July 21st

Those of you active on Facebook and ‘the grapevine’ will have already heard of the death of Fiona Cameron, one of the FOAOTMAD founder members – she used to joke about her membership number being 007.

My thanks to Steve Wise for pointing out an obituary from part of her life that I was only faintly aware of: http://www.veterans-fencing.co.uk/latest.shtml

As it is a ‘latest news’ page you may need to scroll down a little.

Further details from Tina Wade: Fiona’s funeral will take place at Chesterfield Crematorium at 3:30 on Monday 25th July, which would have been her 66th birthday. The service will be a simple service conducted by a Catholic priest and friends are welcome to attend. Please respect her brother’s request and use this opportunity as a time for quiet private reflection.

Her musician friends are able to will meet after the funeral at The Three Merry Lads, Main Road, Cutthorpe, Chesterfield S42 7AJ http://threemerryladspub.co.uk where they have the use of the restaurant (ground floor next to the bar) and will be able to have some tunes in there in honour of Fiona.


Fire-starter, wood-gatherer and banjo player Gary Andrews died this week following a long battle with cancer. A fixture at the Sacrewell Camps for the past 13 years Gary was a stalwart supporter of the camp fire gatherings and will be sadly missed by his FOATMAD friends.


The finalized detailes for ‘WOTMAD’ are here:


The ROOTS club from Rainham Oast House Community Centre has moved to the Dancing Dog Saloon, Bobbing, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8QP.

The club has been renamed to Dog Gone “ROOTS”!

So the Wednesday 5th October gig by Beverly Smith & John Grimm will now be at the Dancing Dog Saloon. The pub is an extremely interesting place with lots of Wild West memorabilia everywhere – life size cutouts of John Wayne, Saddles, banjo’s, stetsons etc. It has been home to Country music / line dancing for many years but we intend to show them the true way of life and convert them to Old-Time Music and dance.

The club will run on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month as before – 8 pm – 11 pm. Entrance is free (a raffle will be held to raise funds to subsidise guest nights). On Guest nights we will be charging £5.00.


A-scale banjo. Minstrel style. Bob Flesher Plantation model, built by Dave Stacey from a kit. Just right for Sore Fingers week. £850 including gig bag.

Photos – http://foaotmad.org.uk/wordpress/news/?page_id=38


An update on the November workshops from Tony Mear:

A couple of people have contacted me about the November workshops and asked about the level of the beginner workshops. They expressed concern about people who are experienced players signing up for the beginner workshop leading to the class becoming too advanced for actual beginners. I appreciate those concerns so asked David Bragger about them. I can’t do better than give you his response:

“Here’s the scoop. I’m really, really good with beginners. Since teaching bowing is my absolute specialty, I take my time with beginners and teach patterns and application of said patterns to tunes. I just finished teaching a beginner fiddle workshop that lasted 4 days at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. Surprisingly, more advanced fiddlers attended and they loved it since they never had experienced bowing instruction like I teach it. I take great care with beginners. So, no worries there! I guarantee it!”

What I would say is that, if you are more than a beginner, in fiddle or banjo, but you are anxious about joining the advanced class, seriously consider stepping up. Its the only way to grow!

People have also asked about timing and cost of individual lessons. David and Chris will be taking a few days out sightseeing on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so lessons will be available on the afternoon/evening of Sunday 20th, Monday 21st and the morning and early afternoon of Friday 25th. Their hourly rate is $75 USD – with the currently fluctuating exchange rate I can’t tell you what that will be in £ GBP in November, we’ll sort that out closer to the date. I will also ask David about small group rates, maybe a few of us could get together for some group lessons.

If you have signed up for the workshops already and want to reserve a private lesson slot then email me at publicity@foaotmad.org.uk and I’ll start a list.

Oh, and please be patient if your cheque doesn’t get banked straight away or you don’t get a quick response – holidays and festivals tend to get in the way 🙂

Posted in News | Comments Off on July 21st

July 14th

Beverly Smith and John Grimm have a tour building, dates below. They are looking to fill the gap at the beginning. Contact them via their website: http://www.smithgrimm.com

Sep 21 Wed Llantrisant Folk Club, Pontyclun, South Wales
Sep 29 Thu The Wolf Folk Club, Wolverton, Norfolk
Sep 30 Fri Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire
Oct 1 Sat House Concert, London
Oct 2 Sun Folk and Roots Club, Colchester, Essex
Oct 3 Mon The Caledonia, Liverpool
Oct 4 Tue Cramlington Folk Club, Northumbria
Oct 5 Wed Rainham Roots, Rainham Kent
Oct 7 Fri The Roots Music Club, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Oct 8 Sat The Cellar Upstairs, Calthorpe Arms, London WC1X 8JR


Upcoming Stompin’ Dave gigs in Dorset, London, Oxfordshire,
Hampshire, Wiltshire, & Somerset.

For more info. please visit: www.stompinstore.com/gigs–2

There is a selection of new videos on his youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/davestomp

Any correspondence to: davestomp@yahoo.co.uk


Posted in News | Comments Off on July 14th

July 7th

Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest
Cecil Sharp House, London NW1
Friday 15 July, 7:00pm – 10:00pm

As part of the Appalachian 100 series at Cecil Sharp House, ‘Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest’ tells the epic story of the trips made 100 years ago by folklorist Cecil Sharp into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, to seek out remote communities where descendents of 18th century British migrants kept the old songs alive. The tale is told in music, narrative and image by leading singer, musician and researcher Brian Peters, who sings the best of the ballads accompanied by guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, reads fascinating diary extracts, and presents Sharp’s evocative photographs of the mountain people, in this multi-media show.

Website: www.brian-peters.co.uk


Perhaps not of interest to everyone but there is one last banjo for sale from the collection of the late Dave Marshall: Huber Truetone resonator banjo. Tiger stripe maple neck; 3ply maple pot; flat top bell brass tone ring; maple resonator; gold plated hardware; two Scruggs tuners; frosted skin Remo head; Huber bridge; strap; “Superior” hard shell case; a couple of minor dings in the lacquer which should polish out. £4,500

Photos and more details from Andy Imms – ahimms@gmail.com


Posted in News | Comments Off on July 7th

June 30th

For FOAOTMAD members the news that the latest Old Time News should be hitting your doorsteps – or at least in most cases. We are using a new method where the UK copies are being processed by a mailing company. If you are non-UK or a UK group membership these still have to be processed by us and so may take a few days longer.


Not oldtime but I know there’s a lot of you that enjoy good harmony singing:

Windborne (a spin off from the wonderful Northern Harmony from Vermont) will be in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Chinnor Road, Towersey, Oxon, OX9 3QY on Thursday 21st July

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Brown Dog Banjos Summer Special Offers including starter to intermediate banjo packages.

Find out here…


For Sale: Martin OM28v guitar in hard shell case. In immaculate condition, rarely played. £2,000. For more details, contact ahimms@gmail.com


The Ide session is back at the Huntsman Inn, Ide this Sunday, 3rd July, 7.30 start.

Posted in News | Comments Off on June 30th

June 13th

BOOTS ‘N’ BANJOS – Appalachian Step Dance Workshop


SUNDAY 19TH JUNE 2016 – 10am – 4pm

Fee -£20 or £15 for Arts Centre Members

To book a place contact 01296 424332

or Tim on 01296 612943 for details

or info@qpc.org


More about the Romero’s fire:

Posted in News | Comments Off on June 13th

9th June

There will be no blog next week and the one after may be late (or not at all if there’s nothing of instant relevance)…


Some of you will already know about this from various Facebook feeds – Pharis & Jason Romero’s banjo shop has burned to the ground. Thankfully there was no loss of life, but nevertheless devastating due to the loss of all the equipment, a number of banjos awaiting dispatch and various other instruments. There is likely to be an organised appeal soon but Erynn Marshall comments – “To anyone wanting to help them right now: If you have a PayPal account you can log into your account at PayPal.com and send money to them at jason@romerobanjos.com and they’ll get it right away in their bank account. Send it as a “friends and family” transaction and they will receive the full amount, with no hidden fees.”

If I get any info about a formal appeal I’ll pass it on.


The Taunton (White Horse) session will not take place on Tuesday 21st due to an influx of morris dancers (and holidays). Back to normal on July 5th


The Reading Pickin’ Lunchtime sessions are taking a summer break. They will probably re-start in September and may have a new venue.

More info contact Colm: newtchaser@gmail.com or call/text 07776373906.


TONIGHT – A reminder that the Corn Potato String Band will be In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Chinnor Road, Towersey, Oxon, OX9 3QY

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15


Three new Stompin’ Dave Allen CDs available!

Live public performances coming up in Bristol, Somerset, Kent, Devon, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire & Nottinghamshire.

Please visit http://www.stompinstore.com for more information.

Posted in News | Comments Off on 9th June

2nd June

The Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance proudly present the 2016 Old Time Fiddle and Banjo workshops with David Bragger and Chris Berry. Two weekends of top class tuition for beginners/improvers and Intermediate/advanced fiddle players and banjo pickers

Building on the success of previous workshops we are delighted to announce that we have secured the services of David Bragger and Chris Berry to deliver our autumn workshops. In a change from previous years we are running the workshops back to back over consecutive weekends at the Blaxhall Youth Hostel in Suffolk.

The beginner/improver workshops will run over the weekend of 18 November to 20 November and the intermediate/advanced workshops will run over the weekend of 25 to 27 November 2016

The workshops are open to FOAOTMAD members only and for only £190 you will enjoy tuition, accommodation (shared hostel style) and full board from the Friday evening until Sunday lunchtime. There will, of course, be plenty of time for picking and socialising!

The venue: Blaxhall YHA, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 2EA. Details of the venue can be found at

Additional Lessons and accommodation: David and Chris are also available for additional lessons in the week between the workshops and we have accommodation available at the hostel if you would like to take advantage of that (£13 per night, self catering).

Further information about any of the above from: Tony Mear 07814 003126 publicity@foaotmad.org.uk


A couple of sales:

Slim Jim Fretless Mountain Banjo made by Jim Heasell in Hampshire. Maple and walnut construction; goat skin head; Nylgut strings; 1/2″ curved bridge; walnut tailpiece; gig bag.
From the collection of the late Dave Marshall. £375. For pictures, email ahimms@gmail.com


Fretless, very old, very beautifully made English genuine banjo, all wood. All original apart from replaced torn skin. 7 string so scope for experiments with harmony/ drone / duplicate / bass strings etc. Good for posing and miming but even better for playing, making new friends/enemies and having fun. We have not been able to find a picture of one like it so you will be playing a unique banjo. A true, craftsman-made instrument.
We have pictures, if interested please send email to Helen Logan funkypips@btinternet.com to request them.


Next Tuesday’s Sound Out features The Corn Potato String Band from USA at the start of their UK tour.

Aaron Jonah Lewis, Lindsay McCaw and Ben Belcher are multi-instrumentalists who play wonderful traditional American music. Expect fiddles, banjos and guitars in various combinations plus harmonic singing and a track or two from their new album ‘Put Out Your Old Grey Bonnet’.

June 7, 15.00 – 15.45, Resonancefm 104.4 fm and www.resonancefm.com


5th June – Old Time session, 7.30 pm at the Huntsman Inn, Ide, near Exeter


Posted in News | Comments Off on 2nd June

26th May

Spring Camp reminder – the code for the barrier for late and early arrivals is 80564 and (as previously explained) the hook ups in our part of the site are already taken so please don’t camp there.


‘Play-along-a-Walt’… New from Mudthumper Music!

Slo-mo Banjo DVD, Volume I – Fiddle Tunes played by Walt Koken in the old-time downpicking (frailing, or clawhammer) style

This will be of interest to five-string banjo players of all skill levels who enjoy playing old time fiddle tunes on the banjo.

High Definition Video of 25 tunes , each played briefly with variations at full speed, then each rendered in slow motion, also in HD with the original audio pitch maintained. Shot with two HD video cameras, the split-screen display shows simultaneous motion of the right and left hands, with the left hand from the viewpoint of the player.

Ordering information and table of contents are on the website: DVD details

Liner notes give references to fiddlers who inspired each rendition, including such as Ed Haley, Edden Hammons, French Carpenter, Norman Edmonds, Estil Bingham, Marcus Martin, Hobart Smith, the Skillet Lickers, the East Texas Serenaders, et al.


In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Chinnor Road, Towersey, Oxon, OX9 3QY
Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

Delta guitar picking and blues from Thomas Ford on Thursday 2nd June


The Corn Potato Stringband on Thursday 9nd June

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


LITTLE OPRY, Margate, Kent
Saturday 28 May: JENI AND BILLY (USA)
Plus open mic

Tickets £8 www.wegottickets.com, Tom Thumb Theatre, direct through website or on door.

Meet in Fin Bar upstairs from 6.30, starts 7.30pm

or contact us directly on 01227 770840 or 01322 228802


Jeni and Billy will also be at St Anne’s Church at Ings, (between Staveley and Windermere), on the afternoon of 26th June.


28th May – Tappalachian at Chippenham Folk Festival
Tappalachian will be performing four times at Chippenham on Saturday 28th May,
including the very prestigious extended arena spot prior to the arrival of the main procession.


10th-11th June – Autoharp Weekend, Whitby & Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Learn to play this unique and beautiful sounding instrument, with classes for Beginners, Moving On, Intermediate and Advanced players. Friday 10th June from 4pm at the Windmill Inn, Stainsacre Lane, Whitby, YO22 4NT. Evening jam session (any acoustic instrument) from 6pm. Saturday 11th June from 9.30am at Fylingdales Village Hall, Station Road, Robin Hood’s Bay, YO22 4RA. Workshops all day followed by evening concert. Loaner harps available. Full details on www.ukautoharps.org.uk



Posted in News | Comments Off on 26th May

4th May

Corn Potato String Band:


June 3 – 5 Fire In The Mountain Festival, Aberystwyth
June 08 Square Dance at Sea Cadets Hut, Richmond, London
June 10 Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
June 11 Wiveton Hall Cafe, Holt, Norfolk
June 13 The Bell Inn, 103 Walcot Street, Bath
June 14 Stag and Hounds, 74 Old Market St., Bristol
June 15 The Beambridge Inn, Wellington, Somerset
June 16 The Cross Keys, Selattyn near Oswestry
June 17 The Meeting Place, Stonelaw Church, Dryburgh Ave., Glasgow
June 19 Roseangle Cafe, Perth Road, Roseangle, Dundee
June 20 Macmerry Primary School, Macmerry by Tranent, East Lothian
June 21 Caol Community Centre, Glenkingie St, Caol, Fort William
June 24 Village Hall, Smailholm, nr Kelso, Scottish Borders
June 25 The Greystones, Greystones Rd., Sheffield
June 26 The Hippodrome, Harbour Road, Eyemouth
June 27 House Concert, Summerhills, Old Carlisle Rd., Moffat, Dumfriesshire
June 28 Parish Church, Church Street, Kilsyth
June 30 The Blue Lamp, 121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen
July 01 House Concert, Edinburgh
July 02 Moniaive Old Time Summer Workshops and concert
July 04 Heart of Hawick, Kirkstile, Hawick


Old Time Camping Fiddling & Picking Weekend – 8th to 10th July
Higher Alsia Farm, St Buryan, Penzance TR19 6HG
An Old Time campout hosted by Guy Charles on his farm located near Lands End.

It is open to old time players, dancers and singers.

Although free, this is an invitation event so you MUST get in touch first.
Please RSVP guy@alsiafarm.com for full details so he knows how many would like to attend or use this form


For Sale: Doug Unger Vega Tubaphone banjo from the collection of the late Dave Marshall. If you would like full details, please email ahimms@gmail.com


WOTMAD -  29th to 31st July


Concert reminder – Bruce Molsky – Saturday 21st May – The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire


Posted in News | Comments Off on 4th May

28th April

Shelley Stevens is a mountain dulcimer player from Ohio in the USA. (see her website at www.shelleystevens.com)

She will be in Ireland next month starting in Dublin on May 5thm arriving early morning but not meeting up with her tour until that evening so she and her husband will have the day to themselves. Are there any opportunities to meet any dulcimer players or jamming on that date? They would also be open to meetings at other stops on their tour.



The next Huntsman Inn Session (Ide, near Exeter) is Sunday 1st May at 7:30.


Sunday 8th May – Pickin’ Lunchtime at The Global Cafe, 35-39 London St, Reading UK, RG1 4PS (free parking at rear & only 5 min walk from train station)

Ph: 0118 958 3555 http://www.risc.org.uk/global-cafe

Facebook Group https://facebook.com/groups/pickinlunchtime
More info email Colm: newtchaser@gmail.com or call/text 07776373906.

Note that dates and possibly venue may change from June

All sold
From Griffin Banjos : Calling all DIY banjo makers:- I have five part finished or damaged/repairable necks to dispose of, 3 maple,1 lemonwood, 1 mahogany longneck, all with fitted truss rods. £5 each, carriage extra, probably less than £5. Contact james@griffinbanjos.co.uk


BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 – Folk Singer of the Year award to Rhiannon Giddens, late of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Maybe there’ll be an upsurge in oldtime music in the UK….

Also, winners of the Best Original Song award were the Rheingans Sisters – daughters of old-time stalwart Helmut Rheingans. Congratulations to them.

Posted in News | Comments Off on 28th April