Since my last post I have entered the cattle business with a barter of a large bookcase system and one mantel piece for 6 cow-calf pairs. I worked this out with a cattle man from Pulaski County, Alan Graybeal, who was building a house on Claytor Lake and needing my services last summer. It happened that Alan knows a grazier friend Terry Slusher whose parents were some of Floyd's original OT musicians. Terry is well-respected grazier who loves his cattle and doesn't mind the exercise of rotational grazing and saving lots of work by leaving certain field ungrazed therefore, not needing so much hay to be made and handled. Terry's brother George is a wonderful back-up guitar player and singer of OT country songs who helps me often at the Floyd Country Store.
So the 17 acres that was never eaten down this past summer are now about 2/3 gone.
By using a method called management intensive grazing (MIG) I have been rationing out the unmowed grass using temporary electric fencing minimizing the need for lots of hay. The place is looking better and will continue to improve in sod and grass quality as I learn more in coming month's. It doesn't take that much work really. 10" deep snow recently has made some hay necessary but
I am ready with a few rolls on hand and a good tractor.
In November, we started out first of our music weekend workshops here at our place near Willis in Floyd County. Although small it was lots of fun and deemed a success. Good people and good progress made in their playing. If interested then visit southernmtnmelodies.com for more info about upcoming weekends and what we plan to offer.
We basically are trying to promote 'real' mountain' music that we've been fortunate to have learned
by living in an area so rich in the pre-bluegrass music tradition.
Our daughter, Hanna came in for a few days around Christmas. We did several music things including
playing at the Americana Lunch at the Floyd Country Store and jamming at Wayne Henderson's annual
Christmas party. We managed to get into Windfall studios again and record another couple of numbers
to be included in an upcoming CD project featuring Hanna's clawhammer banjo playing. Its so special
to both Jenny and me to have such a talented daughter who loves to play and sing. We wish she was closer by. We expect to see her this summer a couple of different times and continue developing our
trio sound. Check back here as I'll be announcing the release of a collection of our music at some future date.
Cabinet work has dried up for the moment in my shop so that leaves me plenty of time for banjos,
and more. I have finished up a couple of banjos and have them for sale at mactraynham.com
I am currently working on an order for a banjo uke made out of apple-wood. Its a bit of a challenge
but I am enjoying it and plan to make a couple extra ones to sell. Do whack a whack a whack a
Enjoy the Winter and let us know you are visiting.