That night, with the power out, we sat in the basement near the woodstove to stay warm. I decided to crack some of the black walnuts I had gathered last October that were used to make ink. I had about one hundred nuts to crack. They are a bit harder to crack than English walnuts. In fact, they make nut crackers specifically for black walnuts. Since we don’t have one of those I used a hammer, and it worked just fine. It was a crackin’ evening, the fire and the walnuts.

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In the spring of 1986, I got a call from Ansley. He was Jeanne’s bandleader, and he asked me if I would be interested in playing rhythm guitar and back-up singing with her band. It had been a dream of mine to play the Opry since 1975 when I first listened to it in my 1960 Rambler on the AM radio. On a good night I could pick up the WSM Grand Ole Opry signal when I parked my car up near the Westchester Community Center in Oella, Maryland near Ellicott City. I told Ansley YES, YES, YES!!!

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And speaking of new records, many of you know I recently announced a new record I’ve released, The Craig Demos on June 18. The physical CDs arrived on July 1 and I wanted to let you know they are available now from my website. Please visit and have a listen. I hope that you enjoy it. These are recordings I wasn’t thinking about releasing when I tracked them, so this is my first unintentional record.

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