As the old saying goes, when it rains it pours.

After the last couple of blog entries, I was happily contemplating a short retirement to enjoy Amber’s last years before college. I figured that by then, I would be ready to jump back into something and be refreshed. What I didn’t count on was the great people who have been helped in some small way by my videos and books. I want to thank each and every one of you that have gone out of your way to say some very nice things about what I do. After some serious contemplation, I will be back very, very soon.

I would be lying if I said that I don’t thoroughly enjoy making my videos, teaching and helping out anyone who asks. It has really been a great thing and I enjoy every single minute. It is a great feeling when someone you don’t know sends you a message from out of the blue thanking you for showing them how to play their favorite song or understanding a technique they had read about.

I had decided to go back to creating videos and teaching full time again when the other shoe dropped. There has been only one gig in the last 5 years that I have actually pursued. Usually someone calls me and then I’ll either do it, or give it to someone else. I’ve really enjoyed the intimacy of playing in a living room or backyard of someone’s home. I was getting the itch to go back on the road, but I didn’t really feel like scratching it yet. I had decided to perform at one place that is always great and treats me like family. I was ready to go there and do my thing when my email inbox starting filling up with potential gigs around the Midwest from out of the blue.

Needless to say, I said yes to all of them. I didn’t even hesitate. The itch was there and now it was being handed to me, so I just took it.

Now for those of you counting at home, that’s three full time jobs. My regular job, teaching and videos and now back to the pubs. What that means is that there will probably be less time for the teaching and videos so I have to prioritize what I want to do. Teaching means money, but the videos help many for free. What I decided after about 30 seconds of thinking about it is, my teaching is going to have to be scaled back. My plan is to still offer two videos a week, when I can and I’ll fit in lessons around everything else. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of “graduations” in the last few months so I am just not going to fill those slots.

If that was enough of a plateful to make a glutton think twice, I’ve decided to finish a project that I’ve been working on for a while. I had recorded some video of basic frailing/clawhammer techniques and gave them  to get feedback and pointers. It seems that I am on to something that can help people play banjo, so I am going to re-record the videos and produce them for purchase.

The project is called “The Folksinger’s Guide to Clawhammer and Frailing Banjo”. It covers all of the basics to get someone started on their journey to accompanying themselves and others with the 5-string banjo. It includes subjects such from tuning the banjo to the basic strum to drop thumbing to using the capo. It was a lot of fun making the prototype, but I am really looking forward to making the final copy.

So the plate is full, but I am still taking the weekend off!!! I’ll be back soon and until then, thank you very, very much for sticking with me!