The Tao of The How and the Tao Strikes Again. Accidentally, of Course

banjo tab example
Just a random example from the notes for the as yet untitled project.

Over the past few weeks, the seasonable but felt otherwise weather set off a perfect storm of neuropathy pain. Days and weeks of pain intense enough to make sleeping or even eating nearly impossible.

One of the interesting things about pain is that it messes with your sense of time. Ten seconds in a broken hot tub full of cold noodles stuck between Donald Trump and Andy Dick while they share a can of unheated Pork ‘n Beans with a crusty spork is going to seem a lot longer than ten seconds with the love of your life.

Since my scenario was far worse than anything I could joke about, even, possibly, the aforementioned scenario, I started writing. There was nothing specific in mind. Time went on. As I started letting myself ramble, I found a thread and ran with it. I have not written this easily since accidentally writing my first book in 2003.

The first draft is finished. I want to give it another go-over. By the time I send it down to Dear Old Dad for the first edit, the title will come to us. The How and the Tao of Old-Time Banjo and A Book of Five-Strings were titles I tossed into the air as a joke. God only knows what our banter will come up with for our eleventh book together.

More news will be released soonish. I’m not rushing this one.

Not to brag, but at 52 and in rough shape, it’s nice to know I can still churn out a competed work of this scope within a few days. I may be hurting and banged up, but I still have some good punches left in my mitts. I would like to say I’m like Rocky, but it’s more of a Princess Bride deal where I am only mostly dead in the winter. Inconceivable!

Be sure to take advantage of our Book Sale. Amazon takes too much of a cut. Buying direct helps us a great deal. I need some kind of wheelchair a heck of a lot more than Bezos needs to send more celebrities into space! help wanted

We have the tools at hand to build a nice online community at Almost every video we made from 2006 until recently is in the media archives, along with all of my books, and a lot of other material.

I was never well-organized. Coming from stage, radio, and live television, I learned early on to let everything go once the curtain goes down. You save the funny and embarrassing stuff, but the rest is forgotten quickly. As a disorganized trained improviser, the idea of every post being stored away seemed silly. After all, who would want to hear a banjo workshop from 1998?

Now that I am taking a shot at organizing things, I find myself physically unable to do so.

Here’s the deal: I have incapacitating nerve pain in my hands, feet, and neck. The pain increased exponentially over the winter to the point where sleeping, eating, and sometimes even thinking are impossible. The lack of sleep is wreaking havoc upon me because insomnia is not good for epileptics. I am having at least two seizures a week – and I usually bang myself up when I fall. I can’t walk without a cane, and even then, it’s only a few steps, leaving me basically housebound.

I am doing my best to keep myself together, but working in this kind of pain is nearly impossible.

As much as I would like to attempt wrangling this site back into shape, I just can’t do it by myself.

The goal of this place was always for you to take the steering where at some point. If any of you want to put your heads together and help make this place a useable resource for everyone, let me know.

Hear This: Piedmont Blūz

I discovered this wonderful duo on Spotify today; Piedmont Blūz.

Excellent musicians, but what caught my eye and sound processor is the graceful ease the duo has with the music, the audience, and each other. This is as close to what I experienced thirty or forty years ago as I have come across in a long time. Subscribe to their channel, tune in on streaming media, and get a taste of not only some sweet music, but the spirit of this American art form.

Valerie Turner is a lady who can wrangle a resophonic guitar with the best of them. Wow. Just, wow.