It’s finally autumn and I have a moment to write. The duo Betse & Clarke has had an exciting year…
We both were instructors at the Folk Alliance International Winter Music Camp, and we stayed busy at night performing unofficial showcases. Also, from January through May, we worked continuously on our debut full-length album, entitled “River Still Rise”, and released it or rather, planted it, as we were busy with touring when it came out in July. It’s starting to grow now, showing up on radio playlists and receiving great reviews (like this) and we are excited about where it will take us on our adventures. More about the album below!
We taught at several music camps this year. Instructing is a joy and one of the things that drives us to continue our own learning. We taught at Montana Fiddle Camp, at Earful of Fiddle, and the Grand Targhee Music Camp. We also performed at the wonderful Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. I had the joy of reuniting with the New Reeltime Travelers during the camp, and we also gave a joyous festival performance.
Then we headed to Ireland! Our first duo tour overseas, and a fabulous return for me after several years. We had a great adventure and look forward to getting back as soon as possible.
Winfield (the Walnut Valley Music Festival) followed immediately after our return. We both worked for my luthier, J.j. Hanson of Beautiful Music Violin Shop. JJ has been my trusted luthier for a decade now and it’s an honor to represent for the shop. People come to the festival not only for the great performances and music community– many come with a dream of finding a beloved instrument. The joy on someone’s face when they play a violin that has the exact sound they have been looking for!
Now we are at home for a bit– except this weekend, when we head to the Ozarks… (Mountain View, and also a trip to Little Rock — and our next big thing is our HOMECOMING CONCERT, when we finally get to celebrate the new album, along with our full string band, Brushy Creek (Brett Hodges and Alex Mallett). This concert is October 27 and tickets are on sale now! The Buffalo Room in Kansas City is quickly establishing itself as a prime listening room, with all the benefits of a restaurant and bar. Get Tickets here!
Finally, if you are curious what the album sounds like, you can find it on Spotify. We are using CD Baby to sell mail-order copies… here … we put our hearts into this album and very honestly feel this is some of the best musical work we’ve ever put to recording. We’d love to hear what you think about it.
Here’s to you and your families, friends, and to good sweet music. Happy autumn!