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News From Joel...

Scroll down -- most current comes first.

Old news comes last! Last revised: April 09, 2022 .

(If you are looking for upcoming concerts click here)


Happy Spring!  As I type, my taxes are finished, and in their envelopes to be sent to federal & state governments.  Yes I do it "old school"  -- try it, doing the math keeps you young!   The unspeakable war atrocities in Ukraine are heart-rending.  Hard to witness. Flashing back to my teen years watching the Vietnam war on the nightly Walter Cronkite. Insanity.  And the crazy weather is crazier every year.  Lots of fleeting April snow here in lower Michigan this year.  And yet, mowing season is a week or two away.  April is the cruelest month.

I have lately been mulling over my body of work, both the songs I have written and the recordings I have made over the past 35 years.  During the pandemic (is it over yet?) I have been keeping myself busy scoring sheet music for my better songs.  Enough for a book or two already, but books are going the way of the VHS tape it seems.  Would anyone be interested in that?  Or a thumb drive full of lead sheets?

And then there is the TON of banjo tab I've written.  Most of the banjo tunes I have recorded the past half of my life (four albums's worth) are tabbed out in very readable fonts.  Again, make a book?  A banjo thumb drive?  My clawhammer banjo has always been thumb-driven anyway.  

If you have any suggestions or requests, please let me know!

Just an update for the new year.   Still grappling with the realities of life in Pandemic.  Looks like the road to "back to normal" is only in the rear view mirror.  I have not succumbed to the Covid-19 virus.  I am twice vaxxed and once boosted as of late, and having had another head cold this month, twice swabbed, nasally, to prove I am still negative.  Good news, but Lord, its hard to stay positive. 

As for the unvaccinated holdouts who keep this virus galloping:  If you are waiting for that fabled "herd immunity" to kick in, you should understand that herd immunity begins only after mother nature culls the herd. Culling the diseased.  "Nuff said?  

So you may be wondering why my gig in Lombard, IL (Chicagoland) was cancelled.  I am sick.  But I am also OK.  It is a virus, but not the COVID one -- I got an RNA test just to be sure. Even though I am thrice vaxxed, I have had enough friends and relatives with breakthrough infections to get a swab up the nose.

No, it is some garden variety of cold traveling in my upper respiratory system.  Sneezing, dripping, hoarse voice, chest congestion, general crud.  But I am feeling better than I did last week.  Just not better enough to "drive and play" as musicians call it.  I went for 20 months without catching a cold.  Isolation and masks will do that for you.  But until they have a vaccine for the common cold, walking the world without full personal protection apparatus has its price, I guess.

My latest news is that my PC suffered a hard drive crash two weeks back.  I did recover all my files which are now on a new solid state drive.  Program files (Apps to you young folks) had to be re-installed however. Some re-installations were easy, some very troublesome, mostly Microsoft Outlook, which has failed me miserably. 

My address book (contacts) was wiped out which I am trying to recreate.  So If you are reading this and used to correspond with me, please send me an email now, so I can get you & your email back into my data base.

Two email addresses work for me:

joel.mabus@pobox.com  -- my 25 year old address that redirects incoming emails to my current "real" address
  -- my current "real" address which you might see in my new outgoing emails.

Still pulling out what little hair is left on my head, but getting back to "normal."

Fall is hovering over our heads, ready to drop.  COVID is with us late & soon.  I do have a FREE Zoom concert coming up in a couple weeks.  Here is the scoop, copied from my Tour Dates page:

SUNDAY SEPT 20, 2020
Live Zoom concert at 4PM eastern (for about an hour) 
for the Senior College, U of Southern Maine, 
Lewiston - Auburn College 
This is a free zoom concert in lieu of their monthly lecture.  Should be fun!
I'll be home, singing mostly songs I have written. Some time for Q&A is planned
as well.  Click on the hyperlink above for info. The address to ask for the Zoom invitation is:
ASK FOR INVITATION by SATURDAY, SEPT 19, as the invitations go out Sunday Morning

ALSO:  At the insistence of friends and colleagues, I now have a "TIP JAR"  at my site where anyone can donate actual money to my virtual open guitar case on the virtual sidewalk of my virtual career as a virtual musician. 
The Tip Jar page is HERE.  Along with a picture of me busking in East Lansing with two of my most stellar  former students, Marcy Marxer and Jody Platt, about 42 years ago. It is worth clicking through just for the picture alone. 

Longest day of the year, which is seeming to be the longest year in history.  Here in Michigan, there is still an official "state of emergency"  in place.  Even if the "stay at home" mandate has been lifted as of June 1.  Much of the mask-free parts of America are seeing spikes in new cases.  The president suggests that we need less testing in order to get that number down.  

Of course he sees those as "his numbers."  It is all about him, after all. Our own "Prince Prospero."  That is the prince in Edgar Allen Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" which you can read for free here: https://www.poemuseum.org/the-masque-of-the-red-death  If you haven't read it recently, I suggest you do. It is pretty short -- no longer than an opinion piece in the Times.  A timely read if ever there was one.

My own news is that my postponed knee-replacement surgery is on again, for July 9.  I am looking forward to it, even if I will be inconvenienced for a few weeks after.  I would say I'd be ready for my Fall dates, but the cancellation trend is moving into 2021.  My yearly "homecoming" concert at the Ten Pound Fiddle has been cancelled for November, as the Fiddle has cancelled their entire '20-'21 season.  I hope Newton's law of inertia doesn't cancel my career for good. Meanwhile the virus stalks the world. 

Wear your masks, folks!


Well, well, well.  I hope you are well.  Well, I am doing ok. But nothing seems well anymore, does it?  You may have read my comments on the COVID-19 Pandemic. The link is to the left on every page of my website, and and at the top of the home page.  That was written a month ago, when we were just getting into the stay-home reality. At this point, Michigan is still locked up pretty tight, and nobody's going anywhere but groceries, drugstores, post office and hospitals.  I was supposed to go to the hospital in May to have my crummy right knee replaced with a new store-bought one. But all non-scheduled surgeries here are cancelled. And so I hobble around the house. Now many of the Michigan hospitals are wishing those procedures weren't cancelled, as many hospitals here are closing-up. or furloughing staff, for lack of income. The un-intended consequences are starting to pile up.

Meanwhile some of our many curves seem to be flattening. But I learned in high school math that you need to inspect the X and Y parameters before you can interpret ANY graph. All I see on the TV news are humpy lines. Ah, yes, journalism. I remember when we had that. I have never seen so many Governors or Mayors talking so long on TV in real time.  I realized today that it is more fun to ignore the speaker and just watch the sign language interpreters in the background.  I wish Trump used one of those. It would make his daily bloviations all the more entertaining. 

Well, enough of the ironic comments.  I do hope you are well.  I hope you have found me on YouTube these past several weeks. I have been posting laptop performances, about once a week, there.  My YouTube channel is here:
Where you can click and see/hear what i have been up to. Or you could google search for "Joel Mabus Youtube Channel" --- and use the quotes.  Please visit!

What else?  With the Pandemic has come political will to help the unemployed. And that includes me, too, as they are paying benefits to self-employed gig-economy workers for the fist time. I have filed (2 weeks ago) and await funds -- maybe next week? The mills grind exceedingly slow. That's fine. I have seen my share of  dry spells.

If you visit my "tour dates" page here, you will see my concerts that have been cancelled this spring (hopefully to be rescheduled someday) and my next upcoming dates in November. Which I am starting to worry about. 

Meanwhile, I have been updating my website with new info -- CD Baby Store is now defunct, and many other retailers are going that way -- so I have re-addressed my own mail order operation. I have had to raise my shipping prices a bit, so as not to slowly go broke sending out CDs. You can see that if you click here. I also can take credit cards now thru an invoice via Square Up (the smartphone swiper company) which should make things easier.  I've also updated my available sheet music. 

SO hang in there, music lovers. We'll meet again (don't know where, don't know WHEN), but I know we'll meet again, some sunny day!  (Yep, that song is one of my new vids!)


The new CD, Time & Truth, was the number 3 album in airplay in North America for the month of February, according to the Folk Alliance International Folk Radio Chart.  It is a very good thing to debut in the top ten in this totally honest chart of airplay in US & Canada (and a few international radio shows).


Time & Truth is beginning to get radio airplay, and will be officially released this Friday, Feb 1.  Apple iTunes has it ready to go as a download -- they are taking pre-orders now. CD Baby will have it on Friday as well, for sale as CD or Download.  Amazon will come on board shortly.  Elderly Instruments has it on order, and will be processed shortly. 

Meanwhile, here where I live in West Michigan, today it is colder here than Alaska, Siberia, and Antarctica. Literally.  State government is shut down, as is the US post office, and doctors offices.  Schools have been closed all week.  

The weekend outlook for Michigan is looking rosy, though, and I will be performing in East Lansing at the Midwinter Folk & Singing Festival, where Time & Truth will be for sale in the lobby.


Well, the new CD has been going along well.  I just got copies delivered, and promos are on their way now to radio stations in the US.  Other countries will be getting downloads available soon.  And sales here will be happening soon. The release date is February 1, 2019.  Oh, by the way the title is "Time & Truth" and I am in the long involved process of adding it to this website.  The main page is under construction now, if you would like a peek. CLICK HERE FOR TIME & TRUTH PAGE   


Happy New Year!  It has got to be better than last year.  Seriously, it has GOT to be better. The last half of 2018 I was busy writing new songs. In December I took ten of them to the recording studio, hoping to get something usable.  I like the results, so I began the process of making a new CD. More about that next time.


Ukulele Crimes is here!  The official release date of Friday, March 2 is when you can download off the net -- CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes.  The website here is complete -- lots to listen to, and read.  All the liner notes are there, as well as copious notes that could not fit the eco-folder.  I am very pleased the way it has turned out, and airplay is happening all across the USA, with world-wide spins soon to follow. 
My mail order prices are the same -- $16 will get you a CD in the mail shipping included! (US only).  Outside the US, the charge is $12 plus shipping to be calculated per your location. 


New CD is coming soon!  My first all-ukulele album, Ukulele Crimes.  The page for it is still under construction, but you can see the list of songs, the cover art, pictures, liner notes and EXTRA liner notes.  Mp3 samples will be added soon.  But you can get a Ukulele Crimes CD  from me NOW, by mail.  Instructions on the CD page.


10/20/17  Sickness update
Looks like I will survive.  A tough spell of bronchitis but feeling some better now. Thanks to all the well-wishers!  Been bonding with my tenor ukulele in bed. [update in December -- this is one tough virus, still lingering but the beat goes on!  the cancelled dates in New England are rescheduled for 2019]

10/11/17  Sick Day cancellations
Had to cancel gigs in New England (Branford CT & Woods Hole MA) this coming weekend, due to fast moving upper respiratory infection that left me literally breathless today. So I will be undercover for a week or so, rather than burning rubber on the highway to Cape Cod.  Doctor's orders! 


6/30/2017  Release Day!
"Different Hymnals" is officially released today!
Of course, you can still order directly from me by mail ($16 inside the US, postage included!) but you can now buy CDs or downloads from CD Baby - Apple Itunes and Amazon and Google are only days away from being up and running on this title.  My favorite brick and mortar store (with online too) has plenty of copies too -- Elderly Instruments.   It has been getting nice airplay around the country. It was number 7 in airplay for May in the FOLKDJ-L chart for folk and bluegrass.  You can listen to generous samples of each track here

Release date is July 1, but I have finished copies on hand now, and am sending them out to radio, reviewers, etc. over the next few weeks.  On July 1, there will be download options on iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby, etc.  But NOW, there is a fine CD in an Eco Wallet with lots of liner notes, and you can order a copy from me by mail for the usual price, $16 postage included (within the USA). Click HERE to read all about it.

3/1/2017 NEW CD in the works... stay tuned. 

I wrote a song for the 2016 presidential election:  "You Can't Fool Me"  and did a quick laptop video which has gone bacterial (almost viral) on YouTube. A home studio audio version has been getting airplay all over -- US, Germany, New Zealand...  Here's the link to the video:
Nov 2016 update: sigh

A fairly busy summer unfolds for me.  Weeklong music camps on both coasts -- two of my favorites, CCMC in northern California, and SAMW in northern New Hampshire.  Some festivals in Michigan and Illinois.  My tour dates are updated as of the last of June (Hey! I have a banjo tune called "The Last of June") Looks like an interesting next 4 months for politics, eh?  I'm with her. 

UPDATES 4/24/15
A Bird In This World
charted at #6 in airplay in March at the FOLKDJ list.  I've been busy filling orders, doing release shows and radio interviews. Meanwhile I am trying to finish the task of getting all my back catalogue digitized and available for download at iTunes, Amazon, and  CD Baby . Two of my personal favorite albums from the 20th century have been recently added: The Naked Truth and Promised Land.  If you had those albums on vinyl or cassette, and now are all pods and clouds, you can add them to your playlist.  You can still get them on CD too.  Only a couple more of the old catalogue yet to digitize.  Working on it.  Festival season appoacheth!

A Bird In This World
is out and flying around everywhere!  It has been shipping to folk radio around the world this past week, so you may hear it on your favorite program soon. You can buy it from  me directly  for $16, shipping included.  Or you could buy it from CD Baby, or Elderly Instruments.  (I have more copies in MY warehouse than either of them, of course!)  You can download the entire album or tracks at CD Baby.  And as of Friday, 2/20/2015, it is available for download at Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3.  Best place to hear clips is here, though.  A full minute or more of each song. 

Working on that new album -- and the finish line is nearly here.  A Bird In This World is set for release on Feb. 24, 2015.  As I type it is still off at the plant, so discs are not in my possession.  But the art work is done.  And if you are reading this page you can check out the Beta page for the new cd HERE.  Not done yet, but there should be clips you can listen to, and liner notes to read. 

New Year 2015!
Been busy these last few weeks.  A snowy tour of the Wisconsin, UP of Michigan, New Jersey, New York and points inbetween during the record snowfalls in November.  Balmy December kept me home, recording my new album.  Working on the cover art, etc as New Year dawns. 
Also fixed a minor glitch on about half of my "recordings" pages here at the website.  Apparantly the link "How to buy this CD" left folks wondering as the wheels spin.  Now you should be pointed HERE, no matter what the page. I have migrated my site a few times in the past year or two, so a few stitches can get dropped.  If you have any trouble with this site, just drop me a line at joel.mabus@pobox.com 

Legacy Award
In West Michigan, the answer to the Grammies is the "Jammies" -- Grand Rapids community radio station WYCE hands out awards for recordings of the past year in a variety of categories.  My album, Pepper's Ghost is nominated for the "tradition" award.  But beyond that, I am to be given the Legacy Award and a few moments in the sun. Award ceremony at The Intersection club in GR on 2/21/14.
UPDATE:  My album Pepper's Ghost & other banjo visitations DID in fact, win the "Traditions!" Jammie Award that night. 


More Mabus to Download!
Dec. 2013 -- I have recently added three of my CD catalog titles to the web.  As part of an on-going project to get ALL of my albums up and available for download, three more older albums are up now for you to download -- Parlor Guitar, Six of One, and Western Passage -- Suite for Solo Guitar. As with my other recent titles, these can be purchased at CDbaby, Apple iTunes and Amazon. (CDbaby is best for me, as they take less a bite out of the pie than the others.)  More additions coming soon!

***as of 1/1/2014, also Golden Willow Tree and Rhyme Schemes are available to download.  All the songs are available as single downloads, but you can get the entire album at a discount.

New Banjo CD
UPDATE -- Oct 19,2013.   Visit HERE for the PEPPER'S GHOST page.  It is up and running. You can get a real CD in a real 6 panel dust jacket with photos and notes for $16 if you order from me. That includes shipping & handling (and I pay Michigan sales tax for you in MI). That's a better deal than anywhere else that sells me by mail. 
But if you prefer pod listening, it is available by download from CDbaby, Apple iTunes and Amazon.  CDbaby is best for me -- it is the same price to you, but I get a few more pennies per song than from Apple or Amazon (they have millionaires to feed). 


In January of 2013, the post office raised their rates, again. Just a penny or two for letters and post cards. But for some packages the rate went up a lot.  Worst was international first class mail to Canada.  More than a 300% increase on small packages (that would mean a CD).  I used to offer mail order to Canada at the same price as US mail orders.  It would mean a dime or two difference, but now, for  package of one cd (3 or 4 ounces) the postage is $7.35 !!!  

So I had to redo my ordering prices.  I have kept domestic mail order at the same to-your-door price, by lowering the disc price and increasing the shipping and handling fee.  (Still $16, but the breakdown is $13 for the CD, and $3 for non-refundable S&H)

For Canada -- and all other countries outside the US -- contact me for a price before you order. I will figure the postage cost and add it to the $13 per CD, and send you a quote by email. 

BTW -- for orders within my own state, I pay the sales tax, so you don't have to.  All the details are at my How To Order page, recently updated.

Sept 25, 2012 -- Last April I went into the studio with Christmas on my mind.  I recorded a new collection of guitar instrumentals of hymns, carols and holiday songs of bygone times.  It is now a reality:  A PARLOR GUITAR CHRISTMAS.  I have not completely released it yet (still a little early for listening to carols) but it is available at CDbaby both as a physical disc and as downloads. Also at Apple iTunes and Amazon as downloads (album or singles).  And I do have copies here for sale at the usual mail order price of $16 which includes taxes and shipping costs.  So if you can't wait, you can order now.  I have a beta-version of the web page for the new disc -- http://joelmabus.com/a_parlor_guitar_christmas.htm   -- but it isn't integrated into the site entirely yet. It will be shortly. But you can click on the link here to read about it and listen to clips. More later... 

UPDATE:  A Parlor Guitar Christmas was the number one album in folk music airplay for December 2012, on the only radio chart that matters for folk music -- the FOLKDJ-L list that tracks folk and bluegrass airplay from thousands of djs airplay reports in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 

As of July 4, 2011 my new cd is officially released. That means you can buy the album, or songs from it as download mp3 at Cdbaby (my preference) or Amazon, or Apple iTunes, and other reputable vendors. 

The airplay reports have been tabulated at Folkradio.org (aka Folkdj-L) and -- ta-da --
American Anonymous was number 1 played album for June
Joel Mabus was number 1 played artist for June

That made the fireworks look a little brighter for the fourth of July. Reviews are just starting to come in -- scroll down for more about the release:

I've been working this past winter/spring on a new album, and now it is here. The "official" release date is set for July 4, but it is available now (June 1) through this website. Other retailers will have it soon, and it will be available for download within a few weeks at CDBaby, Apple iTunes, Amazon, and other sites. 

You can visit my page by clicking here -- American Anonymous.  Music samples from each song are there, also lyrics, liner notes, and further un-published notes, as well.

As you will see at that CD page, this is a collection of folk songs. I've been wanting to do a cd like this for a long time, an album of folk songs, many of them familiar titles, the way I like them. No fancy production. Just me sitting there singing the songs & playing guitar, banjo or autoharp. Yes, this is my autoharp debut.  |

If this sounds appealing to you, check it out!

I got a last minute call from the producers of Prairie Home Companion to come and sing THE LIGHTS ARE ON IN MICHIGAN on the show when it was broadcast from the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit on May 7.  As luck would have it, I was free, and did the show.  I sang that song and one other of mine, TWO CENTS PLAIN, from my No Worries Now CD.

I had a great time and the Michigan song went over like gangbusters. Garrison said it got longer applause than any other song ever sung on his show.  Without a stopwatch, I'm not sure of that, but let's just say it was well appreciated.  Last time I was on that show was in Minneapolis nearly 30 years ago. The show back then seemed to be run on cigarettes and manual a typewriter, and a chalkboard on a rickety easel.  Now there is a team of specialists each with a glowing laptop and a semi-truck full of gear. I must say, though, that in all my show-biz experience, I have never seen a smoother, well-oiled machine. It makes a show every week that runs on spontaneity but does so with a calm, friendly, efficiency.  

NEW SINGLE (MAY 25, 2010)
I wrote and recorded a new song entitled THE LIGHTS ARE ON IN MICHIGAN.  If you've seen me in concert these past 6 months in Michigan, I probably sang an early version of this for you. Well, I got it the way I wanted it, took it into the studio and recorded a single.  Then, what to do with it. I sent it out to some radio stations in Michigan and a few other places. And I put it up on the web for a cheap download (I have to recoup those recording costs somehow!) So you can buy it for a buck or so. It's $1 even at CDbaby. It will be up on Apple iTunes, Amazon, and lots of the other usual suspects too -- when they get around to processing it.

Here's the page for the song at this website, along with the links to lyrics, CDbaby, and the story behind the song: 
The Lights Are On In Michigan

Top 6 in 2009

The latest release, No Worries Now came in number one in airplay for September 09 -- the month it was released. That's according to folkradio.org and the playlists of world-wide folk deejays.

Pardon me as I polish my fingernails on my vest. 

As to overall airplay (including my older releases)  last year on folkdj-l I was the fourth most played artist on folk radio.  This year I came in at number 6, but still proud to join the company in the top 10, third year in a row:

1. Pete Seeger
2. Bob Dylan
3. Cheryl Wheeler
4. John Gorka
5. Tom Rush
6. Joel Mabus
7. Nanci Griffith
8. Greg Brown
9. Danny Schmidt
10. Jorma Kaukonen

For all the list and other lists, go to:



The latest Mabus CD is out there.  No Worries Now was officially released on September 15, 2009.  (these things must be done on a Tuesday, a mystic day of the week chosen by a cabal of Freemasons and Knights Templar -- see the latest Dan Brown book)

Right NOW, you can get copies from me.  I have 'em.  In early August, they went out to folk shows on radio stations across the globe -- well, all over the US and Canada and several to Australia, NZ, UK, Germany-- and one to a folk dj in Israel.  No Worries Now came in third in airplay for the month of August, according to the folk radio charts of "folkdj" and getting lots more play since. So don't be surprised to hear my voice on your local folk radio show.   

Click here to read more about it and hear some samples.  Of course this site is your most direct source (and best price!).  [how to order from this site]

But now that it has been released you might find it in better stores.  My favorite is Elderly Instruments ( www.elderly.com )   CDbaby has it for sale now and offers downloads at 99 cents per track.  www.cdbaby.com/cd/joelmabus  Apple iTunes, Amazon and other download sites will be added in coming weeks.

Here's an early review at F.A.M.E (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange)

TOP 4 in 2008

FOLKDJ-L is a long-time email list of hundreds of disc jockeys all across the world (mostly North America, Australia & New Zealand, with a few others). Many post their playlists regularly.  Each month and at the end of each year, a compilation of these posts is made to see what was the most played disc, artist, song, etc.  

For 2008 it was determined I was the 4th most played artist!  I have good company -- here are the top ten:

1. Eliza Gilkyson
2. Pete Seeger
3. Bob Dylan
4. Joel Mabus
5. Tim O'Brien
6. Tom Paxton
7. Emmylou Harris
8. Joan Baez
9. Joe Crookston
10. Robin And Linda Williams
Based on 166787 airplays from 200 different DJs 

For all the list and other lists, go to:



Everybody likes a bargain.  I am reissuing recordings from earlier in my career, nearly all of the albums, FIRELAKE and SHORT STORIES on one very full CD, called Joel Mabus Omnibus.  I have had the cuts re-mastered, and the new disc was released date  Oct 21 2008, You can order it here from the website, of course. 


I went into the studio and cut new versions of 12 of my older original songs.  Some of my most requested songs and ones that I do differently these days.  Included are studio versions of songs previously only available in "live" versions:  "Touch a Name on the Wall,"  "Duct Tape Blues," "Swing That Thing" and "The Naked Truth."  

This CD is available  at CDbaby for sale or download, and  at Apple iTunes and other popular download sites.  Also at efolkmusic.org and good old Elderly Instruments both in-store and online. 

NEWS -- #1 -- for the month of February, RETOLD was ranked #1 in airplay for folk music (North America, Australia, NZ and UK reporting too) according to playlists submitted to FOLKDJ-L.  I was the #1 played artist for the month as well. 


NY Times -- My picture is on the front page of the arts section of the Sunday NY Times 2/10/08 -- however I am not named.  Not fit to print, I suppose was their thinking.  

CHART TOPPERS -- The Banjo Monologues placed in the top ten most played CDs in the year 2007, according to the compilation of more than a 100,000 airplays, according to FOLKDJ-L (that is mostly North American deejays who play mostly folk and bluegrass music on mostly non-commercial radio).  I was also in the top ten most played artists.  Highest ranking indy release, by the way.

NOMINATION -- Looks like I am nominated for the Traditional Artist of the Year to be awarded by the Folk Alliance in Memphis on 2/20/08.  I'll be sure to let you know if I win!
[update: Levon Helm won. Gosh darn those aging rock stars!]

The Banjo Monologues

I have recorded a new cd of banjo music and more, called The Banjo Monologues.  Tunes, songs and storytelling done to the clip of a clawhammer banjo.   Click here to read reviews!

This CD is also available at CDbaby.  
If that is how you would prefer to shop, click here.
NOTE: I just added "How Like The Holly" to sell at CDbaby, too, in advance of the Christmas Season.  That means the tunes from both cds are also available as downloads at Apple Itunes and other pod-fodder sites. 

I have added a number of banjo tabs to my list of sheet music for sale. Check out the 
sheet music page for details.

Golden oldies !

Selections on my MP3 page from my very first album, an LP entitled GRASSROOTS.
Early original songs, mandolin tunes, flatpick duets, and even bluegrass banjo. Featuring the mandolin playing of the legendary Frank Wakefield.

ALSO -- check out my new "download of the moment" selection at the MP3 page!

Parlor Guitar

The new CD in fall of '05 is called Parlor Guitar. Click HERE to read about it.  All fingerstlye instrumentals on a Larrivee parlor model guitar. 
The music is from early 1900's or late 1800's.  Eubie Blake, Gershwin, Jerome Kern, etc.  
I have had great response from fans on this one -- a lot of people remember their parents or grandparents playing this music on the piano!

Book is here, too!

I'm doing a book based on Parlor Guitar for Hal Leonard publishing.  Ten of the cuts from the album will be painstakingly transcribed note-for-note and a CD of those ten songs will be included.  It is available in music stores anywhere, including Amazon. Get your copy here for an autograph!


A number of my guitar arrangements are available in full music and tab notation, including several of the numbers from Parlor  Guitar and a few from other albums. Also lead sheets to several of my more requested songs and the melodies to my many original fiddle tunes are available. Check out my new SHEET MUSIC page.
NOTE: Once the book is published, the tunes included in it will no longer be offered on the website, per agreement with the publisher, so be forewarned.

"Blue Jig" Published!

A little tune I wrote for contradancers, "The Blue Jig" has certainly been making the rounds. It has been recorded at least 6 times by contradance bands, and has been played around the world for dancers. The news now is that the music for it has been published in a great book of tunes for contra & square dancing, "The Portland Collection, Vol. 2" 

I'm honored to be included. The website for the book is www.theportlandcollection.com 
You can find "The Blue Jig" on Top Drawer String Band CD (fossil 1199)

Bad Audio Links? Bear with me...
There have been problems with some of the real audio links to listen to my songs online. It is because the audio files live somewhere else and a third party switched computers. I'll try to straighten  it all out as I get the chance. It is a time-consuming process. Meanwhile, the tunes on the actual CDs don't stop working -- no streaming involved, just a trip to your mail box.

Email list 
I have begun a more serious email list for letting folks know about my tours and new cds, etc. It is not a discussion list, just an occasional message from me -- I promise -- occasional. If you'd like to sign up click here.

FORTUNES in CD format

My early CD, Fortunes, came out in LP form in 1987, and a cassette tape followed. Last month, I finally had the original master digitized to a new CD master. For now, I am burning music CD-R's and selling them in slimline cases for the low price of $10, shipping included. click here for more info.

"You Can't Buy My Records at Wal-Mart"

I've been singing a short song of this title in concerts lately and many fans have been asking where they can get a copy. Well, I won't sell it to you but you can have it for free. Visit my MP3 page for a free and legal download.


After being out of print for a few months, I am now well-stocked with my CD, Promised Land of 1994. With such request favorites as "Alice & Ralph," "Holding To The Land" and "Sea Of Dreams" ("In the morning comes the sun / And it shines on everyone ...") I was persuaded to bring this back to the catalogue, and not be a "CD-R - only" item. Glass-mastered


ONE of my older titles -- Western Passage -- is for the time being out-of-stock as a typical, mass replicated CDs.  However, I have plenty of the inserts (booklets and tray cards) and have the technology to burn Music CD-Rs one-at-a-time from the original masters. The sound is identical. Only the label on the disc itself will be slightly different.  So until further notice, that's what you would get if you order this  title. Not available at stores -- only through this website.


I have always had promotional materials on this site, ready for download, but now I have a specific page for an easy starting place for all the materials in a full "press kit."  Go to PRESS KIT ONLINE (also in the menu on the left of every page) for a listing of all the tools you might need to promote a concert or other publicity.  It also includes a new page for all the folks I've shared a stage with -- quite a motley crew.


I have registered with Paypal ( www.paypal.com) to take payment for any CDs you may wish to purchase directly from me.  I am just as happy with a check in the mail, but if you would rather use your credit card, Paypal offers a method to send me your money instantly.  They do require you to go through a "sign up" procedure, which may or may not be to your liking. But many folks who do payments online are already signed up. If you want to use PAYPAL, click HERE for info, or drop me an email if you want further details.


A selection of promo shots are now available on this site scanned at the rate of 300 dots per inch, for high quality print applications.  Click HERE to check it out.


2001  I've been writing a column on performer's issues for the Folk Alliance newsletter since 1997.  I've archived the past and current columns here at my site. Click on Folk Alliance or go straight to the index of columns, for such topics as CD sales, royalties, touring and contract advice.  A few opinions too!

Check out the page on this site titled Workshops. I have been adding online copies of handouts I often use at festival and music camp workshops, music business conferences, etc.  

If you are looking for a song you heard at a concert or on the radio, but don't know which CD it's on, now you can check the Song Index page.  All songs and tunes are listed alphabetically followed with the title of its CD.



(c)  2001 - 2016  Joel Mabus
Last revised: April 09, 2022 .