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.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


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