Summer Tour Dates!

It’s here! Sunshine, sweating, al fresco dining, sugary tropical drinks, viscous humidity, IPAs/pilsners/kolsches, sunburn, public partial nudity………SUMMER!

This year, we’ve got an exciting, packed schedule with lots of festivals, outdoor shows, and a few free ones too! Check out our dates below and mark your calendars!

This weekend, we are kicking it off with the Xtreme Folk Festival (aka Xfest) at the County Creek Winery in Telford, PA! The festival runs Friday June 12-Saturday June 13 with camping, food, music, vendors, fun and friends.

BHM’s set is 5pm on Saturday

Get your tickets here!

Lineup :
Full Frontal Folk
Spuyten Duyvil
Burning Bridget Cleary
Jersey Corn Pickers
Adam Brodsky
Th1e Wallace Brothers
Black Horse Motel
Dirty Daze Quartet
Jason Ager
Electric Man

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What should I put in that cup?

A picture of a tree

From Wikepedia's Great Article

Ok, so last time I told you about a friggin’ cup. I know you want to hear about gear, but I’m just not ready to nerd out on you that hard yet. First I need to preach to you the gospel of slippery elm.

Slippery Elm, or Ulmus rubra for those with a monocle, is a tree that grows in North America. It’s awesome for many reasons. It’s a big tree, and those are always nice to see, especially living in a city. It’s a shady tree, and this summer is set out to be a doozy. None of that, however, is why slippery elm makes an appearance in the tack shop today. No my friends, it is here in the tack shop because of a special quality it’s bark possesses. Namely, if you add a little hot water, the bark turns completely gross. Slimy, puffy, just disgusting really.

Wow, still reading… ok, I wasn’t really expecting that. (I was.) The big benefit of this gross mess is how well it soothes a sore throat. I’ve tried slippery elm in several formats and the best way to use it I’ve found is tea. I keep a set of lozenges in my carry first aid kit (ooh, another post there, for sure) but the tea is really the cure all. I use Traditional Medicinals: Throat Coat. Aside from their wonderful story about how down home folksy people in Kentucky, who are not at all meant to conjure up images of moonshiners, the tea claims to be sustainably harvested. This is a big deal, because harvesting this bark kills the tree, so… be sustainable about it.

Moonshiner... ahem... Slippery Elm Harvester

They go ahead and mix in some other flavors along with the slippery elm to make a tea that’s spicy, warm, and once you get passed the initial “holy crap, am I drinking someone’s saliva” moment, you’ll notice your vocal chords sing their gratitude back to you.

PRO TIP: This tea takes forever to steep. 15 minutes. Don’t skimp it. They tell you to squeeze the tea bag, too. Squeeze it till it squeals. That’s where the slippery elm is.

I drink a contigo full before the show. I bring another one up on stage with me, and then I drink another after the set is done. I drink two cups in the morning. I drink two cups at night. I drink two cups in the afternoon; it makes me feel alright. I drink two cups, in time of peace, and two in time of war. I drink two cups before I drink two cups, and then I drink two more.

I'm dissapointed in my Google Image search for slimy disgusting

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A Show Not to Be Missed

XFEST 2015 – June 12-13th 2015 at the Country Creek Winery for the 15th straight year!

XFest Announcements from their webpage:

1.  Tickets are on sale this week at a discounted price of $50 for an All Festival ticket with camping!  Best bargain you’ll find at any festival. Buy Tickets Here!

2.  Program book ads are on sale; XFS needs your ad by May 1st.  Please consider buying an ad,  it is the best way to keep this festival coming back and you can say whatever you want to say! Check out the Program book page more information and to order an ad. Support the XFS!!

3. XFS needs volunteers as usual; there are spots available; check out the Volunteer page for more info and to sign up.

4. XFS is still accepting vendors; please check out the Vendor page for more info.

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Show for the Holiday Weekend!

Old Swede’s Church, Music starts at 12:30. we’re on at 4!

Sexton Sideshow would like to invite you out to attend our Sexton Sideshow Memorial Dei Family Picnic Fundraiser event. Our hope and mission for Sexton Sideshow is to bring our community together in a safe place to enjoy fabulous local homegrown music, delicious food, craft beer and to interact and have fellowship with the community. All monies generated support the church general fund for the upkeep of these historic grounds of 300+ years.

Details Below

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Grand Opening of the Tack Shop

I’m a gear nerd, a flowchart dweeb, and an endless tinkerer. I drool a bit too much over a new piece of equipment and lose more time than I care to researching solutions to those pesky problems we face at rehearsal and at the gig. In The Tack Shop you’ll find reviews of instruments, effects, cables, and other random things we use in the band.

Today’s review…

Contigo Self-Sealing Mug

I know, it’s totally lame of me to start an equipment review column with a frigging cup… The thing is, this cup is on-stage with me every time. I can’t say the same for pedals, or cables, or instruments, or microphones, or stands, or anything really, but this cup is an always.

I’m a long-time coffee drinker so I wasn’t exactly new to the bog standard double walled thermos knock-off. But my wife, avid reader of mommy blogs that she is, had heard about the Contigo and, after listening to her extolling it’s virtues, I decided to give it a try.

The self-sealing system works. It just works. It works so well that walking from the car to the gig, I just tuck the mug into the straps on my gig bag and don’t worry that it might spill on the way. There’s a warning on the bottom of the cup. Mine reads, “Hot contents can create internal pressure resulting in discharge of hot vapor. Always press button with mug in upright position ayay from face to properly release pressure before drinking.” This same pressure, can cause some weeping around the seal. We’re not talking a lot of liquid, but it pisses me off.

PRO-TIP: I burp the mug’s seal before I do that gig-bag strap tuck I just mentioned.

The mug doesn’t have a handle, and I like that. It fits well in in cup holders of cars, or on mic stands. The downside is that if it falls over, I guess it could roll for a bit. But I’ve yet to be on a stage that wasn’t a wire tangle between me and the stage monitors.

There’s a couple different colors available; mine’s green. If I lost it, I’d replace it with the stainless steel, because the colored mugs aren’t dishwasher safe. Regardless of color, the lids are top rack safe. They also open up to reveal all the springy goodness so you can really clean those too. There are directions that come with the mug about soaking the lids in hot soapy water to clean them. This has worked very well for me. You can also get a brush set, and I’m considering doing just that, because my fat hands are too meaty to get a scrubby down to the bottom of the container.

Fatigue is a hell of a drugThe shape of the Contigo is lovely in the hand. Smooth curves that seem to match my palm. Unless of course I turn the thing around and then you notice the unsightly dent. Which brings us to durability. That dent is from flying off the roof of my car. It’s happened more than once. But the point is, the mug dented on the outside, the inner container is great, no piercing of the vaccuum between. Can you spell awesome? Just look in the previous sentence if you can’t.

PRO-TIP: for those who like to put tea in that thing to have on stage: make it AT LEAST thirty minutes before the set. Otherwise, you are in for a severe scalding of your tongue. Contigo is not messing about with their heat retention. If I didn’t know better I’d swear the tea got hotter sitting in the mug.

If I was going to improve the product for stage specific use…

  • Octoganal outer barrel. I’d maintain the vertical curves, but adding flat facets might reduce the risk of rolling on stage.
  • A seal release lockout. Oh that’s right, the new ones have just that. So with that switch engaged you can’t accidentally open the seal with say… the handle of your gig bag.
  • Maybe a glow in the dark lid option. Sometimes that stage gets dark down near my feet.

I was on a bus once, it was in the middle of the night, and I had a box of crackers and a can of Easy Cheese. It was dark, and it was a surprise how much cheese I had applied on each cracker. That’s why they should have a glow-in-the-dark version of Easy Cheese. It’s not like the product has any integrity to begin with. If you buy a room-temperature cheese that you squeeze out of a can, you probably won’t get mad because it glows in the dark too.
Mitch Hedberg


*I am not endorsed in any way by Contigo, though my lovely wife did buy the container for me, so I guess I received it for free. Still, Contigo doesn’t know me. YET!

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