I really need to remind myself to update this! November 2019 seems like an ETERNITY ago!
DEC/JAN - Lots of gigging. So much fun. St. Louis, southern tip of Wisconsin, heartland of Illinois, Knoxville and Bristol Tennessee, Savannah and Norcross, and several around Wooster Ohio that included Toby on bass. The best of times.
FEB - I did the unimaginable! I sold my Dulciforte hammered dulcimer AND my Kori marimba (WHAT?!)...and bought a brand new custom 5-octave bada** Malletech Roadster marimba with bright red resonators! I'm also now officially endorsing Malletech products, check it out! There's a fabulous story I'll tell soon about how we picked it up, but you'll have to be a Patron for that!
MAR - Do I even need to say it? :( Half-packed and less than 8 hours from pulling out for NYC to gig, we were sidelined by COVID. Two weeks later our recording schedule was delayed when the stay-at-home order took effect. Simply put, March was not a good month.
APR - A shining light in the dark: Ted's album Feels Like Home was nominated for Best Instrumental Album 2019 by the Independent Music Awards! This is a huge accomplishment and it was really amazing to get some recognition for our first studio endeavor. Ted also surprised Doug with a new instrument: kashakas! They're little gourd shakers that remind me a bit of nunchucks for drummers - and Doug carried them everywhere during quarantine learning to play them!
MAY - Rescheduling gigs became a full-time endeavor and we were finally able to get out of the house and back into the studio for Ted's winter album...it's absolutely next-level on everyone's part!
That brings us to June - we're launching a Patrons page, livestreaming concerts from our living room (which the Yoders' have dubbed The Banana Room) and working our rears off to get back on the road safely!
Sound/video check for livestream on Youtube with Ted and the new marimba!
Fall has been a blast! We spent a week in Goshen recording with Ted - this time with Donna as executive producer and a new friend Toby Hazlett playing bass. We got cozy in Nate Butler's studio (under a coffee shop, how cool is that!?) and recorded together as a group (vs. layering parts individually). We are SO PROUD of this project and can't wait for you to hear it! Order your copy now on Ted's website. The official release is January 3, 2020.
(photo credit: Leaha Bee Photography)
This project has opened our eyes and hearts collectively to what we can all do together. Not long after recording we decided to join forces with an open end and see where the music takes us with more time playing together. The only thing more exciting than joining the Yoders is knowing that they're just as stoked and hearing how much the fans enjoy us as a trio.
The crazy pace of 2019 continues (and we're ok with that)!
June and July were filled with performances (like this one in Evart, Michigan) and a wonderful trip to Colorado to visit friends, pick up the new heirloom dulcimer, play a show, and shoot a killer music video! This new dulcimer is a one-of-a-kind gem and it just looks like there's fire caught inside it! The front and several other pieces are all the family walnut!
(photo credit: Chrissy Grace Photography)
August included trips to Mississippi/Tennessee (Doug accompanied Ted), Dallas Texas to purchase a new-to-us minivan, and then we rolled right into September with Sarah taking a personal trip to Yellowstone then flying home and taking off with the family for the northeast states for a 2 week tour with Ted. We played at churches, a speak-easy style restaurant, and even a cemetery! (honesty it was very lively!) As soon as we returned it was time for more shows with Ted and several days of rehearsing new music for his next album. We're both headed back into the studio with him at the end of October so stay tuned!
Wow have the last two months been a whirlwind of fun! In March we hosted Ted Yoder at our church for an incredible concert featuring music from his upcoming album "Feels Like Home" (to be released this summer). A few days later we went to Chicago to record a top secret song for the album. Ironically the studio day marked the one year anniversary of Sarah's father passing away - it was a breathtaking redemption to have time in the studio on the instrument that he helped us get on a day that could have otherwise been awful! Donna (Ted's wife) captured these great images, one with a rainbow!
(photo credit: Donna Yoder)
We had a ton of fun getting to know Ted's friend and sound engineer Nate Butler (Nimble Wit Productions). Then we had even more fun the following month going back so that Doug could record percussion with double-bass extraordinaire Ranaan Meyer (Time for Three). The two of them even played live on Facebook for Ted's fans!
We are booking as many performances as possible and hoping to meet many new precious people along the way. Just a couple weeks ago we came head-to-head with a decision we knew was coming: Doug's schedule started conflicting with performances and he would be taking a new position that required no time off for several weeks - we'd either have to decline performance opportunities or give up the job...he gave up the job and resigned on the 12th! While he will likely be working part-time somewhere that's more flexible with hours, we plan to prioritize our time around the music from now on. This is a huge leap of faith and we hope you'll join us as we play more around the area and plan some long-distance tours - Contact us to schedule a house concert or recommend a venue!