Hope everyone is doing ok. Please be extra safe out there.
I recently contributed five songs and discussed them with the hosts of a new VT-based video podcast entitled Transist: Amplify Peace. Published on July 4, 2021, the podcast two newly written songs on the octave mando (literally a giant mandolin) built by James Island. During the podcast, the hosts pause the set and we discuss each song.
The second song in the Transist set was Back of the Line, which aired nationally this spring on the syndicated progressive talk radio program hosted by Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen of bradblog.com in Los Angeles. Click here to hear the song — plus read the background of how the song came about, and a link to how it sounded over the radio within the context of our national struggle to secure voting rights.
After one year away, I’ll return to Blackpot Camp in South Louisiana in late October — to once again hear the sounds of mandolin harmonies under the pines. Attendance to Blackpot Camp will be limited for the first time ever this year. Much of the event already takes place outside, and most of the rest will be moved outdoors, pending, well, everything. Refer to the website for updates.
After more than a year of missing everyone and especially that sense of festival togetherness, I was thrilled to kick off my own 2021 festival season with an event that felt just like its name sounds: The Subdued Stringband Jamboree. My first time in 2019, it had been a blessing to perform at Subdued with Jeff Scroggins on banjo. This year, I performed solo on the side stage, and the mandolin workshop was one of the best ever. I even had the opportunity to perform on mandolin alongside Epi Martinez from South Texas on bajo sexto and his mother Cruz, a beloved vocalist. Both are members of the Tejano Roots Music Hall of Fame.
My first public performance in ages was at Finnriver in Chimacum on May 30, and Danny Barnes played tuba for half the show with yours truly on mandolin. The crowd was spectacular to see spread across the green. The setting was serene and thoughtfully safe.
As our nation continues to (hopefully) awaken from the pandemic, feel free to pitch performance ideas to matt <at> mattsircely.com or ask a question on the contact page. Self-produced farm concerts, porch performances, barn dances and grange hall shows can all be among the best, and I’m always willing to consider approaching your favorite local venue. Have mandolin, will travel, pro-public-health, always making music in one way or another. I look forward to someday seeing friends new and old, far and wide.
Go to the contact page to send an email, and definitely feel free to ask a question via the fanbridge link. Anything is fine, so ask away! Hope to see you out there somewhere soon.