On August 9, 2017, The Homegrown String Band™ Trio will be sailing across The Sound and scooting up to Cape Cod for a Wednesday evening show at The Jonathan Bourne Public Library in Bourne, MA. The show is outside, (weather permitting) free, and starts at 7:00 pm
On Friday July 21, 2017 The Homegrown String Band™ Trio (Rick, Georgianne, & Annalee) will be presenting their Unbroken Circle Program at The Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, New York. The show starts at 7pm with an opening set by Fiddle Frenzy a local youth fiddle ensemble. Our portion of the show will feature traditional songs that have been recycled by and kept alive by commercial country, folk, pop, and rock artists.
This looks like a beautiful venue. The new library building opened in 2009 and in 2016 The Albert Wisner Library was named "Best Small Library" by Library Journal.
Two library shows this weekend. Saturday starting at 2:30 pm we will be bringing our "Unbroken Circle" program to The Suffern Free Library in Suffern, NY. This program features traditional music that has been reintroduced to contemporary popular music listeners by people like The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, & Nirvana. The following day, we will be performing our mix of original and traditional music at the Fort Lee Public Library in Fort Lee, NJ. The Fort Lee show starts at 2:00 pm.
This Sunday, June 4th, from 2 pm to 5 pm The Homegrown String Band™ will once again, be part of the festivities at The Sayville Historical Society's annual "Day on the Farm." Try your hand at grinding corn, churning ice cream, quilting and old-fashioned games. Pet the baby animals and enjoy the Homegrown String Band's high-energy music.
Edwards Farm is located on Edwards Street at the corner of Collins Avenue, one block south of Main Street, Sayville, NY. 11782
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday morning Annalee and I tapped seven sugar maples in our yard to kick off my fifth year of backyard maple sugaring. By the end of the week I had collected about 25 gallons of sap, so Friday was my first day of boiling.
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.
Tuesday February 21, 2017 - Day 2, Year 5
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.
Join us, The Homegrown String Band™ at 2 pm on "Super" Sunday, February 5th, as we present our show "An Anthology of American Folk Music" at The Port Jefferson Free Library. This show will feature original arrangements of songs that were included on Harry Smith's 1952 seminal six LP collection, as well some other country and blues music that was recorded between 1927 and 1932, "The Golden Age of American Music." This was an important period in the history of American popular music that took place from the time that new technology made high quality recordings and radio broadcasts possible up until the downturn of the "Great Depression."
The show is FREE, you can call ahead to reserve your seat. 631-473-0022
We started playing music together as a family in 1994. Our first stage performance was in January 1997, 20 years ago this month. Later that year we branded our nuclear family band; The Homegrown String Band™ - "The Family That Plays Together." Join us on Friday January 20th, from 7 to 8:30 pm, as we celebrate 20 years of family style acoustic American music and dance.