I'm wrapping up my solo projects and heading into the studio with guitarist Jonathan Blakeslee for our duo project, Penhallow. We have a ton of new material, surf, soul, jazz. We'll be playing in the Greater Boston/New England area through the summer and fall.
I've spent a lot of time this past fall and winter on recording, which is a great creative process, with a different kind of freedom in composition and instrumentation than a live performance. I'm happy with the results. But now that it's spring I am looking forward to getting out and playing some gigs in New England, starting with a couple of gigs this spring in Portsmouth with Jonathan Blakeslee in our duo Penhallow. Festivals and outdoor gigs are two great things about summer, and a great time for new collaborations with other musicians in improv settings of live music!
It's February, and that means the RPM Challenge is in full swing. I am almost done with my solo CD called Animalia, and am in the midst of recording my CD with guitarist Jonathan Blakeslee. We will be playing shows in the Portsmouth area this spring and summer, starting with a show in March at The Blue Mermaid.
Fall is a good time to do some recording, particularly in November, when the colors fade, the rain falls, and evenings get a bit longer with the time change. Since I did the February RPM Challenge last year, I thought I would try the same thing in November, trying to record an entire album in the month of November, playing all the instruments, writing all the songs, doing all the recording. This is hard. But I'm glad I did it, and November is a fine time for another RPM Challenge. As I got into the project, I found myself writing a lot of ssongs about Ohio, and the town I grew up in, but left when I went off to school. I remembered all the places, school friends, and experiences very vividly, but also through the filter of my memory, and only going back to visit a couple of times a year. It was strange to write these songs since it's been twenty years since I've lived there, and many years since I've lived in the Midwest, but it seemed like the logical place to begin, since it's where I began.
It's been a summer of traveling, visiting, and now finally back at home for awhile. I'm working with a new trio that I'm very excited about, we are bass, drums, and trumpet, and I will sometimes also play guitar. We cover jazz standards with a new twist, as well as originals. Penhallow has a couple of gigs lined up at the Press Room, August 14th and September 18th, all original indie rock. My current projects take me back to my studio to rework some tunes from Dish, my RPM challenge project, adding in some new instrumental lines and more rhythms. I am working with Ableton Live 8, a new way of recording for me that I think will unlock some amazing sounds and grooves. As soom as I finish that, I can start recording songs I've written for a CD with a working title The Tribes of Greece. This recording is based on my reactions to learning about the modes, and on the fascinating history of the early Greeks and other ancient musical people, as well as places I find inspiring or intriguing, including the Romany People, Greenland, Pangea, Greece, the White Mountains, The Badlands, and the flickering embers of ancient cultures that ignite our modern ideas-- that is the underlying vibe.