Month: June 2013

July is upon us!

Plenty of good stuff coming up in July 2013! First, a small faction of the Jug Band is participating in San Diego’s first Fringe Festival. Clinton Davis, Batya MacAdam-Somer, and Meghann Welsh will be performing a score by Clinton for The Desperate Characters of Mercer County, a drama set in frontier-era Missouri. The show runs July 5-7th and you can learn more at the event website:

And THEN, bring on the bar shows! We’re at San Diego’s newest, hippest whiskey bar Seven Grand on the 11th, and the Black Cat on the 13th.

If you need to sober up after that, head north to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters on the 27th where Clinton and Batya will be doing a special duo set.


First track from DCMC

My score for The Desperate Characters of Mercer County is finally finished. We’ll have CDs for sale at the show June 5-7th, and also online via bandcamp. Until then, here’s the first track…

Back from Alabama

Just returned from an amazing trip south to Alabama for an intense 10 days of Sacred Harp singing. Together with Sean and Meghann from the G Burns Jug Band, we travelled through the Sand Mountain region of Alabama, which has been a home to families of Sacred Harp singers since the 19th century. The northeastern quadrant of the state produced some of the earliest and most widespread recordings of this music, first in the 1920’s, and again in the 1940’s with Alan Lomax.

Nearly every day brought a long drive through backroads to a new town, a new old church, hours of singing, and a big dinner on the grounds. We sang with other travelers such as ourselves, but were welcomed by families that have been singing for 3, 4, even 5 generations: Ballingers, Creels, Woottens, Iveys. I love singing this music myself, but I often felt compelled to be silent, listen, and learn.

  Listen to David Ivey lead Sister’s Farewell at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church, near Section, AL.

 Florida sung at Addington Chapel, near Bremen, AL.


With David Ivey, a traditional singer who was recently awarded the NEA National Heritage Fellowship for his work preserving the Sacred Harp tradition.


Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist Church


Aldridge Memorial singing, near Carbon Hill, AL

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