Category Archives: Uncategorized

Founding Fathers on the Road

We just set sail on a 9 show run, opening for Yonder Mountain String Band. Let the musical experiments begin. More info on the Fathers’ site.


American Rivers Tour 2013

Long before the Stringdusters, I worked as a fly fishing guide in Southwest Montana. Over time, music took over my life and outdoor pursuits faded into the background. Years later, as the Dusters business plan evolves to include the marketing reach and overlap of companies like Patagonia and Klean Kanteen, we are finding our way back to the great outdoors. This past summer we worked with a great nonprofit, American Rivers, raising awareness about the issues facing our country’s waterways, as well as this great organization. Klean Kanteen, Patagonia, Osprey and the Moab Brewing Company were all on board, helping to make the tour possible, spreading the word and supporting the cause. At the end of it all we gave $1 per ticket to American Rivers, and hopefully this is just the start of our relationship. We also set out on an incredible 6 day float of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River along with a bunch of fans and our new best friends, Idaho River Adventures. It was the perfect way to put us directly in touch with the tour’s underlying message. What an incredible trip–check it out.


Listen, Learn

Stefon Harris is an amazing musician–check him out, especially if you are into jazz. But he also has this zen quality about him that is magical. About 11 years ago, soon after I had started playing banjo, he came to do a clinic at Dartmouth. A group of us played a few tunes and I was blown away by how present he was, how he listened and reacted, moving the music with such artistry/transparency. He spoke about listening, and I could tell he was observant on another level. It was heavily inspiring. On a recent TED talk binge I found this video of Harris explaining the notion that mistakes are irrelevant, in fact they are opportunities if we know how to listen, react and work together. Check it:

Best Tune Name Ever

They just don’t name them like they did before. A few more titles like this and acoustic music will crush the mainstream…

W.O. Smith Music School

My grandparents, James and Flo Verhalen, have done a lot of amazing things. Some years back they set up a foundation which gives our family the rare opportunity to do something for those in need. Lately my cousins and I (all 19 or us) have stepped up, helping the causes that we have connections to. Before I left Nashville, we set up a grant for the W.O. Smith Music School, an amazing institution that provides loaner instruments and lessons (50 cents/lesson) for children from low-income families. With an incredible volunteer faculty and a staff that’s truly dedicated to the kids and the music, this is a magical place that is accomplishing something very real and very good. We were so excited to help fund their 2011 Summer Music Camp.



Proof (of something)





See, we’re ‘blue grass’ just like the ticket says. Or maybe this is proof that nobody really knows what bluegrass is (because it’s definitely not two words).

Shredder Cats

I want to meet whoever made this ridiculous ad. The paw-on-banjo action is impeccable. Will this instrument ever transcend its reputation?

Jono Pandolfi Designs

My older brother is the man. Jono’s been the inspiration for many of my creative endeavors, most notably my music career as a whole. He’s a top notch designer (ceramics, jewelery, wood, whatever), with work in Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, the MoMA Design Store and Calvin Klein to name a few. And Jono Pandolfi Designs is really just getting rolling. Check out this great interview that just went up on Jono talks about his process, what he’s up to and what’s next. “What’s clear from our conversation is that while designer couldn’t be happier with his current life—impressive clients, exciting projects, creative freedoms that most designers would kill for—Jono Pandolfi has bigger plans for the coming years of his company.”

Good News for Nonprofits

My Dad wrote a great article that went up on the Harvard Business Review’s business blog this morning. This piece looks at the importance of a mission statements in the non-profit world. Nice work, Dad!

“Mission” for nonprofits is the same as “profits” for private sector companies. In the private sector, corporations achieve their goals by carefully designing business operations that are reflected in a budget and then regularly reporting on how actual profits compare to that budget. If mission accomplishment is as important as profit attainment, why do most nonprofits not spend equivalent time in mission creation and monitoring?

Good thoughts for Japan

Acoustic music has many good friends in Japan. I hope they are all OK. From Moonshiner magazine:

My new favorite album

I was looking for something that’s truly ‘whole brain.’ Found it.

Happy bday Nick

Today we celebrate Nicholas Pandolfi, a young man of many talents–NYC impresario, master chef, fashion authority, print media trend-setter, etc. He will probably be my boss one day. Much love little brother–happy birthday!

BG Mashup

Everybody loves a good mashup. I will have my sequencing rig with me, dropping Dubsteb samples all over this jam. Definitely looking forward to rejoining forces with my man Nate Leath.