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Pretty Fair Miss
Pretty Fair Miss Cover
Just a note to say that The Little Yellow Sewing Box is still going strong even while we are in the UK. My mom, Marcy Hankins, will continue to receive your fabric and send CDs while we are on the road, so please keep that fabric coming! We have until November 11 to collect all of the fabric for the Trip Around the World Quilt. The first showing of the quilt will be at our concert at the TurtleDove Folk Club on November 20, the day after my five day quilt class at the John C Campbell Folk School!
Richard Armitage as Thornton in North & South
Thornton from North & South
In preparation for our tour of Great Britain, we've been watching our two very favorite British Miniseries - Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth based on the novel by Jane Austen and North & South based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Pride and Prejudice may seem at first like a big ole love story, which it certainly is, but Austen is also saying quite a lot about class status and love's stubborn tendency to ignore it.

North & South follows Margaret Hale as she and her family move from the pastoral south to the fictional northern cotton mill city of Milton. Gaskell tackles unions, poverty, mutiny, and love all in one breath. When walking the factory floor, fluff suspended in the air, Margaret Hale says, "I've seen hell and it's snow white."

Both series come with the Jeni & Billy five out of five star rating. Let us know what you think.
Northeast Dates Added for November!
We've just added a lovely concert in West Grove, Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 20, at the TurtleDove Folk Club! There is also talk of a house concert in New Jersey on Sunday, November 21. Since this is the farthest north in the USA that we'll be heading this year, we hope that we'll see some of our North Country friends in November. What a Thanksgiving that will be!
06/06/10, Hebden Bridge, UK  The Trades Club
06/12/10, Hull, UK  Albemarle Music Centre
06/13/10, Birmingham, UK  Kitchen Garden Cafe
06/19 - 6/20/10, Beverley Beverley Festival
Billy With His Find
Billy with old coin
Tea Time Anytime Tour

Well, the time has come for us to put on our wings and fly over the ocean to Great Britain! How that giant hunk of metal is going to carry our luggage and instruments, plus everyone else's things is a wonder to us. God bless the riveter!

We'll be playing a whole bunch up in Yorkshire - home of some of the kindest folks on this planet - and we're thrilled to be making a stop in Birmingham, home of The Moody Blues. I remember when I was kid imagining all of those Knights in White Satin and wondering how they kept their satin clean walking through dirty Medieval towns and riding sweaty horses. Imagine my disappointment when I learned it wasn't "Knights" but "Nights."

Just for good measure we're heading all the way to the edge of Cornwall and we'll hope we don't fall off into the ocean. And to finish it all off, we're returning to the North Wales Bluegrass Festival where we will be lodging with a Czech Bluegrass band and kicking off the events.

Last year, in Cumbria, we took a detour to avoid a massive traffic jam. After getting a bit lost, we decided to stop in a churchyard and have some lunch. Sitting among the gravestones, Billy discovered a magic coin where they had just edged the grass. At first, we weren't sure of its powers, but we've decided that it's helped us get back to England.

See you across the pond!

Artist Transportation at Merlefest!
Jeni in Golf Cart

Magical Merlefest

Seven years ago, my Dad heard about a festival a couple of hours up the road from where he and Mom live called Merlefest. We'd been listening to a lot of old-timey music and heard they had a traditional tent, so we decided to go. Sitting in that tent, I heard the most hair raising, heart wrenching, and hallelujah music coming out of the mouths of Laurelyn Dossett and Kari Sickenberger of Polecat Creek.

It was then that I made a commitment to bring all of the things that I loved - poetry, music, singing, dance, performance and art - together as a performing songwriter. You could say that I had Merlefest on the brain and when Billy and I met two years later, I gave him the fever too. This past April, Billy and I stepped onto that hallowed ground as performers for the first time. For four days we felt like we were in festival heaven, eating lunch with Elvis Costello and Si Kahn, making harmony with Anne & Pete Sibley, shaking hands with Laura Boosinger, getting an autograph from Laurelyn Dossett, and opening for Tony Rice & Peter Rowan! Pinch us now!

Click here to see one of our Merlefest Performances.

To all of those folks who made us so welcome there, we thank you. Your stories, enthusiasm, kindness, applause, questions, and your smiles were part of one of the most rewarding Jeni & Billy tour memories.
Jeni & Billy in Hollywood on the Walk of Stars, November 2009
Jeni & Billy in Hollywood
California Dreamin'
The time for our Way Out West tour is drawing nearer. We begin in Bloomington, IN on August 30 and finish up back in Bloomington on November 5. We are busily working to fill up as many days as possible with performances. So, in that spirit, we would love to hear from you if you have ideas for a venue near you. Lately, we've had several friends who have bravely offered to host a house concert for us and it has worked out splendidly. Anyone interested in taking the plunge, please be in touch.
Jeni & Billy at Merlefest
Merlefest Outdoor Stage

2011 Tour Dates in the Works!

We're already planning ahead for next year and wanted to give you an idea of where we will be in the spring. We welcome your suggestions for Jeni & Billy friendly venues:

January 21 - 30:  Alabama & Georgia
February 1 - 12:  Florida (Naples confirmed; New Smyrna Beach, Tampa area, Orlando, Miami in the works)
April 11 - 27: Eastern Coastal Tour from Jacksonville, FL to Philadelphia, PA
May 1 - 28:  Virginia to Vermont tour (Richmond, VA on May 4, Arlington, VA on May 8, and VT on May 21; all other times in the works)
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