Traveling Show

As a lot of you already know, I used to ditch school and walk comically long distances across suburban Philadelphia with a banjo or guitar (sometimes both) strapped across my back.

I was on one of these jaunts when I ran into one of my teachers from middle school. It turned out that we were both playing hooky, so we took a walk together and talked for a bit.

In that conversation he predicted that I would probably end up a writer or a performer. His advice was to go to Gibsonton and buy a stage trailer from retired carnies – or buy a bread truck and add a folding stage. However I set up my rig,he thought I should travel from place to place as my own traveling show.

I did not take his advice. I thought about it. I even went shopping for old panel trucks with Dear Old Dad, but in the end I decided that traveling was not my thing. Being on the road is brutal, and so expensive that you can never perform enough shows to make a living.

I thought of my old teacher this morning when I saw an advertisement for an old folding stage trailer from Gibsonton on

For sale ’94 southern body trailer mounted set and stage with living quarters $17,000

Only 2 hour set up time, with 2 people. No heavy lifting stage is lowered on an electric winch, marquee is raised on hydrolics. For sale $17,000 w/ ’07 Dodge 2500 to pull it $35,000. You can make it back in one season, we did in 2006.

Maybe one of you will take a rig like this on the highways of America sharing the joy of frailing banjo with people across this great nation.

The Family That Frails Together

A couple of people have commented on the way my father and I interact on-camera.

Well, this is the way my father and I are all the time.

When I was a kid, before I took up music, my father and I loved each other, but we did not always get along. I would get into so much trouble in and out of school and it created a lot of tension.

Everybody loves the story that I only took up frailing banjo to win a bet with Dear Old Dad. They never take in the scope of how frustrated we were with each other. I learned a musical instrument to piss the man off.

Once we were making music together our relationship changed. We got to know each other and somewhere along the way we became close friends

The way we interact on camera is the way we are all the time. It drives mom nuts, but she loves us both.

See for yourself. Watch us jam and banter in our first instructional video filmed about eighteen years ago and then watch yesterday’s video. This is not an act. This is us. This is the kind of friendship that is possible with love, understanding and the language of music.

Don’t just watch us on video! Join us at the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat! June 1-3 in beautiful Centreville, MD! Bring your family and learn to make beautiful music together.


A lot of people watch, enjoy and – more importantly use the videos on our YouTube channel.

In the beginning we were only experimenting, so I named the channel after my first love, my Dobro 33H guitar.

Our first video was an experiment. I wanted to see if could teach the subway shuffle the way the cool old dude taught it to me.

Dear Old Dad and I have been on YouTube for over ten years. As I write this our videos have 4,624,370 views. and our channel has 13,058 subscribers.

We know how hard and frustrating it can be trying to connect with an audience. Back in 1997 there were only a handful of banjo web pages. We were two guys playing our banjos out into the ether. In 2006 We did not know if or how people would find us on YouTube.

Today it is even more difficult to carve out a space for yourself. It can be tough letting people know you exist.

If you are having a hard time connecting with an audience Dear Old Dad and I would like to help.

Send us a short video introducing yourself to the Dobro33H audience. Tell us about your channel, band or project. We will upload the video to our channel and make it available to the great people visiting us on YouTube.

This is a one-time offer limited to one video uploaded at our discretion. If we do use your video we will only keep it up for a short time.

Send your video file to If it’s too big to email send me a link via DropBox or similar service.

Christmas 2017

It has been a nice day. I got a lot done and then a migraine kicked in and sowed me down. I was able to cook an epic pot of vegetable soup for our dinner and for some of our neighbors (Dear Old Dad always says to chare a meal, and we practice what we preach!).

Even with the headache I had a nice dinner with my folks. We exchanged gifts. I got a salad spinner and a new bow for my fiddle.

The fiddle bow was a real surprise. I have been trying to hide from Dear Old Dad that my current bow was completely shot.

So it has been a lovely Christmas here in Crisfield. I hope and pray all of you have a wonderful holiday if you observe Christmas, or an awesome Monday if you don’t.

My head is hurting really bad. I’m going to curl up with Pooka and watch a bad movie.

Goodnight and God bless.

While You Were Steeping

I enjoy coffee – especially the more exotic variants like Turkish coffee. Coffee is good stuff, but I drink tea all day.

I love tea. I drink cold black tea all day while I am working and I drink rooibos at night to power down. I treat myself to a pot of good white tea when I’m blue.

Yesterday a friend gave me a cool little tea strainer. It looks like a little dude is doing something rude to your cup. I love it!

Drop the dude in the water
Steeping. . .

The Wearing of the Greens

The other day I brought home a nice head of lettuce and some spinach to make myself salads this week. I’m a vegetarian so I eat a lot of salads.

On a side note: going vegetarian helped me change my eating habits – and that helped me drop nearly eighty lbs.

Anyway, I always wash my greens because I had a middle school science teacher who kept Ascaris worms in a jar of formaldehyde on his desk.

Back to my salad greens; after I washed the greens I needed to dry them off a bit. I don’t have a salad spinner. dumped the greens on a clean tea towel, picked it up by its four corners, went outside and spun the tea towel over my head. I get funny looks from the neighbors every time I do this, but it works really well.

I went back in the kitchen, dumped my greens in Tupperware, tossed the towel into the dirty clothes hamper and went on my merry way.

Normally I give the towel a quick shake over the trash can, but this time I skipped that step.

Dad was doing the laundry and he call me down from the office yelling, “Why is the washing machine full of lettuce?”

It took a while to explain . . .


Last April my father and I shut down the archives of our YouTube
channel. With over 650 videos and four million views it was getting
hard to create new content.

People did not like seeing the old content shut down, so we took
things a different route and made the archives available by
subscription. $25 a year is less than most lessons nowadays.

Now YouTube has abruptly cut off paid content. Subscriptions will end
January 1st, 2018.

While the situation is out of my control, I still want to do right by
our subscribers.

Effective immediately we are making the old videos free to the public.

If you are a subscriber, save your receipt. Contact us when we launch
our new project early next year and we will give the first lesson
module on the house.