Danny Barnes, Joe Walsh, Grant Gordy (b side)

This year’s winner of the prize for excellence in banjo shows up in Oneonta with two members of Mr. Sun playing through original music, bluegrass standards and a bit of Thelonius Monk in front of a chatty crowd. Go see them if you can in MD, PA and NYC and try not to talk too much while they’re playing; they don’t show up at your morning conference call and fire up tributes to each other. Come to think of it, wish they would…

[Danny Barnes Gigs]


Bender Melon wrote this song during the 2004 election season mostly as a joke. I point it out every four years because I think it is kind of funny in it’s caricature of the egotism of presidential candidates. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one amused. This year it’s not so funny. Little did I know in 2004 that the character in the song would win the Republican nomination for President in 2016. The only difference this year is that instead of “homemade” “matching uniforms”, the nominee and his wife wear an elite tailored uniform costing more than the average annual income of a good number of people in this country. The rest is pretty much spot on. I expect should they win the office this year, the uniforms will be unzipped down the center and intergalactic lizard aliens will emerge announcing the takeover of the planet.

Miracle Legion (Iron Horse)

Missed them in Albany due to Grey Fox conflict so a mandatory road trip ensued. Worth it just to see Mark’s beard. Fancy Trash opened with the pleasant surprise of Ray Mason on bass. I like Northampton. For those not following along, Miracle Legion has released their formerly hard to find back catalog on Bandcamp. Immerse yourself.
[Fancy Trash (Bandcamp)]
[Miracle Legion (Bandcamp)]

Grey Fox 2016

Another beautiful festival this year. Spent more time playing this year and less time taking pictures so you may want to head to the festival site or links below. Highlights included scary clouds that never did much but killed the heat, Del (as usual), Sierra Hull blowing minds both at the dance tent with Bela Fleck and her big stage set, Bela Fleck and Chris Thile playing something that was definitely not bluegrass… I don’t know what it was, the Wood Brothers getting the party started and Del McCoury and David Grisman just playing tunes together in front of a lot of people. Cool.


Robbie Fulks (Hangar)

Touring in support of his new album Upland Stories, Robbie brought with him a band of Nashville giants Shad Cobb, Todd Phillips and Pete Finney to an appreciative but sparse crowd. Sigh.

Greg Klyma seemed genuinely awestruck to be opening for one of his heroes. I know he converted a new fan here. Kevin Maul provided solid backup.