Monday, June 28, 2010

Bobby Miller and The Virginia Dare Devils / Brother, Adieu

The new release by Bobby Miller and the Virginia Dare Devils is finally here!  The Virginia Dare Devils deliver a precise and beautiful sound which tends more towards the traditional/classical end of the contemporary bluegrass genre.  This is a delightful and refreshing collection of songs and instrumentals by a talented group of  master musicians.  It has already found a cozy spot in my collection.  I've been listening over and over since downloading and enjoying every minute of it.  Thanks for this one, Bobby Miller!

The Virginia Dare Devils are: Bobby Miller lead vocals and Mandolin, Griff Martin vocals and guitar, Bill Cardine dobro, Billy Constable banjo, and Stefan Custodi bass.   Several other well known Asheville musicians appear as guests on the recording.

Download  these 11 songs of bluegrass bliss by the stellar Asheville-area group for only 9.99 at Digstation Download.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Magnoliafest 2010 Initial Lineup

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The lineup looks really good so far for MagnoliaFest 2010. I know that Black Betty and I are stroked and stoked to see it up and posted after the small turn-out for Suwanee SpringFest this year. I must say that I am intrigued by the joining of Bill Kreutzmann and Papa Mali in 7 Walkers, especially knowing that Robert Hunter has penned a number of songs specifically for them. No way am I going to miss that show. 
Railroad Earth, hell yes! The jam is always sweeter when the train comes to town!  Keller and Keels, awesome new album, see them every chance we get!  Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan, can we have MagFest without them? I think not.  Cornmeal, Col. Bruce, how about a fantasy jam with Allie Kral and the Quark Alliance?  Jeff and Johnny Mosier, we love them guys around here. Can't wait to see them again!  Dread Clampitt, hot, hot, hot!  Mike and Ruthie are one of our all time favorites. We are so happy to be able to see them back in Suwanee!

So far, so good. I can't wait to see what else MagFest has in store for us! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Betty's Birthday/Tsali/Father's Day/ Summer Solstice

There's nothing quite like summertime and we've had a full week of it at the Hometown Homestead. Black Betty celebrated a birthday earlier in the week and then we spent a long weekend at Tsali for celebration of the Solstice, Father's day, and summer in general! School is out and the heat is on. We set up Gnometown at Tsali, did a little mountain biking, a little swimming, some great campstyle cooking, and lots of relaxing in general.. We had a great visit with Holly, David, Wyatt, and little Jack. It really doesn't get any better than this!

Wyatt and Jack hanging out in the Gnometown Camper.

Papa and Wyatt riding bikes.

Big boys on Nanna's Birthday.

Wyatt cooling off in Fontana Lake.

Cricket walks Wyatt.

Hometown still in all one piece.

And finally here is Wyatt on his first trip to my favorite mountain biking destination, Tsali. He's actually outgrown his helmet and wouldn't let me put it on his head, so I insisted on the hat. He'll be winning races in no time....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Charlie's Bunion Hike

                                               Peanut GA>ME '08 / Loveboat GA>ME '08

Few things bring more joy to me than reuniting with trail friends from my 2008 Appalachian Trail thru hike.
Loveboat and Peanut graced Black Betty and I with a visit on Sunday night and I was fortunate enough to join them for a beautiful hike to Charlie's Bunion on Monday before they had to head back home.
We shared wonderful stories and sweet memories of a great adventure! I already miss them and hope they come back, soon!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dutch Oven Pork Roast with Apples and Onions

4 lb. Pork Loin End Roast
Fresh Garlic
Fresh Sage
Fresh Rosemary
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 cup White Wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 cups organic Apple Juice (I wanted cider)
2 Granny Smith Apples, one sliced, one cut into 1" cubes
4 small Vidalia Onions sliced

Prepare the roast in the morning by trimming the visible fat. Stab the top of the roast with a sharp knife and liberally insert fat garlic slivers. Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Chop sage and rosemary, mix with olive oil, and rub on roast. Wrap meat and place in fridge.

To Cook
Prepare 22 charcoal briquettes.
Simmer the apple juice, wine, and cubed apple into a sauce pan on the stove top.
Place the hot briquettes underneath the dutch oven and brown the pork roast all sides.
When it's brown, take roast out of dutch oven and remove 15 briquettes from below dutch oven (leaving about 7).
Place sliced apple in the bottom of the dutch oven.
Set roast on top of apples, surround with sliced onions.
Pour heated juice over the top.
Place the lid on the oven and place the remaining briquettes (should be about 15) on top.
Cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 hrs until it reaches an internal temp of 170 degrees.
Remove roast, place on counter top covered with foil.
Pour juice in sauce pan and heat to thicken (I did use a little cornstarch).

To Serve
Slice thin, serve with au jus.
We ate the onions and apples on the side (in au jus) and served a green salad and cous-cous.

It's a keeper! It was a big hit with the fam and fed 4 hungry adults and 3 kids, with left overs.
The apple-wine-onion combination really worked and was something deliciously different to my taste.
Next time I cook this dish I will add more sliced apples. We wanted more!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DelFest 2010 / Greensky Bluegrass

Some of our best times at Delfest this past weekend were spent listening to the Kalamazoo Michigan jam-grass band, Greensky Bluegrass. They certainly did not disappoint the fans with three hot sets of acoustic mayhem, including a heavily attended and well appreciated show consisting entirely of rock covers. We love this high energy band that has managed to create and craft unique music with superior songwriting and musicianship.
And they do not shy away from putting their own stamp on some great classics, either.
Check 'em out, I guarantee that you'll love 'em too!

Check out their website and pick up some CDs here:

Stream or download one of their Delfest shows (audience taped) for free here : GSBG live at DelFest

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

DelFest 2010: The Good, The Bad, The Muddy

We had an epic four days of fun and music at DelFest 2010 this weekend. The 1100 mile round trip was well worth the time and effort, and after about a ten hour drive, we arrived in Cumberland, Maryland and set up camp on the banks of the Potomac River. This year we were invited to join the Hobo Camp (fans of Railroad Earth) through our friend Marie. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with their company and were treated to a weekend of great meals, good times, and mighty fine folks!

Hobos in camp.

These are some of the groups that Black Betty and I managed to see over the festival weekend: Del McCoury Band, The Traveling McCourys, Mountain Heart, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass (three shows), The Avett Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Yonder Mountain String Band, Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann Duo, Larry and Jenny Keel, Keller Williams and Friends, and The Dave Rawlings Machine.

Darol Anger, Ben Kaufmann, Adam Aijala, Larry Keel.

Railroad Earth rocks the Grandstand Stage on Thursday night.

Hobo dancers Katie, LeAnne, Black Betty, and Marie shake it to Keller Williams and friends.

Friday evening we experienced a heavy rain, which turned DelFest into a river of mud. The trek to the Grandstand stage became treacherous.

Highlights of the weekend: all the great folks in Hobo Camp, Greensky Bluegrass playing their rock covers in the Artist Play Shop on Saturday, cooling off in the Potomac River, Sweet Revenge's apple crisp and ice cream (as always), an anonymous bluegrass band serenading the camps at 7am on Memorial Day, and, of course, all things Del McCoury.