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2013: Year in Review

Having just looked back on the progress I've made playing the fiddle this year, it seems appropriate to revisit some of the other blog-worthy events of 2013. This has been a momentous year. By far, the biggest highlight of the year was becoming a father, but there were some pretty cool things happening in my old-time music realm as well. Here are a couple notables.

We kicked off the year with an interview with Chris Valluzzo of Horse Archer Productions about the upcoming documentary on the Highwoods String Band. At the time, the documentary was scheduled to be released in the spring or summer, but a wild goose chase for more footage of the Highwoods playing live has delayed the project. Valluzzo provided an update in October on Facebook, saying the film should be ready around Christmastime.

In March, Greg Galbreath of Buckeye Banjos spoke to the Glory-Beaming Banjo about creating custom banjos. Since then, Galbreath has closed his custom orders list to begin focusing on building his own designs, starting with No. 200. You can see all the banjos we talked about during the interview on his website under "Latest Banjos." That "Vanitas girl" banjo turned out to be for Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers.

February brought a new event in the Cleveland area, the Shore Folk Festival in Euclid, Ohio. This blog's banjo hero Mark Olitsky taught a workshop and joined in on jams. There were performances by local old-time musicians and a square dance. It was a neat event, but there hasn't been any word about whether there will be another one in 2014.

The summer featured my favorite local event, the Raccoon County Music Festival. I met up with friends to play tunes in the lawn. This will be a fun one to take my son to in the coming years.

In Concert
I didn't get out to many shows this year, but I did catch The Freight Hoppers on their way through Cleveland last winter. I'm hoping they'll be back this year for another winter tour through the Midwest. Frank Lee and the gang provided a great evening of tunes and songs, despite the absence of the band's founding fiddler David Bass.

These were some of this year's highlights on this blog. What were your favorite banjo-related happenings in 2013? What are you looking forward to in the New Year?


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