Hello Friends (aka shelter-in-place buddies!), April 14, 2023
Thanks for coming by for an online visit. Hope you and yours stay safe and healthy during these pandemic times. Carl and I are managing ok and have been home for a month after we finished our last music camp in Port Allen, Louisiana. We were grateful to get in a visit with Carl’s daughter Kelli Jones in Lafayette before flying home and like you all, self isolating…hunkering down.
On a lighter note, Carl and I hope many of you are finding ways to fill the well of creativity while staying at home. It is exciting to think of all the exploration going on now. Books being written, music being composed and played, artworks unfolding in brilliant colors. People are being adventurous, trying new things, breaking out of the norm, being innovative, thinking outside the box, becoming more self-sufficient, and finding joy in spite of ourselves as legendary songwriter John Prine would say. Outlook is everything. Perhaps we should think of this time as a gift of time for our own self-discovery or personal creativity?
In our own little home-world we’re spring cleaning, gardening (garlic, onions, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, collards planted so far), have seedlings on the windowsill, baked sourdough, made yoghurt, homemade granola and old-fashioned lye soap. I’m also really excited to make pasta from scratch for the first time (I love to cook). We’re doing yardwork, home improvement projects, and spoiling the cats. Seems like there is a whole back-to-the-land movement burgeoning and that’s pretty cool.
Carl and I are making some music too and hope you are as well. There will be a lot of better musicians when this pandemic slows down because so many are practicing their fiddles, banjos and guitars or taking up hurdy-gurdy (one of our friends did at least lol) and learning new tunes & songs. There has been more demand for us teaching online lessons for which we are grateful since all of our tours and concerts have been cancelled for the time being and only more of the same expected for summer. We have started a Patreon page and are providing video lessons on fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin there plus sheet music, tab, guitar chord charts, a tune-of-the-month plus other performance videos, “songwriter’s corner” musings from Carl, recipes from old-time musicians and other fun stuff. Check it out at Patreon.com by searching for our names or Dittyville which is also our website (www.c9y04a.wcbzw.com) where we have CDs and our Instructional DVDs on sale big time. Our digital albums are available on Bandcamp, CD Baby and itunes. Patreon subscriptions are only $3, $6 or $10 a month and provide many hours of instruction (quite a deal!) and you can get a digital download of our new CD Old Tin (or any one of our other recordings) for free just for signing up. One can un-subscribe at any time too so you might want to try it out. We’re offering one-on-one Skype or Zoom lessons for a reduced rate ($40 instead of $50per hr or 2 for $75) to provide technique pointers to bring your playing to the next level. We’d love to help and you’d be helping us too stay alive as artists. Thanks! For those affected by Covid 19 we’re putting free videos on our YouTube channel, uplifting posts on facebook and if you know someone who is feeling low our out of work let us know (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll send them a free digital download of our new album Old Tin in the hopes it will brighten their day.
‘Til the next time we meet online or in person we wish you and your families good health. Stay in and stay safe. The good times are not all passed and gone. They can happen at home, online and there are more good times down the road when we get past this…and we will.
Be well and play lots!
Warmly, Erynn and Carl
December 21, 2023
The new recording by Old Tin Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones is coming January 1, 2023!
We are so excited with how the music came out and hope you will enjoy all the songs and tunes too! It’s a blend of traditional stringband numbers and some of our new tunes and songs too. Very special guests Bob Carlin, Sarah Kate Morgan and Joe Dejarnette. Debbie Adams did a stellar job of the design complete with the CD looking totally like a metal can lid. You can pre-order Old Tin, (named after a beautiful song of Carl’s), here on this site and we will ship to you the first week in January. 16 tracks of our best musical efforts will be on your doorstep to help you kick off 2023. Digital downloads, (including hi-fi options), are also available at Bandcamp and CD Baby and come with a pdf of the complete liner notes. We give our all to each recording and are are proud of Old Tin and so glad we now get to share this music with the world. Thanks for supporting our music folks. We couldn’t do it without you. Warmly, Erynn and Carl
May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023
Nature is in full splendor, the garden is growing, we can sip iced tea on the porch in a rocker, play tunes at a campsite while the river rolls by, and the fireflies have returned! Summer beckons us all with her outstretched, green, leafy arms. The rolling mountains of the Blue Ridge are many shades of pastel like a water color painting. Each day we are grateful for so much beauty around us.
I write this update as I almost always do…from the car. I’m so grateful that I can read and write while traveling. Car-sickness or sea-sickness has never had a grasp on me. Carl and I were on a boat last year that lost one of two engines (a log got caught in the engine) and we all bounced two and fro, rolling in the waves, until we eventually made it to our destination. Not all the passengers looked happy when we got to land, (some looked a little green), but I was content. It was like being rocked to sleep in a hammock.
This summer, like many others, we will traverse many roads to great music camps and festivals in the south-eastern USA. This week we are teaching a guitar class at John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC and it’s been big fun. Next we are looking forward to teaching/playing at the Mount Airy Old-Time Retreat during the Mount Airy Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention June 5-7, then Kaufman Kamp Acoustic Week June 9-14 (Maryville, TN), Wheatland Camp June 16-19 (Michigan), Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (just Erynn) June 23-28 (Whitesburg, KY), Swannanoa Fiddle Week (just Erynn), June 30-5 (NC), Swannanoa Traditional Song Week (just Carl) July 8th(NC), Swannanoa Old-Time Week July 22-26 (Swannanoa, NC). Plus we’ll be going to festivals in Elk Creek, VA, Galax, VA and Clifftop, WV! Hope to see many of our music friends at these wonderful events! There is still room at many of them if you decide to be spontaneous and join the fun.
Other news… this year we both helped out with the Alleghany JAM Program. This is such a good cause…a non-profit that helps children learn traditional music afterschool in Sparta, NC. The kids just wrapped up the spring semester with a great concert and they sure are inspiring! Alleghany JAM is hosting a couple Coffeehouses this summer with an open mic hour and featured performer. Plus we are having a three-day kids music camp July 17-19 that includes the kids playing the opening set of music to kick off the Alleghany Fiddlers Convention. They really sound good!
We appreciate you stopping by to visit our website and we thank all our friends and fans for your support of our music projects. Carl and I hope you all get time to savor summer and hear or play lots of music too! Hope to see you all down the road soon.
Warmly, Erynn and Carl
Fall Rambles, September 16, 2018
Today is a stormy day here in Galax, Virginia and storm Florence is giving us a deluge of rain! We hope all of you are safe and sound. Carl and I were supposed to play a festival in Norfolk, VA but it was cancelled so we are enjoying a quiet day at home. I brought in our fresh herbs before the rains and hung them to dry. They smell beautiful and aromatic. Then I made a big batch of fresh pesto and did some baking. Carl made his signature dish Tamale Pie (it’s awesome) so I guess this storm is inspiring us to cook a lot. We’ve also been catching up by organizing fall tours and putting up our schedule on www.Dittyville.comWe’ve been doing some singing/picking tunes and I finally have a chance to write you a fall update!
We love fall. It’s our favorite season but still it’s is tough to say goodbye to summer after it’s golden curtain call. We enjoyed all those music festivals, jams with friends and 8 fabulous fiddle camps! The fresh garden veggies wind-up around the same time the camps end but we might get a few more leafy greens. Still the season was so sweet and we have a lot of great memories. Hope you do too!
A couple ribbons of note from this summer of fiddle conventions and good times. Carl won 2ndplace in banjo and Erynn got 5th in fiddle at the prestigious Clifftop Festival (WV), and our pick-up band Mountain Holler (Erynn & Eddie Bond on fiddles, Carl on mandolin, Eric Hill – banjo, Bonnie Bond – bass and Dennis Hall – guitar) won 1stplace Stringband at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA. What a blast!
Looking ahead this fall Carl and I are back to teaching lessons and workshops, playing the Virginia State Fair in Doswell, a wedding, a couple of shows with the Galax Bogtrotters Stringband which will be big fun) plus doing a month long tour of England in November!! Erynn is teaching two weekend of fiddle workshops for the FOAOTMAD organization in the UK (Friends of American Old-Time Music and Dance). Plus – a big shout out to Eddie Bond from the Galax Bogtrotters and New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters who won the NEA award this year. We’re so proud of him!
2023 Summer Music Camps & Festivals are already on our minds. Here’s some we’ve just been hired for: John C Campbell Winter Dance Week (North Carolina Dec 26-31), 8thof January OT Music Weekend (Tennessee Jan 10-12), John C Campbell Fiddle Class (North Carolina Feb 3-9), Bellingham Folk Festival (Washington Jan 25-27), Old Pal Festival (Texas: Mar 21-23), Mandolin Camp North (Carl: Massachusetts Apr 12-14), Kaufman Acoustic Kamp (Tennessee June 9-15), Swannanoa Old-Time Week (North Carolina July 21-27). We’re already looking forward to these and many are already letting folks sign-up!
Fall is time when we get to learn new music, compose songs or tunes, get back to our overdue book projects, and even start thinking about some recording again! We’re dreaming of digging around our storage and digitizing some field recordings we made many years ago. Summer is always too busy for these kind of projects but the fall is full of creative possibility.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting Dittyville!
Summer festival and camp season is here! Carl and I will be teaching at several great music camps from now through fall. In June we will both teach at the first Mount Airy Old-Time Music Retreat – a camp that takes place in Veterans’ Park and runs concurrently with the Mount Airy Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention. Should be fun! Then Erynn is off to teach the fiddle track at Midwest Banjo Camp in Michigan and we both teach at Kaufman Kamp in Maryville TN – a stellar time.
Later in June Erynn heads to Cowan Creek Mountain Music School in Kentucky.
Tune into our Concert Window online workshops (fiddle, banjo, mando, guitar) that we are giving once a month on www.concertwindow.com You can watch from the comfort of your own home and they are cheap – minimum donation $10. They were so much fun this winter we decided to keep them going through the summer months too.
When we get a few free moments we are starting to work on an original tune book (Erynn) and a mandolin instructional book (Carl). We are slow but getting there J
1. Start the day learning something…anything that gets the creative spirit sparked
2. Handwrite more letters (snail mail)
3. Do more creative cooking and eating (they go hand in hand don’t you think?)
We are off to the westcoast to play at the Portland Old-Time Gathering, Olympia & Seattle to play shows with Randal Bays & Family and into BC to see family and play a concert in North Burnaby, BC. We’ll be home for two weeks in Feb then will arrive in Ireland on Valentines. We have concerts, workshops and will get to participate in the first Old-Time Music Gathering www.irisholdtime.com. So looking forward to all that!
Carl and I are teaching online fiddle, guitar, mando and banjo workshops on Concert Window.com. The fee is “pay what you want” (You must make a minimum $2 donation on Concert Window to get access to their platform. Tips are appreciated!) and you can communicate with us during these live online workshops by asking questions or making comments in the text box provided. It’s fun, a great deal and you don’t have to leave your house!
Here’s the schedule for our upcoming lessons on ConcertWindow.com
SAT Jan 6th, 2018 – 10:30am EST Erynn Marshall Fiddle Lesson. Tune: a cool version of Eighth of January (with extra parts) by great, late VA fiddler John Ashby.
SAT Jan 6th, 2018 – 1pm EST – Carl Jones Mandolin Workshop. Tune: Pigeon on the Gate
SUN Feb 4, 2018 – 1pm EST – 木瓜云梯子 Marshall Fiddle Workshop. Tune: tba
SUN Feb 4, 2018 – 3:00pm EST – Carl Jones Guitar Workshop. Tune/song: tba
SUN Feb 4, 2018 – 6pm EST – Carl Jones Mandolin Workshop. Tune: tba
SUN Feb 11, 2018 – 1pm EST – Erynn Marshall Fiddle Workshop. Tune: tba
SUN Feb 11, 2018 – 3:30pm EST – Carl Jones Banjo Workshop. Tune/song: tba
Go to ConcertWindow.com to watch and please click the heart beside our name to follow us and hear about our future workshops. Thanks. We also continue to give private lessons (in-person or Skype) for $50 hr. Contact us at email@example.com if interested on getting on our lesson email list (we send out a message about when we’re available to do these once a month). Just take a lesson when you like. No schedule is required.
Our Holiday Sales on our website www.c9y04a.wcbzw.com has been extended through Jan 6 “Old Christmas.”
We are having a Christmas Holiday Sale at Dittyville!
For the month of December Carl and I have all our CDs on sale for only $13 ($2 off) including the new Galax Bogtrotters CD, our instructional DVDs are $18 ($7 off), shirts $15 ($5 off) and any order over $20 you get a free, handmade fiddle tree ornament (that Erynn will make in the pottery studio). Carl and I also have lesson gift certificates that we can mail to you. We teach Skype or in-person lessons and interested folks should drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if they’d like to be on our lesson email list for our teaching updates. Treat the musical loved ones in your life to more music this holiday Visit the store on this site to see the sale and thanks for supporting traditional music and the artists mho make their living playing it this festive season.
Also for the first time – we are giving a three week series of Online Fiddle/Mando/Guitar Workshops – Dec 9th, Dec 30th and Jan 6th. Visit Concertwindow.com to learn how to participate!
Happy Holidays everyone and a Happy, Musical New Year too!
cheers, Erynn and Carl
August 25, 2017
Erynn & Carl’s news August 25, 2017
Apples are on the old tree in our yard and this morning there was a chill in the air. Carl saw some leaves drifting to the ground. Could it be summer is drawing to a close already! The summer season full of festivals, music camps, jams, travels and campsites just goes by too fast. It’s Laurel Bloomery time this weekend (a lovely music gathering) but we needed time at home more than anything else just now. We’ve been weeding the garden, putting in seeds for a fall crop of veggies and dreaming of which places we will go the coming year, music we get to play, friends we get to see…. We will be going to Happy Valley (NC), Hoppin’ John Fest (NC) this fall and maybe Blackpot (LA) too so hope to see you there!
Thank you to all the music camps who hired us this summer and the wonderful students that took our classes. We had a stellar time at Swannanoa Old-Time Week (NC), Blue Ridge Music Week (NC), Kaufman Acoustic Kamp (TN), Ashokan Southern Week (NY), Fiddleworks! (BC), SAMW (NH), John C Campbell Folk School (NC), Breakin’ Up Winter (TN) and Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (KY)! We often think the kind, compassionate, creative, fun folks who come to music camps for their holidays to enrich their music and lives are the best people on the earth. It’s inspiring to be in these instant musical communities even for their short duration. This really helped us have a good feeling towards humanity during these trying political and divisive times. We need the arts and to bond together as a community more now than ever.
Also we are grateful for an amazing 3 week tour to Australia with the Galax Bogtrotters (Eddie & Bonnie Bond, Eric Hill, Carl and myself). We released our new CD: The Galax Bogtrotters “Old-Time Jubilations” at the National Folk Festival in Canberra to very receptive crowds. We all think the world of and thank banjo player/engineer Ian Alexander and tour mastermind/sweetheart Linda de Cieri who were the most gracious and kind hosts…taking us literally all over the country, introducing us to everyone, sharing their time and energy. The band had great jams with old-time musicians everywhere and the animals and birds were astounding. The band missed out on seeing any wombats so must go back soon. Our favorite part? The beaches in western Australia (Perth) and the wonderful new, musical friends we made there.
Following that Carl and I spent two extraordinary weeks in China with musical friends Chris Hawke and Kirk Kenney. Thanks guys!! The four of us played 8 concert/squaredances near Dali and in Beijing (Chris can call dances in Chinese you see). We played the American Embassy and the Beijing Conservatory as part of a Silk Road Conference. People in China were so kind to us and the landscape was stunning. Food was delicious from veggie dumplings, “ba-ba” buns baked on grills on the street, all the fresh made noodle dishes, along with beautiful tea ceremonies of the finest green, black and red teas! It’s hard not to get hungry thinking about it. There were people making traditional indigo dyes, cooking with roses, Chinese moonshine and more. A couple highlights included staying at the Linden Center and playing music in the garlic fields for the villagers harvesting garlic. Traveling is the most amazing part of being a musician!
Coming up next? Carl and I are enjoying being at home again, learning new tunes, gardening and cooking up a storm. One misses domesticity on the road. Erynn is working on a book of original fiddle tunes with banjo tab and an accompanying CD with recordings of the tunes. Carl has plans to make an old-time mandolin instructional book. We already know in 2018 we will be at Swannanoa, Midwest Banjo Camp, Kaufman Kamp, and John C Campbell Winter Dance Week – all great camps!! We are planning a trip to the UK and will be on the westcoast this January (Portland Gathering to BC –woot!). Erynn has also been digitizing footage of fiddlers Art Stamper and Melvin Wine whom she visited a bunch 13+ years ago so sign up to follow our YouTube channel dittyville so you see the new footage as it gets posted. Some of it is very special.
New Release: Greasy Creek CD by Erynn Marshall & Friends is here!
July 1, 2016
Happy Canada Day / July 4th Independence Day weekend. I can hear fireworks going off as I write this! Gratitude to all the service men and women who work to protect our freedoms. Here’s to world peace!
I’m excited because this week my new Greasy Creek CDs just arrived! The official release date is tomorrow: July 1, 2016. Woot!