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End of June update…

Hey All y’all!

Yep, we’ve been spending some time in the south. Can someone remind me what it’s like to have a shower and not feel hot and sticky 5 minutes later? It’s been a hot summer in more ways than one so far… And the humidity has been outrageous – I have been enduring hair issues (frizzy on my head, loose on my bow). But I have been having so much fun despite all of this that I really don’t mind. I can endure nearly anything for music and excitement like we’ve had the past few weeks. And summer’s only begun!

The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival in Tryon, NC (where we kicked off our June tour) was great! We heard some great music there and ate some mighty tasty ribs. We hung out in Lake Lure for a couple of days beforehand with Marc, Marie & Clay’s family which was swell. Clay’s neck of the woods is purty darn nice and we love spending time there. We went swimming between practicing and eating (more eating…I know…we seem to do a lot of that!)

From there we headed to Independence, VA for the Peach Bottom Farm Fiddle & Strings camp. I’ve done this camp a few times now and each year it just gets better and better. I was especially thrilled to spend time with my good friend Shane Cook who was also teaching there. The instructors were first class, students were keen, jams were great, the scenery is amazing there – the camp has a real family vibe to it. I was sorry to see the week end. You should all come there next year – it’s really growing and will fill up quickly so stay tuned for their 2011 dates!

I had to duck out of camp immediately when it ended at noon on Friday because that night I had a special gig in Nashvegas! As some of you might know I was honoured to perform at the Station Inn with the John Hartford String Band at their CD Release Concert for “Memories of John”. It was a long drive to TN and then back to VA, but 10 minutes in the green room with those musicians made it all worth it before we even stepped on stage. What a thrill! And so many touching moments in tribute to John. There are some videos on my youtube channel you can check out, featuring the JHSB and other special guests as well, including Casey Driessen, Alison Brown & David Grier!

The next day we drove back to Virginia, to Elk Creek, to visit with wonderful fiddler and great friend Jerry Correll & his lovely wife Donna. We had a jam session and went fishing in the New River. It was my first time wading. I caught 3 fish (and Jerry let me reel one of his in so I’m not counting that one!) It was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again!

From there I flew to Minnesota for my first time at Brian Wicklund’s fiddle camp – Lake Country Fiddle Pal Camp. There are so many amazing people in this world and I feel so lucky to do what I do and get to meet so many of them. Everywhere I go there are people I feel so fortunate to meet and get to know and my week in Marine on St. Croix was no exception. This is another exceptional camp with truly fantastic teachers (I learned a bunch from them) and I highly recommend you check it out if that’s your “thing”.

My friends Bill & Kate Isles picked me up after camp and I’m hanging with them for a couple of days until I fly to WY for the gig we have there this week (on Canada Day actually! Happy Canada Day everyone!) Last night we played a gig in Falcon Heights at Coffee Grounds, tomorrow we’re doing a TV spot at 6 AM (yikes!) and some other promo stuff. I’ll be catching up on emails and work and getting a bit of rest before I leave on Wednesday. And I won’t have to say good bye to them for long as I’m joining them for a bunch of dates in July after the Swannanoa Camp’s fiddle week! 

And that my friends is the report from Bill & Kate’s deck.  Until next time, take care and have fun!