Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pearl River Public Library • 3 pm - November 1, 2015

Join us for an afternoon of high energy acoustic roots music as The Homegrown String Band™ performs a program featuring original arrangements of traditional songs that have been covered by modern and classic rock, folk, and pop artists; including The Grateful Dead, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, John Prine, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and maybe, even one done by Anna Kendrick.

3 pm Sunday November 1, 2015
80 Franklin Ave
Pearl River, NY

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

HGSB at The Long Island Fair October 3rd & 4th, 2015

Founded in 1841  as the Queens County Agricultural Society, The Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties is one of the oldest agricultural societies in the United States. The Society has sponsored a fair on Long Island since 1842.

Long Island Fairgrounds - Harpers, October 5, 1867​

This weekend The Homegrown String Band™ will be playing two sets on Sunday (2pm & 4pm)  at the Long island Fair which takes place on the grounds of the Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage, NY. If the weather is fair we will be playing on a stage under the flagpole pictured in the Harpers illustration above. If the weather is un-fair we will move into the Exposition Building shown in the background.


Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Hudson Valley Garlic Festival - Saugerties, NY

This weekend, September 26th & 27th, The 27th Annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival at Cantine Field in Saugerties, NY. Five stages of music plus puppets, theater, lectures, food, and crafts. The Homegrown String Band™ will be on the Pavilion Stage for three sets each day.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bradstock to Woodstock

This weekend (Sept. 5 & 6) we'll be at Bradstock in Center Moriches, NY, for a Saturday 12:30 pm set on the Flower Power Stage and then we're off to, the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts to do a show on Sunday at 11:30 am as part of their Fall Harvest Festival.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Village Green - Patchouge, NY - July 25, 2015

Saturday July 25, 2015 The Homegrown String Band at New Village on the green in Patchogue, NY.

1:00 to 3:30 pm

1 Village Green
Patchogue, NY 11772

Thursday, July 16, 2015

West Milford, NJ - Monday Night Under the Tent

Monday night, @ 7 pm, July 20th, The Homegrown String Band™ will be performing as part of West Milford, New Jersey's summer concert series, "Monday Nights Under the Tent," sponsored by the West Milford Township Library. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of rain we will move to Town Hall.

West Milford Township Library
1490 Union Valley Road
West Milford, NJ 07480

 Call 973-728-2820 for Directions and Contact information

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Town Crier July 9th 2015

"Recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer, our father has created a "bucket list" of things he would love to do with the time he has left. My siblings and I are working to try to fulfill as many of these as we can. One wish our father had was to play with a family band from Long Island whom he has admired for years. With the gracious help of the band themselves, we have a date for this concert to happen. Depending on how his health is at this time, Paul will be playing AT LEAST a song or more with the band! We feel so lucky to have the kindness of others to help Dad make these wishes come true. We sincerely hope you can join us to celebrate his life and his passion for music!"  - Emmie Maass

There will be a $15 cover charge, and if we book a full house, some of the proceeds will go to helping to fund additional items on Paul's list! Tickets are now available for preorder tickets online!

Monday, June 29, 2015

HG3 - Fourth of July at the New Rochelle Grand Market

Join The Homegrown String Band™ Trio, Homegrown 3.0, for a special Fourth of July celebration at the New Rochelle Downtown Grand Market. Food, music, and other community programs throughout the day. The event takes place on Library Green; our set runs from 12 to 1pm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Homegrown String Band - Field Recordings: Vol. I

The Homegrown String Band™ is proud to announce the release of a "new" live CD, "Field Recordings: Volume I." The album was recorded at four separate performances in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, between 2004 and 2010. It includes thirteen music tracks as well as a snippet from a radio interview. The CD is currently available (for $10) at HGSB gigs, by mail (free shipping) from us (PO Box 1251 Rocky Point, NY 11778) and on CD Baby. It will also be on Apple Music and in the near future. We will be celebrating the release of our new CD (as well as the life of Paul Maass) at our upcoming show at The Towne Crier in Beacon, NY, on Thursday July 9, 2015.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Banjo Picking Girl

I married the Banjo Picking Girl thirty six years ago today.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Family on the Farm

"The Family That Plays Together" at the Sayville Historical Society's Edwards Farm Day.

photo by Ed Neale

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Edwards Farm Day Sayville, NY - June 7, 2015

Our Hostess Constance Currie of The Sayville Historical Society
One of our favorite days of the year! On Sunday, June 7th from 2-5 pm The Sayville Historical Society will host its "Afternoon on the Edwards Farm" at the corner of Edwards Street and Collins Avenue one block south of Butera's Restaurant. It is a wonderful event for young families that includes baby animals, hands-on quilting and weaving activities, churning homemade ice cream, planting seeds, grinding corn and playing old fashioned games. The Home Grown String Band will play their signature high-energy music! All are welcome. Admission is $4 per person and $15 for a family of four. Call 631 563-0186 for more information.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jean Ritchie Passes in Kentucky at Age 92

Kentucky folk singer and mountain dulcimer player (and builder) Jean Ritchie passed away yesterday. Jean came to NY in the 1940s, she and her husband George Pickow lived in Port Washington (on Long Island) for many years. Some years ago, when we were performing at the Port Washington Library, Jean and George came to see us. I didn't know they were in the audience until I offered a free Homegrown String Band CD to anyone in the audience who knew who Lily Mae Ledford or Tommy Jarrell were. Of course Jean knew who they were, she knew each personally, and had played music with both of them. Jean had a regal and (to my eyes) larger than life presence, she would have been American folk music royalty, if there was such a thing

Monday, May 4, 2015

Homegrown String Band 3.0 at The Darlington Arts Center May 9, 2015

The Homegrown String Band™ Trio will be appearing at the Darlington Arts Center in Garnett Valley, PA on Saturday May 9th. There will be an open mic starting at 7:30, our show starts at 8:00 pm. General Admission Tickets are $15 ($10 for members) This is a real nice intimate listening room in the Philadelphia area, check it out!

Monday, April 27, 2015

HGSB @ T.O.B. Distinguished Artist Series - 5/02/15

On Saturday May 2, 2015 The Homegrown String Band will be rolling in to Syosset for a special performance at The Syosset Public Library. The show is part of the Town of Oyster Bay's Distinguished Artist Series. The concert starts at 7:30pm and is free to the public, seating available on a first come first serve basis.

225 South Oyster Bay Road
Syosset, NY 11791-5897
(516) 921-7161

Friday, April 24, 2015

Spillway Dam Clawhammer Banjo Bridge

I just received this interesting handmade banjo bridge in the mail today. It was made by Don New of Wappapello, MO. He calls it The Spillway Dam Clawhammer Special. The unique design puts solid wood between each string and the banjo head. It also has a raised fifth string that keeps that string even with the other strings where the pot and the neck join, which is where most clawhammer playing takes place. So far I really like the way it plays. The thumb feels great and there seems to bit an increase in bass response and maybe a more even (mellower?) tone to the banjo.

Any fellow banjonauts (nuts) who want to check it out can see and hear it at one of our upcoming shows:

May 2, 2015, 7:30 pm at  The Syosset Public Library in Syosset, NY
May 9, 2015, 7:00 pm at The Darlington Arts Center in Garnet Valley. PA

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bridgewater Library Friends Concert Series - April 17th

On Friday April 17, 2015 The Homegrown String Band will be going over the river to Bridgewater, NJ for an evening of traditional and original American music presented by The Friends of the Bridgewater Township Library. The show starts at 7:30 pm and admission is free.

1 Vogt Dr.
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 526-4016

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sauerkraut Season

Making Sauerkraut photo by Rick Jackofsky
Sunday's gig at The Oceanside Library went great! We'd like to thank everyone who came out for the show as well as Eleanor and the rest of the library staff. I think the band played really well thanks, in part, to the large enthusiastic crowd and the acoustically friendly room . On the way home from the show we stopped at the local Stop & Shop to pick up twenty pounds of cabbage priced at 17 cents a pound in honor of good old St. Patrick. I spent all day Monday boiling sap to make maple syrup, then on Tuesday I set to shredding the cabbage. I started a 5 liter crock of sauerkraut along with 3 quarts of curtido. Curtido, a popular dish in El Salvador and other parts of Central America, is one of my favorite fermented foods. The best way to describe it would be, a Latin American version of kimchi, a spicy mix of lightly fermented cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, and chili. I'll leave the sauerkraut bubbling away for about two months, but the curtido will be ready to eat in a week or so.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Homegrown String Band at The Oceanside Library

I’ll be taking time out from my maple sugaring to join my fellow Homies for a gig this weekend. Maybe we’ll play  Maple Leaf Rag or  Sugarfoot Rag . . . well probably not, but we will be playing some original tunes as well as a few by the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, Leadbelly, The Carter Family, and Bob Dylan.

 The Homegrown String Band at The Oceanside Library 
Sunday, March 15th at 2pm
Free Show - Doors Open at 1:30.

30 Davison Ave Oceanside, NY 11572 (516) 766-2360

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Backyard Maple Sugaring Volume 3 - 2015

Day One - 2 1/2 Quarts of Maple Syrup  - photo by Rick Jackofsky
March 10, 2015 - Day 1:
What a long cold winter! Sugar time starts when the daytime temps are above freezing and overnight temps are still below freezing. Sunday was the first time the temperature cracked the freezing mark this year. I added a few more taps this year for a total of nine. Annalee and I tapped the trees Saturday morning and the sap was really flowing well Sunday and Monday. I got up early this morning determined to get in a good day of boiling before the rain started. Thanks to some nice dry wood, including some sappy pine that practically exploded when I put it in the fire, I was able to boil down about 25 gallons of sap for a yield of two and a half quarts of sweet Long Island maple syrup in only eight hours. My most productive sugaring day so far.

March 16, 2015 - Day 2:
Cinder Block Evaporator photo -  by Rick Jackofsky
The Zen of Maple Sugaring, Om my aching back! I got an early start this morning; I was out in the yard, slaving over my cinder block evaporator by 6:30 and had a good boil going by 7 am.  I ended up putting in a twelve hour day, I boiled about 35 gallons of sap, 10 gallons more than I did on Day 1, but my syrup yield only increased by one cup! My first thought was that my sap must have gotten contaminated with rain water. Last year my third day of boiling had a lower yield than day one and two which I also attributed to rain dilution, so this year I covered my buckets with plastic bags (secured with rubber bands). It didn't seem possible that I could have collected that much rain water, so I did some research. I found a 1956 study published by The University of Vermont which, in turn, cited an experiment done in 1895 that showed that the sugar content of maple sap fluctuates throughout the tapping season. Apparently, the initial flow of sap has a higher sugar concentration. The sugar content then goes down in subsequent flows before increasing again towards the end of the season. Who'd a thunk it! So I learned something new today . . . twelve hours of boiling sap is hard on a fifty eight year old back!

March 22, 2015 - Day 3:
Boiled 32 gallons of sap today to make three quarts of syrup. My collection buckets were overflowing yesterday and today. I pulled my taps, I still have about another 20 gallons of sap, but no more dry wood, so I'm done for the year. Total yield for the year, two gallons plus a cup. Next year I will cut back to 6 or 7 taps unless I come up with a more efficient evaporator and gather a bigger supply of wood.

2016 Sugar Diary

2014 Sugar Diary

2013 Sugar Diary

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

If the River Was Whiskey and I Was a Duck . . .

Took time out from snow shoveling to dig through our desk drawers. This is one of the treasures we unearthed; an eight minute video of The Homegrown String Band jamming with Ken "The Rocket" Korb and Artie Scholtz at The Riverhead Heritage Festival in September 2000. This was so much fun, I am so glad that Lisa Dabrowski captured it on video.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Juno Wasn't So Bad

Continuing the current trend of naming storms, our latest winter Nor' Easter was dubbed "Juno." The predicted "Snowpocalypse" wasn't as big or bad as advertised. We did get about two feet of snow along with howling wind and low temperatures, but the snow was the light and fluffy kind and the whole thing was over in about twelve hours. The town spread salt on the roads before the snow started to fall, so there really weren't any accumulations on the roads during the fist couple hours of the storm and the roads were quickly plowed during and after the big event; unlike the 2012 storm "Nemo" where we didn't see a plow for five days.

All told, we spent about four hours shoveling, but only got a mild case of The Snow Shoveling Blues.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Feeding The Homegrown String Band: Fermented Tofu

Spicy Fermented Tofu  - photo by Rick Jackofsky
We make a lot of our food "from scratch" and try to buy as little packaged food as possible. This not only keeps the bellies of us "starving artists" full on a low budget, it also provides us with healthier and better tasting food than the pre-packaged versions of traditional foods available from the supermarket. My Dad calls me "Dr. Fermento." There is always something bubbling away or incubating in our kitchen. Today I am starting a batch of tempeh, while Georgianne is making feta cheese. Earlier this week Georgianne made a half gallon of yogurt and I baked two loaves of bread, made a pound of tofu, and bottled up a half gallon of kombucha. Yesterday I made kefir, hard cranberry cider, and a batch of fermented tofu, which is basically moldy tofu marinated in shaoxing wine, sea salt, and hot pepper.

To make fermented tofu you cut up a block of firm tofu into one inch cubes, put them on a baking sheet between two tea towels and press them under a two pound of weight for two hours. The pressed tofu is then placed in a glass baking dish covered in plastic wrap (with a few holes poked through.) Then the fun(gi) begins: you leave the tofu out in a warm room (I used a bread proofer since our house is so cool this time of year) for two or three days until the tofu passes the three S test. When the tofu is Slimy, Splotchy, and Stinky it's time to marinate and refrigerate. You should let it sit in the fridge for at least a week or more; then you will have a creamy, spicy, pungent, delicious condiment that keeps indefinitely.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crazy Beans January 17th, 2015

This Saturday, January 17th, The full band will be doing some Jammin' at Crazy Beans in Miller Place. Come on down have a cup of coffee or a mug of beer with some Homegrown Jam. It's a free show (donations are much appreciated). We'll be playing from 7 pm 'til 9 pm or so.

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Homegrown Two Show January 11th on Long Island

Our first show of 2015 will be a Homegrown Two, aka: Cackle & Crow, show at the North Babylon Public Library. Georgianne and I will be performing from 2 to 3:30 pm on Sunday January 11th. The show will feature ballads, blues, and banjo tunes played on banjo, guitar, harmonica, dulcimer, banjo-uke, ukelele, and doumbek.  I'm really looking forward to performing some of the guitar/dulcimer duets Georgianne and I often play together at home as well as some solo clawhammer banjo tunes that don't usually make it into full band shows.

The Mountain Dulcimer, an American Musical Tradition

2:00 pm January 11, 2015  
815 Deer Park Avenue
North Babylon, NY 11703