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Martha Campbell

Here’s a performance of Martha Campbell, recorded at Midwest Banjo Camp in 2018. What a great bunch of musicians! From left to right, Steve Rosen on guitar, John Herrmann on fiddle, Erynn Marshall on fiddle, Roy Andrade on banjo and behind, I believe that’s Tom Ball on bass. I think Roy Andrade must be playing John Herrmann’s banjo for this performance, as John is the only guy I know who messes around with duct tape on his banjo head.

I wonder who Martha Campbell was? I did some Googling around and learned that the tune was recorded by a fiddler from Kentucky, Doc Roberts, in 1925. The Traditional Tune Archive suggests Robert may have derived it from another tune called Brickyard Joe, possibly learned from Owen Walker, an African-American fiddler, also from Kentucky. Other sites also suggest the tune had an African-American origin. However, I haven’t found any mention of who the tune was named after.

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Free Hugs

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. The intense celebrations in various traditions can be overwhelming, and in the case of Christmas, there is that massive commercial machine to cope with. I recognize that for lots of people this is a very difficult and lonely time, and while some feast, others are just trying to get through.

This is a simple shout-out to visitors to this blog who struggle during the winter celebrations. I just want to send out a little love and a big virtual hug – I hope you can find a little comfort and some reasons to laugh over the next week or so.

Here’s David Bromberg, performing I’ll Rise Again…

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Lee Sedol resigns his final game

The third and last game of go (baduk) between Lee Sedol and the Korean bot, Handol ended with Lee Sedol’s resignation. It was a beautiful game. Once again I’ll defer to the excellent commentary done by Go Pro Yeonwoo.

Wishing Lee Sedol fulfilling adventures in his retirement from the game.

Filed under: Go
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You asked for it, you got it…

A few people have asked us if The Agency Podcast is available on Spotify. It hasn’t been but since people have requested it, I made that connection through our host, Podbean. The Agency should start appearing on Spotify sometime today. I suspect it may take a day or so to become searchable, but I’m not 100% sure of that. The Agency is now available on Podbean, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play, TuneIn and Spotify.

We really appreciate our listeners, and enjoy hearing your comments and ideas related to our podcasts. A few regular listeners have told us that they occasionally shout back at us during the podcast, especially if they think we’re wrong about something!

As of this writing, The Agency podcasts have been downloaded 959 times. We’re hoping to achieve the 1,000 download milestone by the end of 2019, and since we’ll be publishing once or twice more this year, it should be possible. You can help by telling your friends. If any of our social media friends would consider giving The Agency a shout-out in your feeds, the link to our podcast homepage is:

We still have some extra-cool The Agency camo trucker’s caps available. If you’d like one, send us an email with your thoughts about the podcast, and don’t forget to include your mailing address. Available while supplies last only!

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Birds out Back

I continue to be fascinated with the various birds coming to the feeders. The regulars include at least 3 pair of cardinals, a huge gang of house sparrows, mourning doves, house finches, nuthatches, and chickadees.