Don’t miss the Henhouse Prowlers – Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Troy Elks Lodge $5

Tonight don’t miss the Henhouse Prowlers Live at the Troy Elks Lodge 11pm. They remind me a band from Columbus a while ago… well except that the fiddle player will agree to wear a tie like the rest of the band. This looks like the good stuff.

Young folks writing and performing new original traditional sounding Bluegrass. There was a time when it seemed like bands like these were popping up all over the place, and we were one of them. But now, the furry has died down a bit and I’m realizing just how rare the suit wearing, died in the wool, one microphone working, traditionalists are.

They even have the chicken thing working…

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


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.

Little Miss Cutthroat Video – a classic bit of ‘mericana “my Yellowstone dream boat.”

This is classic. David Thompson and Ben WInship’s video for Little Miss Cutthroat.

I’ll never tire of timeless clarinet solos, set to a solid jazz guitar rhythm back up. Priceless.

And Happy Birthday Jerome Garcia, pick them taters SPUD!


My Old Dog, a new mandolin tune, in an old style. Just a video of me messing around…

So in February my dog went Blind.

Just like that. Blind as a bat.

He has a disease called Cushing’s disease which causes sudden blindness in dogs. One day he just started running into things, and now he does it all the time. The technical term is, Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS).

He’s coping ok, and it’s not going to adversely effect his health beyond his eyesight and some lethargy. I hope to still get him out and hunt, but obviously in a more grassy environment, not so grouse woodsy. Downed trees and briars would not be fun for a blind dog, can you say headache?

To make dealing with it a little easier I named a little tune after that whole scenario and I recorded a video of it last night on the back porch.

It’s simple, easy, no frills, but fun to play. It’s the kind of thing you play and people ask, “what is that?” and you say, oh just something I made up. But now days, those kinds of songs don’t often get written down or recorded. It has lyrics but I didn’t sing them in this version.

The lyrics for it go like this:

My old dog he went blind
He went blind in a week or two’s time

My old dog he can’t see,
He runs into the old oak tree.

That’s it. Simple and Old School.

Who Dey Nick – Getting his sleep on.

Mandocello For Sale

The Mandolin Cafe classifieds show a beautiful and rare 1907 K-1 Mandocello for sale. Talk about drool worthy. Good honest play wear, nice original finish. Details from the ad are below. Oh yeah in case you were wondering, it was made in Kalamazoo Michigan, not a third world country.

“A” shape
Arched spruce top
Oval soundhole
Pumpkin color top
Dark stained birch back and sides
Original Finish
2-piece neck with dark center strip
24-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
White-bound top and fretboard
“The Gibson” pearl inlay in headstock (has been redone)
Neck has been reset
14-1/8″ body width
3″ body depth
24-3/4″ scale
1-5/8″ nut width
Oval white label with Orville Gibson’s face and a lyre reads “Gibson Mandolin Guitar Mfg. Co. / Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A”
F.O.N 726

Freakin Freaky Fiddle Friday

Well, its that time of the week again, Freakin Freaky Fiddle Friday, where we go diggin around in the vast intertubes and dig out some weird fiddle stuff. This week brings us an interesting line up, featuring the late great Vassar Clements, a truly unique voice of fiddle virtuosity, and this version of Kissimmee Kid lives up to everything we’ve seen from Vassar over the years. It also features
Tony Rice on guitar, Mark O’Connor on mandolin? Jerry Douglas on dobro John Hartford on banjo Glenn Worf on bass. Wow now that is a weird line up. Someone must have gotten sick and canceled at the last minute for Mark to be playing mandolin, but who cares, this tunes it sweet.

Joe Val’s Loar for Sale

A very rare and important piece of Bluegrass History is up for sale at the Mando Hangout, Joe Val’s Loar. Details are below. If I’m not mistaken a friend of mine who I’ve jammed with a number of times owns a Gilchrist that once belonged to Joe Val. I’ll need to reach out to him to confirm that little detail, but even if it never belonged to Val that Gil was a beast. Anyway hopefully this rare and important example of a vintage Gibson mandolin will go to a deserving and appreciative home.

Previously owned & played from 1970~1985 by the late New England pioneer in bluegrass music, Joe Val (Waltham, MA). Joe performed and recorded with this mandolin on all of his Rounder Records recordings from 1971~1983. Joe passed away in 1985. Joe purchased this beauty ca.1970 and repairman Kenneth Miller did the initial setup at his New England guitar shop. It came without tuners on the treble side and was reportedly sold for quick cash by a local guy…shall we say…down on his luck.

Joe’s mandolin has been owned, cared for and played exclusively by myself, Kevin Lynch, since January 1986. It was at that time that I was chosen to purchase my friend Joe Val’s mandolin from his widow, Thelma Valiante.

Present playing condition is EXTREMELY FINE.
Joe left the original tailpiece in a hotel room in the 1980s. Banjo fret wire, slightly wider than classic fret wire, installed in the late 1970s by Joe’s sideman-banjo player Paul Silvius. Refretted only once since. Very minor ‘repair’ of original fingerboard (re-glued), dressing of frets, and custom-made Lloyd Loar-era Solid Silver Waverly tuners installed in October 2007. The original fruitwood shim under the fingerboard was saved (a rarity) and is intact. All work done professionally by one of the best in the business, Master Luthier David Harvey at the Gibson Company in Nashville, TN.

No Virzi Tone Producer was ever installed. The felt in the pick guard brace, between the bracket and the body, is original (also a rarity) and in mint condition. The ‘teardrop’ on the peg head is typically broken-off on many of these Loars. This one was cracked, but never broken completely off. Repaired during its initial setup after Joe bought it. The neck joint is as solid and tight as the day Lloyd signed-off on it…as is the entire instrument.

Sale includes original rectangular case — complete with original Gibson sales tag tied to key (“Gibson: Music Pal Of The Nation” $250.00). Also comes with original bass-side tuners, original bridge & (broken) saddle, photocopy of my Bill of Sale, and misc. photos of this well-documented instrument.

Serious Buyers Only please contact Kevin Lynch (based in The Netherlands) via e-mail at KLBGRASS (at) AOL.COM for phone number, sale price and a more complete history of this rare collectible piece of American Bluegrass music history. Can negotiate terms for hand-delivery to buyer. No bargain basement prices here, not desperate to sell. This instrument will only be considered for sale to an appreciative, responsible and caring buyer.

Joe Val with Loar.

Michael Kang’s Gilchrist available

Michael Kang's Gilcrhist

If you’ve ever wanted an instrument with some underlying noteworthiness, like say one that belonged to Michael Kang the mandolin player for the String Cheese Incident, then now is your chance. Run, don’t walk, over to your friendly neighborhood mandolin Cafe classifieds, and get out your phat check book. Make the check out for $19,000 and then sit back and bask in the glow of your collectable mandolin noteworthiness.

Well I suppose just owning a playable work of art that sounds as good as any mandolin ever will would be worth the price of admission.  Three cheers for Gilchrists!

The Deadly Gentlemen, Carry Me to Home – A Review.


The Free Downloadable - Deadly Gentlemen


This morning I was made aware of the Deadly Gentlmen thanks to a post over on the Bluegrass Blog covering the Crooked Still folks. The Deadly Gentlemen’s  album “Carry Me to Home” is available for FREE download, gotta like that.

The Deadly Gentlemen, if we are to believe their own bio info, are a young super group of wunderkinds including Dawg’s son Sam on Bass. A genetic winning lottery ticket like being the son of the greatest madolin player in history gives them a huge leg up on the competition, but lets put that fact aside because in the end thats pretty immaterial to the musical properties and merits of the band.

I really don’t want to be a hater, and most who know me would say I’m not. I want to like this stuff, because in general its exploring new territory on the instruments that I love. Its breaking new ground, and there is something to say for that alone, I totally respect that.

But in the end, the album comes off like the long-lost never-before-heard bluegrass tracks form a bizzaro version of Phish’s Junta album, and not in a good way. The lyrics are basically machine gun delivery with multi-part harmony leads. I’m sure it is impressive in a bar, and plays very well with lots of screaming adoring fans. I’m sure they are pretty good live, and have a quite a following, if for nothing else than the fact that they are nice looking young white kids playing Bluegrass instruments. But man, it gets old, real quick. There isn’t a singable catchy hook any where in sight. The entire album is a barren wasteland of unpleasant acoustic art rock. It’s a beyond the thunder dome, post apocalyptic, scatterbrained , short attention span, Ritalin chewing, mess.

Its the vocals stupid. Its just way too much over the top yelling and crazy ADHD cut-and-paste Hip-hop contributions by the supporting voices. That, and I guess they never got the memo that Trey doesn’t have a very good singing voice and that imitating him doesn’t turn out well.

Although, for the folks that wish Phish would have been an all acoustic bluegrass band with amazing chops, these are your peeps.

The instrumentation is pretty good for the most part, but the banjo stuff is odd and never really gives it to you like you want it. The fiddle playing is outstanding but again is held to a bizzare cut and paste riffyness that never gets its done. The mandolin playing is basically relegated to rhythm with only a few leads and is disappointing. Like imagine if Chris Thile never blew your mind with a solo and thats pretty much the gist of it, a lot of fancy chopping tricks and not much more. I mean even with all this singing and shouting and fancy licks going on, never, not once did I find my self thinking Ah this good stuff right here. Its like one giant intro, with no pay off. Its like a joke without a punch line.

And oddly enough, in a testament to how tastes change over time, this is a band that 10 years ago I would have thought was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I would have dragged my then-to-be wife to the show, where she would look at me after two songs and said these guys suck, lets go to Dick’s Den.

That being said its worth the cost of admission, free 🙂

Now if you want to hear some guys who can really let you have it and never let up, not even for a minute, check out the Drowsy Lads. It ain’t Bluegrass, but it sure is good!