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Dan Weber / Blog

A Night with Bill (Part 2)

I wish I could remember the stories Bill told me that night. Wish I knew maybe half of what the road had taught him. And I wish I was half the songwriter he was. Maybe there’s time for all that. But there’s never time enough to tell the folks who’ve touched your how much that meant to you. Think about it for 10-15 seconds. Done? OK. THAT person, the 1st one that just came to mind? Go tell them. Today. Just because...Trust me. You’ll both feel like a million bucks afterwards. I always thought when the first CD was done I’d send Bill a copy with a note...just to say ‘Thanks’...Heck, I might still do that. I’ve still got that LP of his--‘Standing Eight’ that I won. It’s brilliant. But you know, all I really wanted to say to you was, any night any one can change your life...and don’t forget to Thank the one’s who do... Following this past months great shows in Spokane, and at the Yakima and Pacific City Folk Festivals, there’s another bunch of great shows coming up!!! THIS WEEKEND!: I’ll be playing the Clark County Fair, the historic Trout Lake Country Inn and the inagural ‘CouverFestNW, followed by shows the next week at the Gresham Center for the Arts, Irvington Farmer’s Market and the lovely Secret Garden. Finally the 1st week of September brings the Tumbleweed Festival in Richland, WA, plus 2 shows at the Oregon State Fair... Look us up and please tell your friends to come see us and say ‘Hi’. We’d love to meet them! Thanks! For Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me making my crazy musical journey possible! dan Get show specifics (times, addresses, etc.) and listen at www.reverbnation.com/danwebermusic or www.myspace.com/highway142 News??? In late August I’ll be playing the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley for the Grand Finals of the West Coast Songwriter’s ‘Best Song Competition’. My winning entry was ‘Goodbye to Dad’ (which will be on the upcoming CD). I’m gonna drive 1,400 miles to play 2 songs. Truth be told I’d drive further... Tune News??? I got a call last week and it looks like one of my songs will also be featured on another songwriter upcoming CD. I guess technically that’s considered ‘selling a song’. It’s a real honor when someone you really respect covers one of your songs and cuts it on their CD. I suppose it’s sort of like watching your kid graduate. You watch them cross the stage to get their diploma and think to yourself: It’s 75% pure luck, 20% dumb luck, 4% lightning in a bottle and 1% ‘Yeah I DID that!’...It’s going to be a while before it’s available on their CD but I’ll be sure to let you know...the song? ‘Take the Central Georgia Home’ (which will also be on my upcoming CD). CD News??? If I had to guess, I’d say it should be ‘out’ around Thanksgiving. Just in time for Christmas. (Hint, Hint). The musicians sitting in on it so far have been so far beyond ‘Amazing’ that I’m at a loss for words. Y’all know that doesn’t happen much. The Producer, Rob Stroup at 8-Ball studios is a magician. Needless to say I’m way more than excited... Newsprint??? If you didn’t see it already, here’s a cool feature article that Rob Cullivan did on me in the Gresham Outlook http://www.theoutlookonline.com/features/story.php?story_id=130386495708649600 Video??? Check out my one and only video by filmmaker Travis Madden of my song ‘Hank and Jesus’ on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/pages/Dan-Weber/345155509265 and ‘Become a Fan/Like’ Or at: http://www.vimeo.com/14994880

A Night With Bill (Part 1)

Hey Folks! Back in 1990, when I first moved to Seattle, WA, I worked swing shift till 11:30pm. Then I went straight to this place called the ‘Comet’, one of Seattle’s stranger bars on Capitol Hill. Every night at closing time they’d play ‘Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits’ then Tom Waits ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’. Like clockwork. Maybe they figured that would move folks out. Me? It always made me want to stay longer. I played a ton of pool there and hung out with dudes who all seemed to be in one local grunge band or another. It was 1989 and the whole planet seemed to dig what was coming out of the Seattle grunge scene. To be honest with you, it didn’t do anything for me musically or spiritually. I was in this whole ‘other’ place at the time... I’d been digging guys like Tom Waits, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan of course and Leonard Cohen. Storytellers. Listening to a local FM station one night, I won tickets to a show to see some New England singer-songwriter passing through town. I won by answering the quiz question: “What fort guards the shores of Lake Champlain?” Heck that was easy (even before Google). I’d been there as a kid: Fort Ticonderoga. So I won a ticket and an LP with no idea who the guy was, but I got on the bus halfway across town and went. 20 minutes in and I was completely sold. That guy was Bill Morrissey... Bill was the first guy I ever heard not named ‘Bob Dylan’ who could sing you a novel in 3 minutes. I’m more amazed by that now then I was then since I wasn’t a songwriter then. I’d never even dreamed of writing a song back then. But here was this skinny guy, five foot five-ish, with a gravel voice, wicked (dry) sense of humor, funny as hell songwriter who could completely entertain you with some story right before dropping the bomb on you when he sang some horribly sad song. I was hooked. Big time... Later that night, Bill shouted to the audience “where we going for a drink afterwards?” Ridiculous as it seems, I took it as an invite and spent the next several hours listening to Bill tell these amazing stories in some Irish bar. It was better than meeting Dylan. This guy was ‘Real’. I staggered back on the bus at closing time, only to fall asleep and be woken up hours later in the bus barn near the old Kingdome. I had to walk 4 miles home at 4am and somehow managed to show up to work the next morning---mercilessly hung-over. At work my boss called me in his office, told me to shut the door in that ‘you’re about to be fired tone’ then made me give him the full rundown of the night. Thank God he was a musician too! Bill died a few weeks ago at 59 in Georgia while on tour. He struggled the past few years of his life, with a bipolar disorder, depression, and lot of hard years of drinking and traveling behind him. 3 and ½ years ago, through some convergence of my own, I finally got out of my basement and decided to play an open mic in front of an audience for the 1st time and see what that felt like. It took me 5 years after that night in 1990 that I saw Bill to buy a guitar, 8 to begin to learn it, 12 to write a ‘song’, and 18 to decide it was time to try it in front of an audience. I only tell you this because without seeing Bill Morrissey, I’d not be a songwriter today. I mean that... (Continued)

A Leap of Faith

Hey Y’all ! About 6 months ago I was up at my favorite place, this little hillside place called ‘Indian Leap’ on the Klickitat River in Washington State. It was named after 2 Yakima Nation kids, roaring in an old Buick, who missed the hard corner on Highway 142 and plunged down 30 feet over the basalt cliffs and landed halfway across the river. They miraculously survived it. Later, they did it a Second Time (now there’s a ‘Declaration of Independence’ of sorts...) just because they could I suppose. There’s an old white wooden cross semi-permanently affixed there. Over time it gets rebuilt, repainted and a few new plastic flowers added---every time someone tragically misses that corner... I was up there celebrating the Winter Solstice, sleeping with no tent in 6 inches of snow, an annual tradition on the longest night of the year. It’s been a long 6 months since but summer is FINALLY (meaning July 5th) here in the Pacific North-‘wet’. It all goes too quickly and suddenly it seems, I’m back up there, surrounded by snow and the stars again. Maybe it’s the reckless spirits of those two daring Yakima kids, but I always feel strongly connected there, in the same way I feel connected when I’m on stage, and in a way I often don’t feel connected in the daily wilderness of: Radio, paper, coffee, Facebook, shower, gas, traffic, phone, work, water, lunch, traffic, phone, work, traffic, work, water, home, beer, dinner, phone, whiskey, pill, water, book, bed, repeat, repeat, repeat... So I was in Texas recently, at the Kerrville Folk Festival, searching for connections, both musical and spiritual and couldn’t have been farther from sleeping in the snow but felt closer to the stars than I’ve felt for a long time. Typically I try to stay up all night, to 6am or 7am, for nearly 2 weeks straight---in part to prove to myself that I still can (sleep be damned!) and frankly, because the blast furnace heat and limestone caliche dust finally settles down. And of course, the Texas stars do come out, ‘big and bright’, and the cicadas and cricket’s sing along around the ‘campfire’ song circles that spring up here, there and everywhere... One night in Kerrville I wandered into a late night song circle and saw an empty seat and got out my trusty ’68 Gibson and sat down. I guess I was supposed to be ‘asked’ to sit in but I didn’t know that then. A couple songs later the master of ceremonies said “Next up is the gentleman in the cowboy hat and after him, Peter, will you play us a song?” From my vantage point, I didn’t see ‘Peter’ but I heard him say “I don’t have a guitar”. And then 4 people stood up to offer Peter a guitar which afforded me a glimpse of ‘Peter’ sitting outside the circle on a couch, who turned out to be the legendary Peter Yarrow of ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’... Just as suddenly, it was my turn to play. I think I mumbled something like “umm, my name is ‘Dan’ and this is a song, umm...about a couple guys named Hank and Jesus” or something like that. And you know how time stands still, like the weird slow motion sensation that takes over when you’re right in the middle of a car wreck? Performing can be like that. But there was no wreck, no white cross on the cliff, just 2 guys named ‘Hank’ and ‘Jesus’, living for the moment, going over the same cliff they’d been over a time or two already, and survived to tell the tale. The crickets and the stars and someone on mandolin joined in, and the middle of the night Texas heard folks singing along to the chorus “I just wanted someone to talk with tonight”. Damn, that was so cool... A Big as Texas Thanks! for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me making my crazy musical journey possible! dan News??? I’m REALLY excited to have won the West Coast Songwriter’s ‘Best Song’ competition for the Pacific NW for my song ‘Goodbye to Dad’ and will be competing in the finals in late August at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA.

Johnny Appleseed

Hey Y’all ! First up, I’ve got a show Tonight!!! Details of the show in the cool feature article that Rob Cullivan did on me in this weeks ‘Outlook’ http://www.theoutlookonline.com/features/story.php?story_id=130386495708649600 The ‘Beta’: Saturday Night April 30th at 7pm at Park Place Coffee House http://www.parkplacecoffee.com/ 1288 SE 182nd Ave., Gresham OR 97233 (Next to Vance Park). My good friend ‘Rhymin’ Lyman Louis opens and the excellent group ‘Night Folk’ (Rich Waggoner, Doug Henderson, Jerry Towell & Piers Morgan) closes the show. If I get over this cold in the next 19 hours I will be able to sing...it’s a big ‘if’ at this point but I’m hoping. If I can’t y’all can just sing with me, you know the word’s... OK, if you read any/all that and aren’t tired of reading yet (yeah I know, life’s short)...I’ve just got this little story to tell... I was out in the desert a few weeks ago in the stunning Owyhee River country in SE Oregon. You drive to the farthest corner of the state where Oregon meets Idaho and Nevada. Then turn around, you just passed it. Barely. It’s an annual spring trip I take, a ritual cleansing of sorts. I soak in some of the world’s prettiest and remote hot springs, sleep on the ground gazing at the stars (which fixed my bad back oddly enough) and the try to remember why I’m ‘Here’, as in here on this big, beautiful spinning ball of rock and water. It’s amazing what you see and hear in what has been described as the ‘most remote areas of the Lower 48’. It’s stunningly pretty, and it’s noisy as hell. Coyotes yipping all night. Canada geese cruising the canyon, their honking echoing off the canyon walls. And the ever present sounds of the Red-winged Blackbird, singing one of my favorite songs... On the way home I made one last stop in the last dry canyon of sorts in a place called ‘Klickitat’. It’s up Highway 142, which you might recognize. On the way to town to celebrate another great adventure we passed my neighbor ‘Mitch’ on the road. We stopped. Sort of had to. Mitch is an institution unto himself. Part local legend (it’s a true story that he once had two pet porcupines), part crazy/sweet old man (“You’ve gotta pick ‘em up by the paws you see”...), and he’s also part Johnny Appleseed... When we drove by, Mitch was tending one of a several hundred apple trees he’s planted in and around Klickitat. No one asked him to but no one asked him NOT to. So he grafts, plants, waters and tends them and tells the neighbors to help themselves to the apples. He’s got a dozen ‘heirloom’ varieties you won’t find in a store. And we stop, knowing it’s going to be at LEAST an hour, listening to Mitch tell stories about those porcupines, apples, Tahiti, and whatever else you think it’s impossible for this man to know... And just when you’re beginning to look for a reason to tell him “we’ve gotta go grab dinner” or something, he stops pruning for a second and says to really no one in particular, “You know, a man’s got a pretty good life if he’s doing what he likes to do. And out here in the sun, in this pretty canyon, I just like growing apples, sharing ‘em with people. Yup, I’d say it’s a pretty good life”... So it’s funny, all these years I’ve been wondering where I belonged, driving around looking for whatever it was I was after, and it turns out my neighbor ol’ Mitch has known it all along, just waiting for someone to come by and ask... So the good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I’m planting a few seeds, tellin’ stories, singing ‘em, sharing ‘em with people, out in the desert, here in town, back home in New York, and down in Texas. And damn if it isn’t a pretty good life if a man like’s what he’s doing... Thanks for listening and making the journey possible! dan

Blog-A-Licious

Hey Y’all... I’ll try to make this short. (Hey--Stop laughing! You know who you are...) I’m sorry for the late notice but frankly I’m out of breath from life’s proverbial treadmill (and the actual treadmill I was just on). Things have been a bit crazy, but I wanted to personally say ‘Thank You!!!’ for everyone who sent along their well wishes, good vibes and prayers for my older brother Gerard. For those who don’t know, he was healthy one day, and then very, very sick shortly thereafter with a serious infection that the doctor said “would have killed him in another day” if he hadn’t made it to the ER. He’s recovering nicely now and has his sarcasm back, which is how I can tell he’s on the mend. It’s an East Coast thing I think. I’m so grateful. So Thank You for your kind thoughts. It’s really helped in a very real way though a very surreal time... Second, I wanted to tell you that I’m playing THIS Saturday Night at a house concert in SE Portland, opening for 2 Award winning songwriter’s from Central Oregon, Willie Carmichael and Dennis McGregor. There’s a fancy poster attached to this email, but here’s what you need to know: Willie Carmichael http://williesongs.com/ bills himself as a ‘Singer, Songwriter and Fool’, of which I can personally attest to at least 2 of those 3. He says “I like songs that make you laugh and cry and call up old friends to beg forgiveness or chew their ass...” Which is pretty much spot on for Willie. What he’s NOT telling you, is that he’s a gem of friend, a very fine songwriter and a rare treat to listen to---once he gets done convincing you that you shouldn’t be. He’s sneaky that way. Dennis McGregor http://www.dennismcgregor.com/ is equally easy to describe, that is if you’ve got a thesaurus handy. A member of the original acid-swing group, Natty Bumppo, Dennis has been there, done that and probably painted the poster for the gig as well, as he is a stunningly talented artist in addition to being a great songwriter. His laid back demander and gentle finger picking style belies his deep insights, sharp wit and great sense of humor. Both Dennis and Willie are Winners of the prestigious ‘Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Award’ and neither wore shorts while taking home the honor (Ok that’s an inside joke even I don’t entirely understand). But what I do understand, is THIS Saturday Night with Willie and Dennis will be a rare and special treat. And Ya’ll should come and see for yourselves... Finally, we’re taking the show on the road is it were later this month on Friday March 25th to the Mandolin Café in Tacoma http://themandolincafe.com/ with our good friend Lyman Louis. We’d love to see some familiar faces and old friends there! Lastly, (I told you this would be short!), ‘Thank You’ ALL who made the Depot Café show in Sister’s such a success! You guys and gals are AWESOME!!! We can’t wait to go back! And please do check out my one and only video by our good friend and filmmaker Travis Madden of my song ‘Hank and Jesus’ on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/pages/Dan-Weber/345155509265 and ‘Become a Fan/Like’ Thanks for listening and making the journey possible! dan Get show specifics (times, addresses, etc.) and listen at www.reverbnation.com/danwebermusic or www.myspace.com/highway142

Mardi Gras Odds

Hey Friends! It’s always a strange time, these rainy January days, in-between the holidays and what comes ‘Next’. One such particularly grey day in 1988 (or was it ’89?), on a whim, I decided to head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, knowing several friends had left for there the week before. I didn’t know where they were staying and this was at least 10 years B.C. (Before Cellphones), but I went anyways. A combination of hitchhiking and Greyhound buses got me there. Most memorably were the migrant fruit pickers I caught a ride with through Nashville, and seeing the rural Mississippi countryside at dawn. I felt like I’d just arrived into 1938. Beautiful tall pines, long tracts of undeveloped bottomlands and sharecropper cabins peering back at us through the swampy fog. Truly surreal... Somewhere along the route someone burst my bubble telling me that there were a half million people at Mardi Gras and finding my friends was close to impossible. I thought well ‘Maybe I’ll get lucky’... So I was thinking of ‘luck’ when I was swapping out the 2011 calendar with last years when I casually glanced through all I’d done (or planned to) in 2010. Birthdays, trips, parties, shows and holidays all blurring together. But there were some really great days back there—None Better than my birthday on 9/11 spent at the Sister’s Folk Festival—lucky enough to be chosen as a finalist in the Dave Carter Memorial Songwriter Contest. I still haven’t wrapped my mind around that day. To all the folks who wished us well, who came and cheered us on, and everyone who said the nicest things afterwards, ‘Thank You’. That was so very, very special to me... There were some other Amazing shows that stood out—a wonderful night at McLundy’s and at the inaugural Pacific City Folk Festival, sweet summer night’s spent at the Secret Garden, state and county fairs, house concerts, farmer’s markets & local festivals, 3 Magical Evenings opening for 3 of my Favorite songwriters, Jonathan Byrd, Danny Schmidt and Peter Mulvey at the Doverlaff house concert series. And that unforgettable 9 state, 4924 mile, epic road trip to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas... So in a completely bizarre twist of fate, one night at Mardi Gras that year, on those crowded parade-lined streets, I watched a float round the corner and standing on the opposite side of the street were 4 OTHER friends who’d come to Mardi Gras as well. We instantly celebrated with hugs and high fives and I asked them “What are you guys doing HERE???” and they said “We came looking for YOU!!!” I couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t believe it either. A one in a half million shot at finding me. I had no idea they were coming. Call it ‘luck’, ‘serendipity’, ‘fate’ or just 1988. 2010 was like that too. If we didn’t meet the friends we went looking for, some new one’s found us instead or we met new ones along the way. Maybe we celebrated too much that night in New Orleans but in retrospect, I’m not sure we celebrated Enough. All I know is I’ll never forget that night, or all the great night’s we had this past year. Here’s hoping your 2011 is filled with memories, good fortune, new friends to meet and old one’s that magically find you. And here’s hoping for a little ‘Luck’ in 2011. 500,000 to one? I suddenly like the odds... Check out my one and only video (I know—weird right?) of a new song ‘Hank and Jesus’ on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/pages/Dan-Weber/345155509265 and ‘Become a Fan/Like’ Thanks for listening and making the journey possible! dan

Friends and Hero's

Howdy Y’all !!! I think I had 5 things I could’ve/should’ve/would’ve done tonight but somehow I’m doing the most mundane of tasks---cleaning the house. With the holidays fast approaching—well, you get it, it’s a sprint AND a marathon and suddenly there you are cleaning the house on a Saturday night...I know...pathetic... But luckily I’m easily distracted...in fact I’ve been distracted for years by everything from...wait, lets NOT get into that shall we?...Where was I?—oh right, distracted. So somehow I got to putting all these CD’s back in their alphabetical ‘order’ when I started to notice a few strange things...I mean who ever thought Bruce Springsteen would end up next to the classic cowboy band the Sons of the Pioneers? Or the Grateful Dead next to the Forrest Gump soundtrack? Further proof that “Life is lot like a box of chocolates” if you ask me... All this is to say, that I’ve been thinking A LOT lately about finally making a CD...talking to people smarter than me, running the numbers (turns out its a whole pile of $$$), and trying to pick apart the strands of ‘art’ from ‘ego’ and ‘vanity’ from ‘passion’. Although I’m not a parent, my songs feel a lot like children. And truth be told, like a lot of children, they’re not exactly the kids you expected them to grow up to be. But I love their quirks, energy and wisdom, and feel their failures and frustrations deeply as if they were my own...So I really think it’s time I gave those kids a good education and sent them on their way to the land of liner notes, cover art, mp3’s, and digital downloads...maybe they’ve learned enough to be ready? So here I am, on a Saturday night, ‘organizing’ CD’s, contemplating this next big ‘step’, hoping I can find a way to make it happen and as I put away the CD’s, I sense something stranger in my alphabetical collection---friends amongst hero’s and vice versa. Check it out: The great new ’Pancake Breakfast’ CD between the soundtrack to ‘Oliver’ (I was in Oliver once!) and Chuck Prophet...The inimitable Dennis McGregor between Umphrey’s McGee and James McMurtry...Jenna Lindbo’s sweet debut right there between Gordon Lightfoot and David Lindley...The amazing Carrie Elkin between Duke Ellington and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot...Willie Carmichael between Hayes Carll and Dave Carter (I secretly envy Willie for this!)...Brad Creel’s brand new disc between the Cowboy Junkies and Miles Davis...Friends and Hero’s... I could go on all night...but I’ve got a house to clean, a holiday to survive and somewhere down this long and unexpected road, with any luck, a CD to finally make...Thanks! For listening, for the encouragement, and for stickin’ around and being a HUGE part of my journey...Hopefully one of these days you’ll be parking my CD right there between Dale Watson and Gillian Welch, or if it’s not too much to ask, between Townes Van Zandt and ZZ Top... I’ve got a couple of new songs that are making the rounds and a handful of show’s coming up...come see us some night and spread some holiday cheer! Feliz Navidad! dan

Somewhere Between Austin and San Antonio

Howdy Y’all... A few years ago I was hanging out with 3 Finnish friends one chilly November night in between Austin and San Antonio at a little funky, turquoise colored roadhouse called Rubens in Selma, TX...it was the inaugural ‘Tardeada Music Festival’ and like always, I found myself someplace I never expected to be---just me and 3 Finnish musicians in the midst of a Tex-Mex festival on some unmarked frontage road just off the freeway...and none of us spoke Spanish, so we may as well have been in Mexico City... But we ate and drank and danced and one very nice, Ruben-esque (pardon the pun) woman told me ‘I love that you’re dancing to OUR music’ and I laughed and then we danced together...we somehow ended up behind the stage waiting for the headliner to come on, drinking beer, freezing---and suddenly hanging out with legendary accordion player Flaco Jimenez...the band hopped up on stage but Flaco kept talking, taking pictures with us, about touring Finland in the 80’s, and halfway through the song he handed one of us his empty Miller-Lite and said: “Fella’s, I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve gotta go do ‘the Thing’ “ And with that he hopped up on stage, grabbed his accordion, and seamlessly took his solo, like he’d been there all along... Later that night, after the show, we went inside Rubens—dim, musty, smoky, and packed with cold bodies, warm tortilla’s, flickering neon, and more Spanish than one tongue could swallow...and those good people embraced us like family—didn’t want us to leave...and truth be told, neither did we...one of those night’s you just Never forget... Which is an odd, yet somehow appropriate way, to tell you about my experience recently at the Sister’s Folk Festival. I was a Finalist for the 2010 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest... http://www.sistersfolkfestival.org/sff.php?index=0&call=davecarter It was the most Amazing day!!!...Jerry and I really nailed our set and got a standing ovation from the packed tent...It was just simply ‘Magical’. We didn’t ‘win’, but my new friend Willie Carmichael did. Congrats Willie! Friend’s came from Portland and further just to hear us (Thank You!!!) and perfect strangers kept coming up to us all weekend long saying the nicest things...Everyone got treated to a weekend jam packed full of great music. I met the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard...got to do a little writing with one of my hero’s, Slaid Cleves...but more than anything, the people involved with the Sister’s Folk Festival—The organizers, volunteers, staff, crew and crowd embraced us like family—And we never, ever wanted to leave...It was one of those days (and nights) you just Never forget... One of the biggest revelations from the Festival was seeing and hearing Peter Mulvey http://www.petermulvey.com/ for the 1st time. Peter’s got a voice like Greg Brown, a wicked sense of humor, and is a first rate songwriter. The Irish Times said "Peter Mulvey is consistently the most original and dynamic of the US singer-songwriters to tour these shores. A phenomenal performer with huge energy, a quick fire, quirky take on life, and an extraordinary guitar style. A joy to see." There are still a few seats left for Peter Mulvey’s house concert NEXT Thursday October 21st at 7pm in SE Portland. I’ll be opening at 7pm with a short set then Peter will play 2 sets...You DON’T want to miss seeing him! Contact Dan Dover at ddover2@earthlink.net for tickets ($15). As always, Thanks for the kind words and inspiration!...And don’t forget to share the Music; Embrace strangers like Family; Grab a cold beer, and Dance a little...You’ll be amazed how good it feels! “I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve gotta go do ‘The Thing” dan

Finalist for the 2010 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest

About 10 years ago...I had a chance to attend a songwriting class in Portland. I REALLY wanted to go, not because I expected to become a better songwriter—or lets be honest, become a songwriter at all. No, I wanted to go, because the teacher was one of my favorite songwriters. A guy named Dave Carter. The winter before that, I had been going through a particularly tough time: Unemployment; sleepless nights; and constantly trying to make one of our 3 junk cars actually work. One morning, just after 6am, I taped (yeah, cassettes—remember them?) this song on KBOO, 90.7 FM, http://kboo.fm/ called ‘The River, Where She Sleeps’. For months I listened to that song at least 5 times a day and marveled at its poetry, its energy, and its mystery, and how a line or 2 would take me somewhere else and somehow ease my fears about making it through another day. In time, I came to find out all about Dave and of course his wonderful partner, Tracy Grammer. At that time I’d written a handful of songs, a couple I thought were interesting enough, but I never dared call myself a musician or a songwriter. I couldn’t say that out loud or even to myself. So when Dave’s class came around, despite really wanting to go, I chickened out. I suppose I told myself I wasn’t ready, that I’d go next year when I got ‘better’. Well, tragically, Dave died unexpectedly in 2002 and that chance, like so many others in our lives, passed without being taken. I really lost heart for a while. It’d be at least 4-5 more years before I began to write songs again, in my basement, when it seemed that nothing else in my life fit for the things I wanted to, really Needed to say. So it’s not without a sense of history or irony, and I might add, a great and humble sense of Joy (!), that I found out this past week that I’m a Finalist for the 2010 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest to take place at the Sister’s Folk Festival on September 11th—oddly enough, my birthday. http://www.sistersfolkfestival.org/sff.php?index=0&call=davecarter The Sisters Folk Festival is really something special. Surrounded by blue skies and beautiful mountains, listening to some of the most amazing musicians you’re likely to hear—there truly is magic in the air. Just ask anyone who’s ever been there. Or better yet, go see and hear for yourself. And if you find your way to the Sister’s Artworks Stage on Saturday the 11th at Noon, you’ll find me singing in Dave Carter’s long shadow, telling stories of regret and redemption and this time, I swear to God, I ain’t chickening out... Thanks You for the kind words, love and patience...and supporting me in this damn near impossible dream of mine...it means everything to me... dan Get show specifics (times, etc.) and listen at www.reverbnation.com/danwebermusic or www.myspace.com/highway142 Check out the tunes on Facebook (and ‘Become a Fan’) at www.facebook.com/pages/Dan-Weber/345155509265?ref=ts

To Texas and Back....

Hey Y’all... Well, 4924 miles, 9 states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Nevada) and 83 hours of driving later, I’m finally back from an epic road trip to Texas and the Kerrville Folk Festival. It seems like forever ago but it was just a few weeks before I left that I fatefully ran into fellow songwriter Tom Arnold in the grocery store and plans for our odyssey were hatched. Dozens of times people asked incredulously ‘Why on Earth didn’t you drive???’ And we usually answered something to the effect of ‘Would Kerouac have written ‘On the Road’ if had flown’? Hmmm... But somewhere in-between Fort Stockton and Ozona, a lonely stretch of Interstate #10, over fifty miles from either town, we wondered the same thing. 4pm, 108 degrees, and the car was officially ‘Dead’. We wondered through a 100 mile tow in the wrong direction to Midland/Odessa, TX. We wondered all 3 times we got pulled over for speeding (of which we were always extremely guilty of...), and we wondered at midnight in Page, Arizona, how an entire town that seems literally made of hotels/motels could not have a single room left for the night. There’s a lotta ‘tired’ in those tires on my car... But we never wondered when we marveled the beauty of Arches National Park or the Grand Canyon at sunset, or the rugged mountains of Nevada and New Mexico, or sitting in my favorite desert hot spring, in the shadow of Oregon’s Steens Mountain. We never wondered when playing a set at the legendary Luckenbach, Texas, or while “standin’ on the corner of Winslow, Arizona” playing an impromptu ‘Take it Easy’ (I know, how cliché, right?). And we certainly never wondered staying up all night at various campgrounds throughout the festival, greeting the cool Texas hill country dawn with harmonies and rhythms, with new friends who were suddenly old friends, with songs that we had played before, but that somehow never sounded better accompanied by the musings of midnight cicadas and the sweet singing of birds at dawn’s awakening... I don’t know quite yet what I take from all that wandering around, all the miles and hours between here and there behind the wheel or around a campfire. But I know one true thing, more than ever—as if I ever doubted it, that its about the Songs, and about the People participating in sharing them—whether as singers, players and especially the audience. We’re all members of that same fraternity because something about telling our stories and the stories of others, the triumphs, tragedies and cautionary tales, is so innately ingrained in us, that the sheer act of doing it makes us more human—and I like to think, it makes us better as a ‘people’. Telling stories and singing songs around a campfire may not be considered revolutionary in the age of so much digital ‘connectedness’, (or it just might be...) but greeting the dawn with the harmony of human voices telling our stories, our myths and mysteries, is as spiritually connected as this Western New York cowboy gets... So I go forward, hopeless romantic, wandering road warrior, ramblin’ storyteller, sleepy passenger, lead foot driver, card carrying member of the songwriter tribe, newly blessed ‘Kerr-vert’, friend to our knight in dusty Detroit armor, Lynden at ‘Adios Wrecking’ (you can’t make that stuff up...), seeker of what’s around the next bend, in the next small town, looking for just one good story to tell... And hoping some of that magic, finds its way into the songs, and the songs finds their way to you...Thanks for listening. Your support makes the journey possible in an otherwise impossible world... dan

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