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It's June!

Monday, June 8, 2009 @12:18:49 PM

 Hi friends,

I can't believe it's June already. I had a relatively relaxed month at home for most of May, catching up on teaching students at home, learning a few new tunes and getting ready for this month's busy schedule. I'm just back home from the Midwest Banjo Camp in Olivet, MI and I'd like to thank Ken Perlman and Stan Werbin for producing another great event. This was my fifth year of teaching at the camp and there's always something new to take away each year. For me this year, it was hanging out with Pete Wernick and sitting in on a great single-string class from James McKinney. Often, the teachers are so busy at these camps that we hardly get the chance to play tunes with one another, much less get to experience someone else's teaching style. I came away with some new perspectives on teaching and some new approaches to the fingerboard that I can't wait to try out on my own students real soon.

I'll be up in Grass Valley from June 14-18 for the California Bluegrass Association Music Camp and the Father's Day Bluegrass Festival. I'll be performing a set of new material with bass player Bill Amatneek on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and I'll be playing with Jim Nunally, John Reischman and others for the Music Camp Teachers' Set at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

From Grass Valley, CA, I head to Weiser, Idaho for workshops and a concert with Megan Lynch on Saturday, June 20 and from there, I head to Maryville, TN to teach at Steve Kaufman's camp. Then BEML performs at the Owenboro, Kentucky River of Music Party on Saturday, June 27. All of these should be a lot of fun! Visit the Schedule link at for complete details on all of these shows. Also, if you'd like to be added to my monthly email calendar list, please send me an email at

Lots of folks have been asking me about my new Kel Kroydon banjo. Usually these questions are along the line of, "Is it really that good, or is it just one of those free endorsement deals?" or "How can it be that good for you to say all of the wonderful things you're saying about it?"

This is the first banjo endorsement deal in my thirty year career. I don't take these kinds of things lightly. I've been working with Tom Mirisola, Robin Smith and Charlie Cushman for many months now to come up with a maple and gold instrument that HAD to equal or surpass any other American made instrument on the market (or else I didn't want to be associated with it). My association with American Made Banjo is going to be a long-term commitment. There are some other great choices out there but I invite you to come up and take my Kel Kroydon for a test drive at an upcoming show or workshop and play it for yourself.

Both Pete Wernick and Bill Keith have played this banjo and they love it. It's a serious contender and definitely worth of your consideration if you're thinking of stepping up to a great domestic handmade instrument. There are sound files up on the American Made Banjo website of me playing this remarkable instrument. You can check it out by visiting:

All the best,

Bill Evans

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