 9th, 2014, the band will be presenting a program featuring their own original interpretations of some of the traditional and early commercial material that was featured in the repertoire of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.


7:30 pm Friday, May 9, 2014 

One Library Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HGSB @ Milford Arts - Performance Coffeehouse

Friday night, April 25th, The Milford Arts Council will be hosting The Homegrown String Band at their Performance Coffeehouse concert series. The show starts a 8:00 pm. This is a great venue/theater in a remodeled railroad station. It's been a few years since we last played there and we're really looking forward to our return performance. Tickets are $15 at the door,  $10 for MFAC members.


Milford Center for the Arts
40 Railroad Ave South
Milford, CT 06460
203-878-6647, 203-882-0969
Tickets $15, MFAC member $10


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Run Little Rabbit Run Run

Our friend Wells caught us having a "Little Rabbit" fun at Crazy Beans last Saturday night.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crazy Beans April 12, 2014

Rooster Rick, Bushman Harmonica, and Larrivee 000-50 Guitar
@ Crazy Beans Cafe  - photo by Ed Neale

Join us this Saturday night for an evening of Homegrown fun at Crazy Beans Cafe in Miller Place. Looks like we are doing the first set as a trio, (Rick Georgianne, and Annalee) then Erica will be joining in with her fiery fiddle for the second set. The show is free, keep these live music events going, support the venue by having a snack, coffee, tea, or a cold beer and support the band by tossing some cash into the tip jar. The show starts at 7:00 pm.


 465 Route 25A
Miller Place, NY 11764
(631) 403-4954



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Backyard Maple Sugaring - 2014

Backyard Cinder Block Maple Syrup Evaporator
March 11, 2014 Day 1:
Year two of maple sugaring, finally the weather cooperates, today I boiled down 30 gallons of sap and bottled three quarts of grade A Long Island maple syrup. I was much better prepared this year than I was for my inaugural attempt last year. This time around I had a good supply of dried, seasoned, fire wood and some proper pans with plenty of surface area. It was also a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 60s so I was working in jeans and a tee shirt. A good day to boil sap. One more day of boiling and we'll be good 'til next year. How sweet it is!


March 15, 2014 Day 2:
It was a lot colder today than Tuesday, more of a traditional sugaring day. I managed to collect 20-25 gallons of sap between Tuesday and today (Sunday.) This was enough to keep me busy for  about eight hours of boiling and yielded two plus quarts of tasty maple syrup. The finished syrup seems to be a little darker than last year, maybe because of the hotter fire and increased volume?, but tastes just as good.


March 21, 2014 Day 3: 
Day 3 once again yielded a little more than two quarts of syrup, but it took a lot longer than day 2. I think my sap may have gotten contaminated with rain water. I was also getting down to bottom of my wood pile and the wood was a little damp which made it much harder to keep the fire hot and the boil steady. This brings my total for the season up to a little less than two gallons. Unless I come across a pile of nice dry wood this weekend, I will probably pull my taps this week and move on to the next project.


Snow in Rocky Point March 31, 2014
April 1, 2014 Day 4: 
Nearly a month later than I pulled my taps last year I still had three trees producing sap, so I covered my buckets with plastic bags and  waited for the rain to end. After three days of rain, and a surprise snow storm that left four inches of snow on the ground, I had collected  about 10 or 12 gallons of sap. Today was a beautiful day with bright sun and temps in the 50s, so I pulled my taps and boiled down a quart, plus a half cup, of syrup. This brings my total for the season up to two gallons and one pint.


 photos by Rick Jackofsky

2013 Sugaring Blog
2015 Sugaring Blog 
2016 Sugaring Blog

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Whittling Away the Winter Blues

Well, this has been one of the longest winters I've seen in a while. The music business is always slow this time of year, but this year has been even slower than usual. The bright side is we haven't had to travel in foul weather or worry about last minute show cancellations (my glass is always half full). Now we finally have a couple shows to tell you about. This Sunday, March 9, 2014, we will be "flying" off to Tenafly, NJ, for a free show at the Tenafly Public Library. The show starts at 2:00 pm. Daylight savings time starts at 2:00 am, so don't forget to spring ahead or you might not get that front row seat. Saturday April 12, 2014 well be back at The Crazy Beans Cafe in Miller Place for a 7:00 pm show.

I  always look for some interesting way to spend my time when we're not traveling. Two years ago I used our down time to put together my banjo tutorial, Ragged but Right: The Ungentle Art of Clawhammer Banjo. Last year I restored a couple of old banjos and took up maple sugaring. This year the weather has even been too cold to make syrup. The daytime temps need to be above freezing for the sap to run, but this year we haven't had more than two or three days in a row where the mercury has risen past the 32 degree mark. This winter I conquered my winter cabin fever by teaching myself some whittling and woodcarving. So far I've made 20 wooden spoons using only hand tools. I rough out the spoons using a hand axe and finish them with knives, gouges and sandpaper. I should have a nice inventory by the time the Rocky Point Farmers Market opens on Mothers Day, May 11th. In the meantime I have a few up for sale on my online shop.

Tenafly Public Library
100 Riveredge Road
Tenafly, New Jersey 07670
201-568-8680

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Remembering Johnny Cash 1932 - 2003

Johnny Cash was born 82 years ago today in Kingsland, Arkansas. He passed away in September of 2003 leaving behind an incredible body of work that influenced a generation. This is a video of The Man Who Dressed in Black, a song I wrote about six months before he died. The video was made in March of 2010 at the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, CT.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Homegrown Three at Crazy Beans


Enough with the ice and snow! Time to get out and make some music. This Saturday night (2/22/14) the Homegrown Trio will be shakin' off  The Snow Shoveling Blues and rockin' the roots of American music at  Crazy Beans  in Miller Place. So come on down, have a nice cup of joe, hot tea, (or a cold beer) and support the local music scene. We'll be playing from 7pm 'til around 9pm.  

Admission is free and easy. (631) 403-4954

Crazy Beans
465 Route 25A
Miller Place, NY 11764