My wife and creative partner, Sue Griffiths, is a clawhammer banjoist who has sorely missed going to old time jams and gatherings. She’s been confined to making music with me at home. As much as I like and appreciate old time music, I have not gone deep enough into the repertoire to even come close to knowing the nuance and beauty of the tunes. I have composed a few original tunes for Sue that she has learned for which I am grateful. We live in middle Tennessee near the town of Smithville where there is an annual Fiddler’s Jamboree every July 4th weekend. Sue and I are learning some Appalachian Folk song duets to perform at the jamboree next year, 2022. Sue has also contributed some lyrics for my next album release.
My friend and longtime songwriting partner, Geoffrey Himes, is a music critic and journalist who usually attends numerous music gatherings and conferences. He has spent much of the last two years at home in Baltimore. We have had bimonthly Zoom conversations about music and current events. We’ve written over one hundred songs together since 1982. Geoffrey is mostly a wordsmith in our collaboration. I have been writing and recording songs for a 2022 album release that will feature original American rootsy blues compositions. Geoffrey and I have written many of the songs that will be included. We’ve written nearly twenty songs together during 2020-21.
My friend and West Coast touring partner, Craig Eastman, is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who is usually in a recording studio or at a gig in the Los Angeles area. He has spent most of the last two years working at his home studio, which is one of my favorite studios in the multiverse. We have been collaborating on songs for my next album. It’s been such a joy to hear Craig’s ideas and overdubs on fiddle, low fiddle, chin cello and lapsteel. I am looking forward to my next visit to the West Coast and live performance music making with Craig.
My newest friend and creative partner, Roqué Marcelo, is a writer, musician, dancer, and filmmaker who lives deep in the hills of Middle Tennessee, not but a few miles away from our home place as the crow flies. Roqué was the director and videographer for a virtual concert I did for the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina in July, 2021. After making the concert video we began work on a song of his, “Vampire,” to be included in a multimedia performance arts piece to be released by Roqué in 2022. We are still working on “Vampire” and will soon begin working on the musical soundscape for a film short also to be released in 2022.