Wow! It’s been a busy month–seems like I just wrote a newsletter and now it’s time for another one.
It was a multi-flavored weekend, with 4 music events in 3 days. On Friday I played a gig at Girasole Pizza Company, which was fun and delicious as usual. I spent time with both finger- and flat-picking just to make things a little different, and got some ideas about new twists on old songs. It’s always good to keep things fresh, just like the locally-grown ingredients at Girasole. How’s that for a segue? And yes, the wood-fired s’mores are absolutely fantastic!
After the show, Debbie & I got to catch my friend Dale Turnbull playing bass with Garry Meziere & No Tomorrow at Plew’s Brews. This was a special treat, as Dale & I never get the chance to visit each other’s gigs since we are often both working the same nights. But Plew’s is right across the street from Girasole! So we got to listen to some good blues and have a short visit between sets.
Saturday night was quite an adventure. In the morning I saw an ad on craigslist looking for someone to play that night, provided they had their own PA gear. Since I had nothing on my schedule, I replied figuring that either my music wouldn’t be right for the venue or that they would have already found someone else. None of that happened, and I ended up flying out the door after a lesson to get into Portland for the evening, not having a clue what was going to happen or even where I was going, other than the address. Good thing I wore a hat!
Now as the musicians reading this will attest, these kinds of gigs seldom work out well. But this one was an exception to that rule. I ended up at Santé, a brand-new (opened 45 days ago) wine bar & bistro. The atmosphere was great and I had a good time. Not only did I get paid and some decent tips (including yummy brithday cake), but the owners liked my music and we will be working together for future events. A big thank-you to Véronique and all at Santé for a terrific evening.
On Sunday I got a chance to be a music consumer when we saw Chicago at the Oregon Zoo. The weather was perfect, the band was awesome, and a good time was had by all.
The big studio news is coming up on June 28th, when I will be recording a show for local access TV in Portland. I’ve never done TV before, not even as a juggler. So this is going to be yet another adventure! Watch for news about air dates as soon as it becomes available. After the local channel has a chance to air the show, I believe it will be available for posting to the web. I will be sure to keep everyone updated when that happens.
Plans are also underway to use the same TV studio to record several “In The Studio” videos, watch for them coming soon.
Things just keep piling up and it seems like I never have enough time to record new music, but I am setting a goal to get back into the studio for some new songs during the month of July. I am still debating about the release schedule–the way music is distributed is changing so rapidly right now that it’s hard to know the best way to go, but rest assured that there will be access to new music and lots of posts about it too.
One thing I did find time for last week was to write the first draft of the story inspired by “Felis Astros,” which I am hoping to turn into a children’s book. I’ve never written a book before, not even a short one. It’s really exciting, but I definitely know that I don’t know what I’m doing yet, apart from knowing how the story goes. This is something I have wanted to do for quite a while, and I just had to decide to sit down and do it.
I will be at the Surfrider Resort for July 4th weekend. It’s a dirty job going to the beach and getting paid for it, but someone has to do it. On July 7th I will be at the OHSU Farmers Market for a rare pre-noon gig from 10am-2pm, and on July 11th I will be returning to the Vancouver Farmers Market from 12:30-2:30pm. Click here to see the complete schedule
Summer classes are going well. Survival Guitar is progressing, and I am adding other topics on off nights as my schedule permits. I even have a private student who is spending part of her lesson time on learning to juggle in addition to playing the guitar. I haven’t taught juggling in a long time and I am really enjoying it!
Survival Guitar II will begin in October and will include topics such as tonal coloring, arranging, and improvisation. We might even be talking about (gasp!) modal playing.
I have added a page where folks can donate money to help support my various efforts. If you see or hear something on the site that is useful for you, please consider donating. The more that this happens, the more time I can spend working on music projects that benefit others.
But don’t get the idea that just because I’m accepting donations, I’ve stopped appreciating other forms of support. I am grateful to everyone for their kind words, encouragements, and just plain enjoyment of the music. I choose to play music for myself, but I find the most joy comes when I am playing it for others.
Until next time, walk gently & keep listening…