Bonbright Distributors and Sweetwater Brewing team up for the coolest Ural bike ever.

Let’s be clear, Ural Motorcycles are cool straight off of the trailer. But when Bonbright Distributors of Ohio signed a deal to bring the popular Sweetwater Brewing of Atlanta to southwestern Ohio, they pulled out the stops on a custom Ural motorcycle to mark the occasion and they hit a HOME RUN. This super cool URAL hits all the notes for most of the beer swilling trout bums I know. Also, Urals are pretty affordable, so this isn’t going to be some trailer queen. This baby is meant to be ridden and will certainly get dusty on some back roads.

Gentlemen, this is your ride.

Featuring custom laser etched oxblood Bison leather seats, kick ass trout and 420 Pale Ale themed brand graphics all around, a custom CNC-cut logo gas cap, and custom tied chartreuse and olive grizzly schlappen fly key chain (tied by yours truly on a 55mm Partridge of Reddich Waddington shank), this is one bad ass way to get the river in style.

And with the sidecar, your fishing buddy doesn’t have to ride bitch and make things all awkward. Nice.

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The bike will be on display tonight at the launch of the new partnership at Riverscape Metro Parks in Dayton Ohio.

Tickets for the launch party are available at the Bonbright Facebook page.

 

Leftover x Breckenridge = Tasty Tunes & Brew

The original intersection of Fly FIshing and Bluegrass Leftover Salmon is collaborating with Breckenridge Brewery by releasing some new tunes in a 12 pack sampler with a collection of sweet  coasters to match. Talk about a cross promotional Gold Mine that I can get behind, yeah!

Sign me UP! Now the one thing I will  have to overcome, and believe me I will overcome it, is that those sampler packs tend to be a way to get rid of beers that didn’t sell all that well, at least that’s the way I view them. But I can get over that to support some good tunes and good beer.

Nice work Breckenridge and LOS!

There is a contest, but who needs contests, I’ll pay for the beer and the tunes, and call it good. Not sure where the 12 Packs will be sold, but I’m guessing anywhere you can find Breckenridge Beer. So go get you some.

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The new Leftover Salmon songs are all inspired by Fine Colorado Ales, the Colorado lifestyle, and the beauty that Colorado has to offer. It made perfect sense to package these songs with our beers and give folks the full Colorado experience.

Each song download is released alongside an Artist Series coaster that will come packaged inside our 12-pack Sampler Packs. The artists consist of four well-known artists from the “Rock Art” community, including Gary HoustonJeff Wood,Nate Duval, and Tyler Stout. In addition to the coasters, each artist is printing a limited run of posters.
The song download coasters will start shipping out with Breckenridge Brewery beers in July. Be sure to look for the specially marked 12-pack Sampler Packs.
Dear Bluegrass police, (I’m looking at you Terry 🙂 While Leftover Salmon is not “pure” old-school Flatt and Scruggs or Monroe, it’s close enough, so please do not revoke my membership card. I promise to repent, and for my penance do 20 rounds of Wheel Hoss, 20 rounds of Sally Goodin, and 20 Verses of Blue Moon of Kentucky (the slow part — it’s more meaningful.) 

Jeff Austin in our little old town of Troy? YES INDEED at the Elks Lodge no less…

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So I just bought tickets for a Jeff Austin and the Here and Now show at the Troy Elk’s Lodge.

It’s listed on the Stop Over site as Jeff Austin and the Here And Now Bluegrass Jam.

His official site has him listed as playing a few other shows as well. The Market Street Stage you can see for $5.00. WORD!

Troy Memorial Stadium – Troy, OH

w/Mumford & Sons’ the Gentleman Of The Road tour. More info here

Friday, Aug. 30th: 4:30pm-5:30pm @ Market Street Stage & 11:45pm-2:00am @ Elks Lodge

Saturday, Aug. 31st: 12:00am-1:00am @ Market Street Stage

This is going to be a rude awakening for little old Troy, I hope the old people are ready to be jamming til the morning.

SmithFly Digi-Pouch makes cameo appearance in BF Goodrich’s Playground Earth Episode 3 “Browns Rising”

Through creative editing most soft goods brands like SmithFly, even the big names, were not featured very prominently in this episode of BF Goodrich’s Playground Earth. But if you watch carefully, and we know you will, a SmithFly Digi-Pack makes a cameo appearance at min 2:36. After all BF Goodrich paid for the production and it wasn’t cheap so we TOTALLY understand why they wouldn’t want our name plastered all over their cool video, we get it.

But yeah we still made the cut, which is pretty awesome and proves that we aren’t making this stuff up.

Louis actually likes the Digi-Pouch. Here is a link to his effusive review:

The Smithfly Switch Belt and Digi pouch, Fly Fishing Gear That I Can’t Live Without

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The choice of music is rather nice too, some claw hammer banjo stuff. We love that! Our complements to the production team on selecting some evocative music that captures the contemplative nature of fly fishing. Wait, did I just use contemplative and banjo in the same paragraph? Ah well…

Do you know what the three most difficult years in a banjo players life are?

3rd grade…

Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Troy Ohio with Mumford and Sons — a preview.

Ok — so as most who read this blog with regularity know that I am generally a card carrying member of the BLUEGRASS POLICE. As such I have the right to preform citizens arrests for such offenses as: Playing Songs in the wrong Key, mis-use of a banjo, calling things bluegrass that clearly aren’t, and bluegrass style cover tunes that are just plain wrong-ditty.

As a member of the Bluegrass Police it has been my duty to call out anyone, who in conversation, calls the band Mumford and Sons Bluegrass. I have fulfilled my duty in this charge numerous times since this band came into the spotlight with banjos in tow. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them or their music. In fact I like their music and the band a great deal and think they have pushed the boundaries of traditional acoustic music in ways that are un-imaginable. They have had such a huge influence and have put the banjo and acoustic instruments on stages and in front of audiences that have largely ignored them for years, and for that fact alone, the Bluegrass world owes them an eternal debt of gratitude.

So with that in mind, I must say that I am totally fucking stoked that Mumford and Sons chose my sleepy little hamlet of Troy, Ohio to host a Gentlemen of the Road Stopover. FULL STOP. This is HUGE for Troy and hopefully will shake the town out of it’s stodgy ways for good! Let’s get some cool stuff going for little old troy again.

Here is a video primer on what to expect from the stop over. I can’t wait.

I just heard that another set of tickets are set to be released to the otherwise sold-out show this friday.

The only thing I’m bummed about is that they haven’t called me to sit in with them — yet. My agent is working on that though…

Here’s the line-up:

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What does Starsky and Hutch have in common with Ernest Hemingway’s car? find out in Cuban Soul…

I just saw this posted and thought I would share. It’s really very interesting. I can’t wait to see the whole film. I’m not sure how they can verify that is in fact Hemingway’s car… but hopefully they can. On a side note, I’m not sure how I feel about this kind of idolatry. At a certain level it’s just an old car, like a lot of others in Cuba. It’s interesting, but really the writing that Hemingway left behind is the important stuff, not necessarily the artifacts that surrounded him in life. Like his boat, his cats, or his whiskey (DOH! that’s a Kenny Cheesy album… never mind about that)

Cool story with internet rabbit hole is below.


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I returned last night from Havana and a week filming with acting-singing legend David Soul (most famously Hutch from the 1970s cult TV show Starsky & Hutch).

What a fabulous experience as we followed the trail of Ernest Hemingway’s long-lost 1955 Chrysler New Yorker convertible, the “discovery” of which I reported in my May 6, 2011 blog post: “Hemingway’s Chrysler to be Restored in Cuba”. Back then things looked promising. Various yanks, not least Bill Greffin of the Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, had promised assistance.

I made several more visits, each time bringing Ada Rosa, of the Museo Hemingway, useful documents such as a CD of the original maintenance manual for the 1955 Chrysler New Yorker. The Chrysler Corporation even offered support.

Then things went south. Killed dead by the U.S. embargo.

Enter stage left David Soul…

David has been a decade-long cubaphile, and the island has held an allure for him since as a boy he became enthralled by Hemingway’s Nobel-prize-winning novel, Old Man and the Sea. On his travels around the isle, David has recorded with the country’s top recording artists, such as Buena Fe and Eliades Ochoa. He also befriended Ada Rosa, who in September 2012 told him of her problem in sourcing replacement parts for Hemingway’s near-derelict Chrysler.

She threw her hands in the air in despair over the paltry U.S. aid filtering through the embargo… and at her urgent need to secure the hard-to-locate parts necessary to restore the car in time for the 14th International Hemingway Colloquium, to be held in Havana, June 20-23, 2013.

Ada Rosa asked for David’s help. “Sure, I’ll do it!” he said, although he knew absolutely nothing about restoring an automobile. Fortunately, as a full-time British resident and British citizen, David could source and send the parts legally. He contacted the U.K. magazine, Practical Classics, who’s editor, Danny Hopkins, got enthused. Hey presto! Financing was soon forthcoming and parts were located and secured.

The complete newbie’s guide to Bluegrass… the list of folks you should listen to and why.

A while ago a younger co-worker, who’d heard I played and listened to quite a bit of Bluegrass, asked me where he should start if he wanted to check out some REAL bluegrass. I was cleaning out my sent mail and found that email.

The following is what I sent him. with some updated notes of what to stay away from to spice things up a bit.

It depends on what you are looking for, there are in fact, a bunch of different sub-genres in the bluegrass realm. Primarily you have three groups — Old-School Traditional, Modern/Contemporary (but still fairly Traditional) and then Lunatic fringe Progressive Bluegrassers who branch out a bit  into other things (jazz-classical-fusion, that sort of thing)

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The Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe

For the ORIGINAL Old School stuff you want the following:

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys – For Monroe the mid 1940s-1950s is best era, but its all good, he is the Father of Bluegrass after all, listen and memorize — it’s the truth.

Flatt and Scruggs – Everything is good but the older the  better, in the 70s they got a little “comedic” – but Earl is the man.

Jimmy Martin – Again older the better, Sunny Side of the Mountain and Freeborn Man — amazing stuff.

The Osborne Brothers – 1970s got a bit country with the addition of drums, so older is better.

JD Crowe and the New South – Everything is good, all of it, original line up with Tony Rice and Picky Ricky Skaggs is gospel.

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Original New South: JD,Tony, Ricky, Jerry

Modern Progressive (Contemporary)

Lonesome River Band – Older stuff from Sugar Hill Records era

Nashville Bluegrass Band – Any Album is fantastic (my ringtone is NBB, Garfield’s Black Berry Blossom)

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder – any recent album is top notch it’s called

Del McCoury Band – Del and the Boys by far his best album, classic version of RIchard Thompson’s 1952 vincent black lightning

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver – Any album early stuff uses electric bass, look for stuff with Jamie Daily singing

The Bluegrass Album Band – it’s an all-star line-up playing it straight and traditional.

Sam Bush Band

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The Lunatic Fringe Progressive Bluegrass:

Sam Bush – Any Album, but most have drums and electric instruments so not strictly grass.

Tony Rice – Listen to as much Tony Rice as possible, nuff said.

Bela Fleck – the Bluegrass Sessions album is good (everything else is weird, and there’s a good chance not even close to bluegrass)

Jerry Douglas – Anything is great, but he wanders around into other stuff like jazz, just a warning.

Peter Rowan – his stuff with Tony Rice is the best, be prepared for some Native American hollerin’

Tim O’brien – He is all over the map but one of my favorites, really interesting blend of Irish and Bluegrass, very tasteful

*** Note: Ok so maybe calling the latter group lunatic fringe TODAY, is being conservative. There are quite a few NEW bands who are pushing the genre in a multitude of directions MUCH farther than the Mahavishnu Mountain Boys listed above, but you know, if you run into old folks at festivals, this is the way they think about this music. It’s still on the outside of the core of Bluegrass.

Things to stay away from as an early listener or participant (player/learner):

Old Crowe Medicine Show: It’s not Bluegrass, it’s an outgrowth of old time music and there’s too much irony in it. Hollerin and shouting and acting like a fool when you play fiddle may be entertaining in bar when everyone’s drunk, but in the REAL Bluegrass world it won’t engender much respect form the elders.

Mumford and Sons: Again not Bluegrass. It’s interesting music, but NEVER call it Bluegrass. Yes it has a Banjo but it ain’t Bluegrass.

Avett Brothers: Again Do not call it Bluegrass. My old band used to open for the Avett Brothers when they came through Columbus. They are REALLY nice guys and I like them a lot. Was very fortunate to have that brush with greatness. But don’t barge into a jam circle around a campfire at a festival and expect everyone to join in why you bang away on every song you’ve memorized of theirs. It’s not going to go over well.

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: Good songwriters, but not Bluergass. I love them! But don’t call it Bluergass.

The Civil Wars: Boring, and again, not Bluergass.

Punch Borthers: Yes Mr Thile is a freak of nature, his playing is off the charts amazing and so is this whole band’s. But don’t try to emulate this, it will spoil you into thinking that everything in Bluegrass is a fireworks show. Monroe always said, play the melody, and if you listen close to what the Punch Brohters play, they play the melody, it’s just hidden in mind-blowing amazing-ness. But don’t worry you can’t play like that, so don’t try, there is a good chance it will suck.

Yonder Mountain String Band: These guys have wandered off the reservation into uncharted jam band territory. It’s cool, but there ain’t much bluegrass in it anymore.

Yo-Yo Ma / Joshua Bell et al: I like this stuff, but don’t call it bluegrass. It’s good for whatever it is, but please don’t tell everyone at work how much you LOVE this new bluegrass album by Yo-Yo Ma. Seriously, it’s like telling people how much fun you had at the “Football” tournament, but you were actually attending Rugby games. You’ll sound like an idiot.