Homespun tapes: New Media, same old cheesy graphics. (What are tapes anyway?)

Yep, those are cheesy graphics, thanks for keeping it real Happy!

Sam Bush and Homespun tapes announced a partnership with the mandolincafe on a new set of instructional videos and new way to deliver them, the oddly named MOD Machine, isn’t it just normally called the internet?

Thankfully, they managed to find a cheesy photograph to give it that same-old homespun look we know and love. But really, who cares, keep-on keepin-on Happy, we love the homespun way!

Chicken and Egg?

According to and the Tim O’Brien has a new record titled Chicken and Egg due out soon. I’ve been a fan of TO for a while now. His music is all over the map in terms of influences (well the traditional acoustic map that is) but for the most part right on the mark. I’ve met him once and said howdy more than a few times at Merlefest and other events. Every time I run into him I forget to ask him if he is a fly fisher.

He appeared on Ben Winshop and David Thompson’s Fishing Music albums, and as such he has a spot reserved in Fiddle and Creel Hall of Fame. I think he lives in Boulder which puts smack in the middle of some great fly fishing opportunities but that doesn’t mean necessarily that he flings a fly. Chances are good he does though. I look forward to hearing the new album.

The Line-up and track list (shown below) are worth the price of admission alone.

Support from Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan, Dennis Crouch, Mike Bub, Sarah Jarosz, Abigail Washburn, and Chris Stapleton.

You Ate the Apple
My Girl’s Waiting for Me (River Driving)
Gonna Try to Make Her Stay
The Sun Jumped Up
All I Want
No Way to Stop the Flow
Not Afraid o’ Dyin’
Letter in the Mail
Old Joe
Mother Mary
Space Between the Lines

Some mandolin-centric fiction released.

A while ago Dr. Tom Bibey stopped by here and left us a nice little missive about his forthcoming book of mandolin-centric fiction. Well, it was officially released today, according to the Mandolin Cafe. There is a link on The Mandolin to Amazon, where due to the stellar buzz generated in the mandolin community, I’m sure it will shoot up the charts to become a bestseller. It sounds like a pretty cool book and I would order it right this second but for the fact that I am knee deep in Hampton Sides’ Hellhoud on His Trail. But as soon as I can find time, I’m there!

Skaggs selling a pair of Ferns

Skaggs has recently been channeling Bill with his "Bluegrass Mane" if you ask me he looks a little creepy.

Over on the Mandolin Cafe classifieds Ricky Skaggs has posted a pair of Fern mandolins with consecutive serial numbers and an all original double mandolin case for $165,000. I can honestly say that it IS actually a pretty good deal considering you get two for the price of one, but dude, cut your hair already, its creepy!

Walnut Valley Festival now the “National” Mandolin Championship

Via the Mandolin Cafe comes news of the now “official” national mandolin championship. I’m not sure what the new designation means, because in most folks’ minds Winfield was already the “Championship” but apparently there was some need to set itself apart by name. Winfield, or the “Walnut Valley Festival” as it is officially known is certainly on my bucket list of things to do and see some day. I haven’t made it yet and I’ve been telling myself for ten years now that I need to go. Someday! The parking lot picking is supposed to be about the best there is in the country. With jam circles that range from texas swing, to gypsy jazz, straight bluegrass, old time and just about anything else you can think of in the acoustic realm, the festival sounds like a really good place to hang out, jam, and mutilate the calluses on your fingers, woohoo!

The photo above illustrates the down home atmosphere of Winfield, a festival that has remained largely non-commercialized even in our brave new century filled with brands eager to associate themselves with anything deemed “authentic. The festival organizers have shunned the large headliners that the big festivals tend to schedule in order to draw the big crowds. The focus at WVF has always been the contests and hopefully always will be the contests. Un-official regurgitated reconstituted re-appropriated text of the press release is below.

Winfield, Kans. — Organizers of the Walnut Valley Festival have announced that starting in 2010, the Walnut Valley Mandolin Championship will now become known as the National Mandolin Championship.

The mandolin contest is one of eight different contests held each year at Walnut Valley that include four other national contests and two international contests. Each year the championship contests draw musicians from around the world to compete against one another for the top position with their chosen instruments.

The dates for this year’s Walnut Valley Festival are September 15-19, 2010.

Entertainers for 2010 include Sierra Hull and Highway 111, The Waybacks, The Josh Williams Band, The Farewell Drifters, and many more regional and national acts.

Mandolin Jam / workshop on the Klamath RIver

The Klamath River

In yet another fine example of the interconnectedness of the bluegrass (acoustic music) and fly fishing worlds, comes news of the The 2010 Klamath River MandoJam and workshops. This sounds like a great place to jam and fish in the same spot. I need to check my calendar. Steelhead and Gypsy jazz, awe SON!!!!!!!

Orleans, Calif. — The 2010 Klamath River MandoJam and workshops will be held August 26-29, at the Sandy River Ranch and Nursery.

Each summer Sandy Bar Ranch hosts The Klamath River MandoJam, an opportunity for acoustic musicians of all levels and styles to learn, play, and enjoy acoustic music in a beautiful mountain setting and supportive environment. This affordable venue features a mix of daily workshops, jam sessions, demonstrations, and fun on the river.

Sandy Bar Ranch is located on the Klamath River in the heart of the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California. The Klamath River and surrounding mountains offer world-class swimming, fishing, rafting, hiking, biking and kayakin

In addition to Gypsy-Jazz, you may hear and play anything from Folk to Bluegrass, Old-Time, Blues, Country and Originals at the MandoJam.

The Lure of Cripple Creek

I discovered yet another link in the connection between bluegrass and angling. Ok so I know it isn’t exactly fly fishing, but it is angling right? And no it’s not the banjo minnow. Its the lure of Cripple Creek.

The company apparently makes makes spoon lures shaped like the family of bluegrass instruments. The funny thing is, that since fish are supposedly attracted to the shine and movement of the metal spoon type lure more than it’s outline, it probably doesn’t matter what the shape or silhouette of the lure is. So these will probably work pretty well if you are into that sort of thing. They certainly are designed to catch the fisherman more than the fish, but then again most all flies and lures are that way in some sense. Keep on picking and casting.