Punk Rock IS Folk! I knew it!

It’s always super cool to receive super cool press out of the blue… and I totally identify with this list put out by The Bluegrass Situation. Punk rock is part of my personal musical tradition. When I started digging deeper into the life story of one of my heroes, Joe Strummer, and found out that he got turned on to Woody Guthrie and therefore was compelled to learn guitar and write his own songs, the connection hit me hard and more pieces of my music-life puzzle came together. Oh, I could say a whole lot more here! I have been known to wax on about my stance regarding Joe S as a folksinger. Let it also be a time to remind that I am as strong a champion for Ozark traditional music. After all, it was Ozark music that sealed the deal in me “becoming” a fiddler. Thankful! Ever moving forward while embracing what came before. Folk, all!

Bluegrass Situation, May 19, 2015

Fiddle Uprising!
Fiddle Uprising!
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Betse & Clarke – Spring Notes

Howdy folks, we are watching baby robins about to take flight from their nest on the corner of our porch! Betting on today or tomorrow… standing at the ready with the video camera. Something seems important about being ready to take flight…

So many things to report on – for now please take note that we are creating a Betse & Clarke website and will announce that here very soon! Also we’ll be moving the mailing list over to a B&C list. I’ll send an announcement to you all about that and invite you to join us there. That’s what I’ll be working on most of my time, for the foreseeable future. And I’m grateful for that! Such an experience.

In the meantime, maybe you’ll want to view our most recent video – recorded a few months ago, but well we’ve been so busy! Here’s Betse & Clarke playing “January Waltz”:

Throwback to a nice day in January. Happy spring everyone.

Posted by Betse & Clarke on Saturday, 18 April 2015

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2015 Folk Alliance Conference, Music Fair, and Camp

Here’s my teaching schedule and appearance schedule for Betse & Clarke at FAI 2015!

Betse & Clarke – 2015 Folk Alliance International Official Showcase Artists
Full Conference and Music Fair Schedule

Wed 2-18
8:00 PM: Benton’s (20th floor)
9:15 PM: BE Solo (Pershing N)
9:15 PM: CW w/ GAWD (Penn Valley)

Thurs 2-19
7:00 PM: Camp Faculty (Sheraton, Chicago)
10:30 PM: Murder Ballads (551)

Fri 2-20
2:00 PM: BE @ Camp – Ozark Heroes (Van Horn B)
7:00 PM: Rural Grit (Sheraton Art Gallery)
10:30 PM: Mayor’s Suite (537)

Sat 2-21
2:00 PM: BE @ Camp – Theory: Fiddlers & Friends (Van Horn B)
8:00 PM: MUSIC FAIR (Sheraton Chouteau)
11:30 PM: KC Music Collective (744)
2:30 AM: Finale Throw Down (Mayor’s Suite 537)

Sun 2-22
11:00 AM: BE @ Camp – Fiddle Spirituals (Van Horn B)

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Introducing Betse & Clarke

The year is coming to its close, and new things are opening… I’m excited to announce my newest project, one very dear to me. Here’s a duo, a fiddle-banjo duo, the likes of which you’ve not heard before. Introducing…

Betse & Clarke
Betse & Clarke explore their love of old time music with an inventive spirit, taking listeners on a field trip across mountain folkways and new landscapes. Their music is familiar… and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Betse Ellis plays fiddle and sings like nobody’s business. Her years with The Wilders proved her passion for Ozark tunes and an unstoppable stage presence. Her early violin studies continue to shape her musicianship through technique and composition. Clarke Wyatt has an original and innovative approach to three-finger banjo. His background as a pianist and composer inform his banjo method as much as his love for old time music. Together, Betse & Clarke give every listener something to appreciate. They perform traditional tunes learned from cherished sources, creative arrangements of familiar and forgotten songs, and original compositions. You can expect to hear something new that reminds you what makes the old music so good.

Betse & Clarke

Drop by and see us!

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Happy Birthday, Violet Hensley!

Yesterday was Violet’s 98th birthday! My musical “grandma” continues to inspire me. We recently played a concert together and KCPT created a story for their Arts Upload show (our segment starts at 11:30). Watch it here

Violet, with daughter Sandy and grandson Sterling, at the Rock House, 2013
Violet, with daughter Sandy and grandson Sterling, at the Rock House, 2013
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House Concerts for Home Routes

I’m honored and excited to be embarking on a tour of Alberta, Canada, this month, presenting my music to audiences in homes thanks to Home Routes.

This organization, a long-time friend of Folk Alliance International, makes it possible for folk artists to share their music in places not always available to a touring musician. I have loved playing house concerts for years, whether with The Wilders, with other music friends, or my own solo shows. It’s a perfect environment for me to share not only the music, but the stories behind the music. It makes me really happy to tell folks about my friendship with Violet Hensley, or my thoughts on how certain traditional tunes and songs relate to each other. Communicating with an audience in a living room is so appropriate for much of my repertoire.

Hope to write a bit about the experience as it takes place. Stay tuned!

Last spring’s tour with Charlie Parr ended at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle… my voice was a bit used up, but it didn’t matter to the rockin crowd!

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Westward… with Friends

Dear friends,

There’s a whole lot to catch up on and I intend to post some more insightful thoughts soon. But in the meantime, I’m working and traveling and fiddling… with friends!

I’m heading to Wyoming this weekend with Kasey Rausch, and we’re stopping in Rapid City, SD on the way. We finish our amazing mini-tour in Colorado Springs on Sunday. Check the calendar page to get the scoop!

Then I head to the Western Slope to team up with Honey Don’t for a weekend of shows and festivals.

Grateful to be out there doing what I love to do… may you all have moments of love and gratitude yourselves.

ain't nothing finer than having a giggle with a friend! Photo by Emily Evans Sloan
ain’t nothing finer than having a giggle with a friend! Photo by Emily Evans Sloan
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