Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Introducing.....Banjo Slim (AKA: my brother!)

I am taking a departure from my regular blog topics, (namely things I bitch about, LOL!) to use another favorite B-word....BRAG!  I want to blow the horn about my amazing and talented brother.  He has started a newsletter and I am helping him to expand his audience and fan base by sharing it here.  So, let me introduce the fantastic Jason Weiss....Banjo Slim himself!

BanjoSlim's April 2012 eNewsletter           

Hello Everybody,

Welcome to the second issue of the BanjoSlim eNewsletter! You are the fortunate receiver of this bounty of musical information because you are on my mailing list. If you would like to be removed, please send an email to jason@banjoslim.com. Please forward this eNewsletter to anyone who might be interested in it.

March was filled with music, but it ended with sadness. On March 28, my hero, the legendary Earl Scruggs passed away at the age of 88. His place of prominence in the banjo world is well known by all. Though he didn't invent it, he revolutionized the three-finger picking technique, turning it from a rare novelty to a unified approach to playing any and all music on the banjo. What I am most grateful to him for, though, is that he pioneered the transformation of the banjo from a demeaned comedian's prop to a respected virtuoso's instrument.

Plow @ Urban Solace, North Park

The Tail Draggers @ Bluegrass Day at Flower Fields, Carlsbad

Plow @ Winston's, Ocean Beach, opening for Ten Mile Tide

Plow @ Adams Ave Unplugged, Adams Park Stage

Plow @ Adams Ave Unplugged, Kensington Cafe

The Tail Draggers on KSON's Bluegrass Special with Wayne Rice

The Tail Draggers @ SDBS Feature Band Night, Boll Weevil, Kearny Mesa

Plow @ the Train Song Festival, Old Poway Park

Please visit my website at banjoslim.com for more information and updates.

After a discussion at the last Thursday Jam, I've decided to leave "Bluegrass Basics" on the website and perpetually open to revision. Instead of having preprinted copies of the entire songbook, jam regulars can print out copies of individual songs to keep in a folder. I will print out some easily amendable copies of the songbook for audience members and those who don't want to bother with maintaining a folder. This system will allow us the freedom to revise the songbook whenever we wish. And since Banjo Bob started this jam to be primarily a learning environment, we can select tunes that highlight musical lessons to be learned, for example.

Banjo Benny asked me to pass on the message that he is forming a band. Talk to him at the jam for more information if you're interested.

Although I've have it for a couple of years now, I'm finally going to get with the program and start using my twitter account. Of course, I have a facebook accounts that I've been using for years. Please friend, follow, like, tweet, and poke me at twitter.com/banjoslim and facebook.com/banjoslim.

Though Plow had planned to record our St. Patrick's Day show up in Wynola last month, the weather had other plans. That day saw plenty of rain and snow, and with it, too many variables to risk an expensive venture such as professional mobile recording. However, Plow is still eager to do a live recording, so further bulletins as events warrant.

On the subject of recordings, the Sickstring Outlaws have finished work on our upcoming album, "Johnny Drank Jack." Production is complete and I already have an advance copy. It really looks great (I know it sounds great because we got Dennis Caplinger to lay down a bunch of tracks!). I warn you: bluegrass it is not. The Sickstring Outlaws play a rowdy form of old country music that the leader Ron Houston calls "outlaw country." On the album, I play both acoustic and electric banjo, but when we play live, I play solely electric.  The album will be released very soon; we're just looking for the right venue for a release party. Check out thesickstringoutlaws.com or my website for information.

My own recording project is still on track to be released this summer. No name yet, but since one track is named "San Diego Home," I might use that name for the whole album.

My friends from the Julian Family Fiddle Camp wanted me to convey some information: There's still room for guitar and mandolin players at this month's camp. Also, there's going to be a huge jam at Town Hall on Main Street in Julian at 12:30PM on Saturday, April 14th, and musicians get a 10% discount on anything bought in town on that day. See familyfiddlecamp.com for more information, and a list of some great weekend concerts happening up there.

My friend and guitarist extraordinaire Alex Finazzo just published his own website! Check it out at afinazzo.com.

And in case you haven't seen it yet, the fiddle and mandolin phenom (and Thursday Jam alum) John Mailander has a website at johnmailander.com.

That concludes this installment of the BanjoSlim eNewsletter! If you're still reading, thank you very much for staying with me to the very end!


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