2023 Second Gig: Clark Hansbarger in Front Royal

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Somehow COVID put a mega-hurt on the Bitter Liberals.  We stopped playing shows for all of the obvious reasons, and eventually we also stopped practicing together.  For whatever reason, we haven’t managed to restart yet.

Clark to the rescue!

Bitter Liberal Clark Hansbarger is one of two master songwriters in the band.  As you may know, all of our songs have stories behind them.  Read about some of Clark’s excellent songs here.

We played a gig at the Blue Wing Frog, a restaurant in Front Royal that has been hosting a songwriters series of small shows.  Clark agreed to play a show, and Allen Kitselman and I sat it as side men.  It was magical playing this music again.

We brought our own sound system and lit the place up with crystal clear sound.  The venue was sold to capacity (around 50 people came on a very rainy evening). The crowd listened intently.


Clark opened the first set with 6 or 7 songs performed solo.

Eventually Allen and I joined in.


It was a rewarding and magical evening.  Thanks to all who came.



Music Mode: Ritt and Wilder Release Hinge (with some fiddle)


My music has been on a COVID hiatus for way too long — only the occasional rain in the desert with Rhine or a Bitter Liberal or two.  Fortunately, along came Ritt Deitz who just released a new album and did a four show tour to promote its release.  Buy a copy of Hinge here.



I played two of the shows with Ritt and his son, multi-instrumentalist and talented child Wilder.  The shows were great.  Here are some bits.

Wilder Deitz plays mandolin

The DC date was actually in Vienna at Diego Ruiz’s house.

The lineup (near the end anyway)

An excellent place to play a house concert.  Great people.

All temporary of course.  As we are not of this world.

Cocktails by Bill Shepardson.  Where did that doctor’s bag come from?

Wilder Deitz plays piano


No, mandolin. Wilder plays mandolin.

The feet

Wilder plays guitar



No wait, it’s piano that Wilder plays.


Some other fiddler

I did play, honest.  But nobody was there to record said playing.  He said he played. He played.

Sing it.


Then it was on to Wilmington, NC for a Sunday evening performance (close enough to the Stick to merit a long drive).


Feet up between sets

The venue was a fiddle shop of the highest caliber. Ronald Sachs for the win.

Who needs people?  Music is enough.  Right?  Yes?  Music is enough?

Nope.  The people add the magic.  Connect.

The mosquito green room.

On the stage again.  The music was even better.


These people charge the batteries. Thank you, people.

Sing it.


Then it was over.  More please.

Like a puppy on the beach.





Bitter Liberals 1.4.20

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Get your tickets here.

Summer Solstice 2019: Bodacious Bonfire


First a story of the lighting through the photography of Amy Barley.

Prepare to Burn


Light it Up

Fire Maiden

And that is how you turn the sun.

Things looked pretty much like this before we started

Then there were several undocumented hours in the river with the special beer float courtesy of Aubrey. We’re still not sure where he is.

The most popular guest of all was baby Cora. (Yes, that is the three McGraw brothers in kilts.)

Panorama by jackie


A video of the lighting.


This shot by my brother walt (at his first solstice) is one of my favorites.

From the bridge


When the fire burned down enough to get within 100 feet, we started the music.

Burning pile

Joel Winstead created some great sketches in real time.

Music by firelight

The fire

Gary and Gina

The the thunderstorm moved in around 11pm and we shifted the music to the barn. We played until 4am. What a joy.

Gary and Gina in the barn

Allen behind his hat

There are a few more pictures on the evite page. Thanks to all who came to the 2019 summer solstice fire!

Thanks for coming to the summer solstice!

Mountain Cabin: The Fuck All Ya’ll House

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Lil cabin in the woods

Just bought a cabin on the Blue Ridge for the Bitter Liberals. It’s a little thing with a hilarious story available only in person. Suffice it to say that we’ll be calling it the “fuck all ya’ll” house. That’s meant only in the kindest way, of course.

Once the stuff is gone, the band will go here

fireplace side, and yoga too no doubt


Here are some more views of the outside. All of the decks need to be replaced, and we’ll put in two skylights for the upstairs rooms.

Back deck

front deck

The house sits on just over 6 acres of woodland with a creek as one of the borders.

Where’s Aubrey at the Barns in Berryville 1.29.17

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Where’s Aubrey will play a benefit for Habitat for Humanity’s work in Clarke County FRIDAY 1.29.17 at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, VA.


Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Clarke County.

100% of proceeds from the concert go to Habitat.

We will be releasing our eighth CD the day of the show. Art by Eli McGraw. Music by Rhine Singleton and Gary McGraw. At the show, we’ll be playing all of the songs from the new CD plus some of your favorite Where’s Aubrey tunes.

We will be joined on stage by Allen Kitselman and Nick Schrenk of the Bitter Liberals.

See you Friday!

Bitter Liberals Shoot Skeet

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On a beautiful Fall day, the arsenal comes down. One half of the Bitter Liberals came out to plink and shoot some clays. Aubrey was in the house.

Mr. Kitselman shoots his dad's 45 from WWII Pacific Theater

Mr. Kitselman shoots his dad’s 45 from WWII Pacific Theater



Pistols at 50 feet

Pistols at 50 feet

The better half of the half of the Bitter Liberals

The better half of the half of the Bitter Liberals

On a walk by the river we found a fellow creature.



Manor House by Karen Rosasco

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On an art-filled weekend, we travelled down to Union, WV to play the Civil War show. A stop off on the way back home in Staunton led us to an artist coop where we found the Manor House painting.

Manor House by Karen Rosasco

Manor House by Karen Rosasco

Karen Rosasco taught art for years in an upstate NY high school. She now resides in Staunton, VA.

Karen explains how the piece was implemented

Karen explains how the piece was implemented

It always amazes me how artists handle their own work

It always amazes me how artists handle their own work

This work has a glaze treatment by knife first, followed by acrylic. One of Karen’s tricks is to put the very darkest spot in the painting right next to the very lightest part to capture your visual attention. I like how the focal point is enhanced with the oval in the middle of the painting which seems to me like a photographic artifact.

In context of other work by Karen.

In context of other work by Karen.

More modern work by Karen

More modern work by Karen

The gallery also had a student space. One student paid attention to shadows with their work, which was very cool indeed.

coffee filters

coffee filters



Bitter Liberals + Bright Box 1.8.16

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Old Town Winchester – Krampus:supmarK

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Winter is here, and various holiday parties spring up, including a somewhat novel round of Krampus events. The walking mall in Winchester, VA is getting into the holiday spirit just as the cold sets in.

We dropped in at the Tin Top Handmade shop just after Krampus had chased everyone out. Oh so tardy.

Neil and the press

Neil and the press



And what did we spot in front of the Bright Box?

Downtown walking mall Winchester

Downtown walking mall Winchester

The Bitter Liberals Piggy

The Bitter Liberals Piggy

Come see the actual Bitter Liberals themselves at the Bright Box January 8! Get your tickets.


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