Other terribly useful information

Monday, March 16, 2020

That Train

Cabin fever from doing a little too much "social distancing" in reaction to the COVID-19 virus led to this playtime fun. 

Fender announced the Tenor Tele at NAMM, January 2019, but didn't ship any until much later in the year.  I think I received mine on New Year's Eve Eve.  It arrived strung up like the higher four strings of a guitar (DBGE); very light.  I wanted an electric octave mandolin, so I fit bigger strings on it and tuned it GDAE.  The PR and Leslie have been in the family forever.

This is a Los Lobos tune that I've known for a long time and it sounds really cool with this setup.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Pockets 2019

This year, our venue for the annual Pockets Reunion was Howdershell Park in Hazelwood, MO.  Here are a couple videos from that party.

And here's one from Facebook, but I'm guessing you'll need to be logged into FB for it to work:


Sunday, February 10, 2019


My life-long friend Tommy passed 12/31/17.  We had learned about bluegrass music together back in the 70's.  He left me his banjo, so I felt compelled to learn something on it.  This is a  John Hartford tune Tommy used to sing.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Haymakers are returning from a tour that took us to Port Royal, SC, where we performed for the city's "Street Music on Paris Street" event.

Here's a link to a video of our first set:

Haymakers performing in Port Royal, SC

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


This year's Pockets reunion featured cool lighting.  Instant Blue Man Group, but without the paint. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Haymakers are hitting the road today for our midwest fall tour.  Heading to Minneapolis, MN for a Wednesday night show at the 331 Club.  On Thursday, we'll be in Omaha at the Harney Street Tavern.  Friday, we'll be on familiar ground at Knucklehead's gospel lounge.  After driving back to Wichita in Saturday's wee hours, we'll be at the District Marketplace for a noonish show. 


Friday, August 4, 2017


People ask about this instrument.  Generically, it's a guitar-bodied octave mandolin.  Specifically, it is one of Austin Clark's creations.  He lives and works in Boise, ID.  His mandolins have been featured as prizes for the mandolin contest at the Walnut Valley Festival the last several years.

I got interested in this style of instrument after watching videos of Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, John Mailander and others playing one.  Its sound is kind of like an acoustic guitar being run through a chorus pedal, but distinctly different than a twelve-string guitar.

I've had this instrument for less than two years.  It is tuned one octave below a regular mandolin, placing it a fifth higher than a mandocello and a fifth lower than a mandola.  It has the same range as a guitar tuned to standard and capoed at the third fret.

The scale is long enough that standard closed chord positions are sometimes impossible, but the nice bass and middle available from the open lower strings makes you wonder why you'd even try.