Wednesday 16 May 2018

The banjo retro-fitted with a new Nechville arm rest and ready for re-stringing before I record my new banjo song

MIKEY is off to Stirling and Margaret has some stuff in Glasgow.

I come out the shower and find another bleedin’ tick…on the back of my upper arm this time. I manage to find the tick remover but after 10 minutes of messing around trying to reach the blighter using a mirror I decide to leave it ’til Margaret comes home.

Another round of re-engagement messages are sent out to my email lists and a few more GDPR compliance web tweaks. Almost there, I think.

In the kitchen I make a batch of black bean soup and while it’s bubbling away bag up a job lot of sausages for the freezer.

The wooden banjo arm rest I ordered on Monday arrives in the post…I’m allergic to the wee thin chrome one I already had on there so had to find a sweat band to protect my forearm – just a couple of minutes playing without would end up with a swollen red weal and day-long itch.

Its not so apparent how to fit the new armrest, but I need to undo a couple of the hooks round the tension hoop to get the old one off. I;ce got the whole thing in pieces before I realise that there’s no need to take anything off on the banjo side of things, the two crosshead screws on the back of the rest are long enough to let the flanges out to clamp onto the rim. Doh!

Anyway, job done and the thing not only protects my arm form the chrome, but is a million times more comfortable…shoulda done this ages ago!

I take a break and sit in the sun and try and get the words to the new banjo song in my head. I plan to re-record tomorrow with a couple of small lyric tweaks and a more consistent approach which will be aided by not having to read the lyrics.

There’s still a bit of wood to be chopped so I take advantage of the sunshine and make a wee dent in the pile.

Margaret gets home and manages to remove the tick before I get on and cover some chicken thighs with a rub ready for the smoker tomorrow. Then I make a batch of Alabama White BBQ sauce…easily the best choice for chicken.

I run through the banjo song a few more times, relying on memory for the lyrics.I fumble my way through and, despite a few stutters while wracking my brain, I kinda remember the words. Mostly.

Sun’s still shining so I cue up a podcast in my search for tips on recording the new song and take a walk up the lochside.

Back home, I split a few more logs then go inside, open a beer and make some tortillas for our chilli tacos. We prefer the corn tortillas, but there’s some flour-based dough in the freezer I decided to use up. It feels OK, but has become very ‘springy’ and the results are more like little pitta breads! Moral of the story – best to make fresh taco dough. Maybe it just needed knocked back and rested a few times. Who knows…but if it did, it’s not saving any time!

Although we end up with the oddest tacos we’ve ever seen, they do taste pretty good!

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Saturday 28 October 2017

With Neil Silverman of Newtone Strings who organised the event…and supplies my guitar (and banjo!) strings

EARLY start to head south…I pack the gear and merch and we’re on the road soon after 9am.

It’s over 300 miles to Horsley Woodhouse in Derbyshire where I’m playing a special event organised by Newtone Strings who make and provide my guitar strings…in particular, the ‘’Dave Arcari signature’ set.

There’s music ’market’ all day and a bunch of folks playing in the afternoon including ace baseman (and guitar player) Fred Thelonious Baker and then in the evening there’s two acts – Becky Langan and myself.

We stop for some grub en route, then at our hotel were we check in before arriving at The Old Oak about ten miles away. The afternoon’s in full swing and we”re in time to catch a stunning set from Fred then enjoy a blether and a beer.

Fun and games playing Newtone Strings’ event

The room is re-set for the evening performances and we load in and soundcheck before going for some dinner.

Becky kicks things off at 8pm and plays a very accomplished 45-minutes’-worth of instrumental percussive acoustic guitar stuff.

At 9pm, it’s my turn and I have a blast – a great audience and lotsa fun.

There’s more beer and chat aerwards then we load out and make our way back to the hotel where we have a snack and a wee nightcap…and look forward to an extra hour’s sleep. The clocks go back tonight!

Becky Langan kicks off the evening set at Newtone Strings’ event in Horsley Woodhouse.

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Tuesday 20 September 2016

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Facebook graphic with some of my ‘partners’…click for USA tour dates so far

MY eyes are feeling a bit odd…I tried to convince myself yesterday that it was the cold or something but it feels a lit like the uveitus is flaring up.

I decide to wait a while before phoning the hospital – meantime, I speak to our insurance broker and sort out our annual travel insurance which runs out halfway through the US tour. We need a policy that will last longer than 45 days, and the 60-day version is expensive…more than £300. Jeez, Credit card time.

Although I’m hoping for a few more USA dates to be confirmed I can;t wait any longer before getting the tour promo postcards printed. it;s impossible to buy print in the USA from outside the country so I knock up the artwork and send it – along with print and printer details to my cousin in New York She’s on the case and gets them ordered.

Next job is a Facebook graphic with the dates and featuring the folks I have some kind of artist deal with – Newtone Strings, National Reso-Phonic Guitars, G7th Capos and Diamond Bottlenecks. I get that made up, posted and tag ’em all. Hopefully it’ll help spread the word.

I’m worried about my eyes. Something definitely amiss and if it’s not the uveitus it’s something else. I call the consultant’s secretary but she’s ‘finished for the day’…I explain the problem and the person I’m speaking to says she’ll see what she can do. True to her word, she calls back in five minutes with a hospital appointment for tomorrow lunchtime.

I’ve been having problems sending emails for the last week or so. All the server details and credentials are OK so I call my hosting company and find my IP address has been blocked…basically I changed an email password on the laptop but not on my phone and after too many unsuccessful attempts to send mail (ie: with the wrong password) my IP address was blocked as a security measure. They unblock it and all’s good.

Most of my tasks done – or at lest under control – I go for a walk up the lochside then stop in at Betty and Joe’s where Margaret’s already in situ…a coffee and a few glasses of red later we find our way home.

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Monday 11 July 2016

Great to see Neil and the guys at Newtone Strings...and launch the Dave Arcari signature strings...now available in the web shop :-)

Great to see Neil and the guys at Newtone Strings…and launch the Dave Arcari signature strings…now available in the web shop 🙂

THE CAR’S packed, so all we have to do is shove in our overnight bag and a few other bits and bobs before we hit the road.

First stop is Matlock where we’re stopping off to see Neil at Newtone Strings…I’ve been using custom gauge (ie: very heavy!) strings from Newtone for years. We were chatting a while back and we discussed the idea of a ‘signature set’, worked together to put the plan in action and now we have ’em 🙂

The strings are now available in my online store, on the merch table at shows and, of course, via Newtone Strings.

We carry on our journey to London where we’re staying with friends Chris and Richard….we’re staying tonight and tomorrow (Tuesday) – after the London show at the Blues Kitchen, Camden. It’s nice to have an evening with them and Chris has made a fabulous meal….

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