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At last you can get your Jazzed Desserts!

After much fumbling about and a truly hideous number of hours editing, I’ve finally put together a show based on an idea I got from Fran Snyder of ConcertsInYourHome.com.

They’re essentially a “mini house concert.” A brief gathering of friends for food, conversation and live music in an intimate and approachable setting. They’re easy and inexpensive to host. They’re strictly acoustic so you won’t upset the neighbors. (But you should invite them, they’re a great way to strengthen existing friendships and forge new ones.)

I’m available solo for these shows and with my duo, Hobbit & Hare. Currently we’re limiting this to the greater Seattle area, but we could be convinced to roam a bit farther in the future.

Find out all the details here.

What I Did During The Blackout (pt 2)

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Continuing my efforts to prove that I wasn’t simply curled into a fetal ball in a dimly lit room during my recent media blackout, I present a quick tale of the events on April 7th, 2016.

Hobbit & Hare played a private dinner party for a Seattle law firm, hosted at The Ruins, a private dining club on Queen Anne hill. Since the internet insists “pics or it didn’t happen,” I’m only posting the stuff where I got at least one photo. I’ve put a little gallery up of their main dining room. The building belongs to one of Seattle’s early lumber baron families. Much of the decor and furnishings came from the family mansion.

Sketch and I did our first run with a “small” sound system we’d put together from stuff we already owned and it worked like a champ. We’ll be using it again soon.

As an added bonus, the event was arranged by Acquisition Event Management Inc., and among the attendees was a couple who’s wedding we played at. The wedding was also hosted by Acquisition.

I loves me some return customers!

Teasing Out More Details

Here’s pictures of my banjo ukulele as it looked shortly after I got it.

Hokum W. Jeebs banjolele, back view Hokum W. Jeebs banjolele, front view

I took it into the shop where various arcane subjects (like break angle and neck resets) were discussed. Nothing much changed on the back, but here’s a pic of the front after I picked it up at the shop.

Lil Hokum after repair

The main difference you’ll notice is the tailpiece. When I got the uke it had that huge monstrosity you see in the before pic. I’m pretty sure it was an aftermarket alteration. It supposedly allowed you to fine tune the uke, but all it really managed to achieve was to screw up the break angle over the bridge so badly that any moderately vigorous strumming caused the strings to jump out of their slot and off the bridge.

Combine that with the fact the stick that runs through the body from the neck to the end (a feature found on many banjos) had come loose from its moorings, and you can understand why it was unplayable.

The repair fella at Dusty Strings essentially did a partial neck reset and switched in the smaller tailpiece and a different bridge.

It sounds great and plays nice (though I’m still getting used to the skinny neck). The strings are settling in well, but it seems that it’s happier in D tuning and it’s taking extra time. I also want to experiment to see how it sounds with the back off.

This is my second teaser on the subject, so you’ve probably figured out by now that something is in the pipeline that features the banjolele.

You’re right.

Now I just have to round up a musician or three. (Because it’s more fun that way, that’s why!)

I’ll keep you in the loop.

What I Did During The Blackout (pt 1)

Just because I was having trouble with my tech does not mean I didn’t do anything during the incommunicado period.

For instance, back in April both Hobbit & Hare and Snake Suspenderz played at the 13th annual Moisture Festival. On the 8th Hobbit & Hare did a couple “fluffing” sets (that’s entertaining the folks waiting in line for the show), and on the 9th the mighty Snakez did a turn in all three shows.

For the last several years the Snakez have been doing a week as the pit band. That’s 9 shows over the course of 5 days! While that makes the paycheck fatter, it leaves you very little time to hang around in the green room with the wildly talented and weirdly wonderful performers the Fest attracts. Like this fella…

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HH & Drew the Dramatic Fool - MF2016


That’s Drew the Dramatic Fool. Not only talented and funny, but also a very sweet guy. And he makes modern day silent movies! Check out his website for lots more info.

Victory!

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photo by Ari Helminen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/picsoflife/)

After some research and the exchange of several emails with two different support departments, I’ve finally gotten the WordPress app on my tablet working again!

This may not seem like such a big deal to y’all, but I’m drowning in all the details I’m supposed to keep up with in order to make some kind of living in the current music biz paradigm. I just want to bang on my ukulele all day; not be a marketing expert, a recording engineer, a social media guru, a booking agent, a… well, you get the idea.

Anything that makes it easier to keep up with such stuff is a great goodness. Since most of the wasted time in my life happens when I’m away from home and my “big” computer and away from my housework, something that allows me to get things done during those times is a tremendous mitzvah.

So getting this fixed is more than enough to get me doing the Happy Hobbit Dance™. If you can’t imagine the Happy Hobbit Dance™, picture Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine (if you’re old enough to remember him) and you’ll be pretty close.

This Is A Teaser

All of the “new music biz” pundits and gurus recommend that you add teasers into your promo strategy.

teaser – Noun
1. a worker who teases wool. also the device used for teasing wool.
2. someone given to teasing (as by mocking, etc.).
3. a brief advertisement or announcement that offers minimal information in order to arouse interest in an upcoming event or product.
4. a particularly baffling problem that is said to have a correct solution
5. a flat at each side of the stage to prevent the audience from seeing into the wings

After owning it for 3 years or thereabouts, yesterday evening I retrieved my banjo ukulele from the repair man. In other words, it’s actually playable for the first time since I got it.

Just working on getting the new strings to settle in.