Hey Guys & Dolls,
Been a while since my last “Book Report”…….. I’m just a lazy so & so…… Sorry!
Hard to believe my 73rd Winter has come to pass and that I am once again packing “The Bus” for My Big Fat Tour of 2017…….. Over 55 cities booked, from coast to coast, top to bottom……. I am a lucky guy!
Nancy and I celebrated our 18th anniversary on a short Caribbean cruise in January. Which is always a great way to relax and rewind after a busy holiday season. We had friends visiting from far away places like Norway and Canada and enjoyed sharing our little bit of paradise with them.
We spent a weekend camping in Hommasa Florida where we cruised the river in a pontoon boat with Nancy at the helm! Great to watch the manatees frolic in the warm springs and the primates swinging on monkey island!
My first Spring training show was at Fogartyville in Sarasota. I shared the bill with the remarkable Blind Boy Paxton who you must see. He plays fiddle, banjo, harmonica, spoons, guitar and if you sit him down at a piano, he’s Fats Waller reincarnated! I have never seen a solo act have so much fun, on or off the stage… Met him at Merlefest a few years ago.
Another highlight of the season, was The Suwannee Family Reunion Festival up in Live Oak Florida! Again managed by Beth Judy after quite a few years, I was delighted to participate, along with Peter Rowan, Verlon Thompson, Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp, and a bunch other great musicians. It was good to see so many friends and fans from the old days!
Back a few months ago, I started listening to some discs of my performances that were given to me after my shows, from various venues. The standout show was from The Institute of Musical Traditions. After sharing it with friends and family, we decided to issue a new album to the public. PegLeg Records received the finished project yesterday and it will be available on my website today!
Art Isaacs & David Eisner were the sound engineers at this show and were amazing! Best I had ever heard. I was really delighted to find out that Mr. Eisner had also recorded one of my favorite albums, Dave Van Ronk’s last album, “….and the tin pan bended and the story ended”.. Dave was my first inspiration and became a good friend early in my career…… Who knows what I would have done with my life had I not heard a Dave Van Ronk album, over 50 years ago...
My Nephew, Adam Bookbinder, the head of PegLeg Records art department for many years, has come up with a snappy new cover and poster which we are sure will delight everyone. The new CD, "IN CONCERT, Road Songs & Stories" features a number of favorite originals and old time songs.
So we are headed to Merlefest next week, always the kick off for the season. The Greatest Acoustic Blues Show On Earth this year will feature, Jorma Kaukonen, Pat Donohue, Steve James and first timer, Todd Albright. Third Man Records has just released Todd’s new album and he recently appeared at South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas! He is a great 12 string guitar maestro in the tradition of Blind Willie Mc Tell and our old pal, Paul Geremia.
I did get to visit with Paul & Janet last October and it was a good visit. We went for walks, had a few good meals, and a few good laughs. I was especially pleased to hear him play some blues on the piano.
Janet is an amazing friend and companion to Paul. I am so thankful that she is always there to look after and comfort him as I am sure his many friends and fans are.... Thank You Janet ! Love to both of you from all of us who wish we could do more...
That’s it for now, hope to see lots of you on the road. Hope your Winter was as good as ours……
Bye For Now,
Roy “The Book” Binder