I’m Back…

It’s been two weeks since I’ve made a blog post, my longest hiatus since I started Fiddling for Older Folks! But, I’m here today.

Our home business has been extremely demanding, this being the first day off in over two weeks. We’ve been working long hours producing our products and distributing them to the many stores that sell them, in addition to selling them at craft shows on the weekends and fulfilling internet orders.

During this time, my violin has had to play second fiddle (pun intended, even though it is a bad one). Practice has been erratic, missing days or practicing here and there for a few minutes at a time. This has not been very conducive to progress. I’m still on the same two tunes I was on a few weeks ago: Soldier’s Joy and Prairie Spring.

While I knew we were coming into our busy season, I think I forget from year to year just how busy it gets. Every year we plan projects that we think we will have time to get done, but each year during this time, they slip by. It irks me that I have to hire someone to paint my front porch and deck this year, in addition to a few other maintenance tasks, when I am perfectly capable of doing them myself, but they are overdue, and it is the third year in a row they won’t get done unless I hire someone to do them. Unfortunately, my fiddle practice and playing has fallen victim to our busy season as well, but this isn’t something I can hire out; it can only be done by me!

So, with the unofficial end of Summer here (Labor Day weekend for those of you who do not reside in the US), and the busy Fall season about to commence, I have to change a few things to get back on track with my fiddle. I’m not exactly sure how I am going to do this, but at least for today I decided to cancel a non-essential activity (weeding the garden that has also been neglected) and use this time to work out a viable practice schedule and have an extended practice session. More on this to come…

I do want to share a few things…

Perhaps some day in the future I will bring my fiddle to craft shows and practice during lulls, but for now, I don’t want to chase people away! Yesterday, however, I brought a small book I bought called Front Porch Songs, Jokes & Stories: 48 Great Sing-Along Favorites by Wayne Erbsen.

This is a fun little book for Old Time fans, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will use it in the future. It is full of 19th century songs, corny jokes, great stories, vintage photos, and even a recipe for cooking groundhog! It contains 48 favorite melodies of the past that have traveled along with the pioneers in covered wagons through the Civil War period and up to today. Wayne Erbsen has made it his lifelong passion to teach, collect, record, perform, write and publish Southern Appalachian music and folklore. See my blog post about one of his other books: Old-Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus!

Then, earlier this morning when I was searching for some information, I came across a neat set of videos put together by Alison Sparrow where she reviews all six of the Fiddlerman Brand violins individually and one video where she compares them collectively. Now, Fiddlerman has a ton of videos comparing the violins he sells, but usually he compares two at a time. I have watched a lot of the Fiddlerman comparison videos, but I get lost in the comparisons and find it more difficult to tell one from the other. Perhaps because I am still rather new at this. I really like this final one in the series by Allison because you get to hear all 6 side by side by side, so to speak. It’s easier to appreciate the sound differences. This is a must-watch for anyone considering buying one of the Fiddlerman Brand Violins.

And, finally, I am rather happy that the Facebook page I started for The Sons of Liberty has shot up to almost 200 Likes in the past two weeks. I was able to post a review of their 2nd CD, A Delightful Recreation at Townsends with the Facebook link. This has led many fans to their page.

I am also happy that one of The Sons, Noah, has joined me in managing the page. As I have said in other blog posts, these are three fine young men with so much talent who are keeping 18th century music alive by playing it.

Well, that’s about it for today. Have a pleasant day, and I will be back, again!

  4 comments for “I’m Back…

  1. September 1, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Welcome back! Always good to see a blog from you. Even if all you work on is keeping your skills polished (and not forgetting what you learned), it’s better than completely falling out of practice. I’m in that boat, and working my way back up a different way using a different method. I think it might have been a good experience for me to have a bit of a setback, though, as I’m practicing far more in-depth now.

    I remember watching Allison’s comparison of Fiddlerman violins when she first put it out. A very good video, and very helpful to me. I know that should I choose an upgrade from the Fiddlerman shop, I would put my money on a Master as it just really resonated with me. For some reason, I love the deeper mellower darker tones in a violin, and that particular one just caught my ear.

    Good luck with all you’re doing! Keep us in the loop and happy Labor Day! 🙂

    • September 2, 2019 at 8:14 am

      I really like the tones of the Master also. It would be my choice, too.

  2. September 1, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    You have been busy! Great to see your hard work resulting in success. I’m interested in the Front Porch book! Definitely clicking on your link to purchase it! And I’ll go like the Sons of Liberty right now!

    • September 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Susan…So good to hear from you. I think you will like Front Porch Songs, and The Sons of Liberty is not only a great musical group, they are solid young folks as well. I’m sure they will appreciate your support…Jim

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