There have been a lot of changes over the past six months–some good, some less so. The biggest change is that I closed Neon Husky at the end of February. We’ll make one more appearance at the Portland Juggling Festival in September, which will come out to exactly 18 years and 5 days for the business. It is not something I wanted to do, but it needed to happen and so it’s important to look for the good things in this change.
I’ve been doing a number of odd jobs, which keeps me busy (and fed) but takes away from music time, particularly working on new material. One of those jobs is another tour guide position talking about Portland’s “Shanghai Tunnels.” It’s a very interesting subject with lots of history and colorful characters.
From the Studio
The Purple Heron Trio has gone through some lineup changes and is now known as The Purple Herons. We went from being a trio to a duo, and just recently we’ve gone from a duo to a quartet! That makes us bass (me), keyboard, drums, and vocals. Our new lead vocalist also plays the accordion, which we hope to be adding on some songs. We have a few gigs lines up and are ramping up our arrangements to reflect the new lineup. This project has consumed the bulk of my new music time and I am really enjoying the challenges (and freedoms) associated with playing jazz. I am extremely thankful for the patience shown by my bandmates, who have adapted seamlessly to the different methods that I use to learn new songs.
I’ve been putting a lot of time & energy into creating The Acoustic Pedestrian podcast and am having a lot of fun doing it! the first episode aired this past week and new ones are scheduled to appear every other week for now, as each 1-hour episode takes 10-15 hours to produce and I still have to work at semi-real jobs.
The series already includes interviews with authors, artists, musicians, and other folks who use their talents to help bring people together through their work. I have learned a lot from talking with my guests and find myself really looking forward to each new session.
This is the first project I’ve done in a long time that has not been motivated by profit, and I did not realize how much I missed that situation. I hope that folks will offer some financial support through donations, because that will enable me to do more and better episodes. But if they don’t, I will still do them because it’s good for me. There is a tremendous freedom there that I think we often lose sight of.
Listen & enjoy!
Right now all my public shows are with The Purple Herons. I’ve been doing a number of solo gigs for private events, including a recurring Saturday gig at a local country club throughout the summer. I will post all publicly-accessible gigs on the website, both solo and with the Herons–so check back regularly! I also post event reminders on Facebook and Twitter.
I have shut down my Meetup group as there simply wasn’t enough interest to make events worth doing, but one of my guitar students has asked about the possibility of a song circle near where I live, and I am doing research on venues right now. Classes will return once a better & more effective way to build attendance is found.
Bandmakers has had a slow spring, but we are gearing up for summer term and it looks like we will have a good turnout. I’ve enjoyed the short break, it’s given me a chance to recharge (and work on getting the podcast started).
That’s the news for now, please have a listen to the podcast and share your ideas & comments. I have always wanted to make my musical ventures into community efforts, and I think that a podcast will be an important step toward that goal.
Until next time, walk gently & keep listening…