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My wife, Carol Mays, just published her new book, Stardust, Shadows and Secrets; I have just completed a new CD titled Stardust and Shadows. To help us celebrate, Yvonne DeVilliers and Luna Guitar have given us a Luna Americana Folk 100 acoustic/electric guitar to give away. Details on the guitar can be found at http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/amf100.php. To enter the contest, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gary-Blanchard-Songs-of-love-hope-nature-and-peace/116748831672175?ref=hl.
Again, thanks to Yvonne and Luna Guitars for all of their support and encouragement!
I have been working on a new CD for several months; I put this project on hold while my wife, Carol Mays,and I finished a CD on songs from the Wobblie's Little Red Songbook. I had things just about ready to wrap on the new solo CD when I got caught up by Carol's latest project, a new book titled Stardust, Shadows,and Secrets. The book explores the need for magic in our lives,and ways to find the enchanted in everyday life.
I got up Sunday morning, picked up a pen and the guitar,and next thing I knew I had a new song,and new title, for the CD - Stardust and Shadows.
This CD has three new songs, the title track, Walk in Light, and The Heart Has No Reason. There are two traditional tunes, Flower Carol and Wild Mountain Thyme. I also have new arrangements of seven previously released songs. Two of those, Rainbow Time and What Ya Gonna Do?, features Swedish guitarist Stefan Thorpenberg on lead guitar.
To celebrate the release of the new CD, and Carol's book, I plan to have an exciting giveaway; check my website and Facebook page for more details soon.
Two recent events spurred the writing of my latest song, Luna Dreams. The first was a good thing. I got a new guitar, the Luna Muse 12-string you see me holding in my profile picture. This guitar came at a time when I was moving my music away from a highly traditional style to a fuller sound. One good thing about Luna guitars are that they look as good as they sound; another is that the company is very forward-looking and thoughtful. Their marketing manager, Dennis Stafford, talked about doing "Random Gigs of Kindness" to bring social awareness to the community.
The second event that helped spur the song was not positive; it was the bombing at the Boston Marathon. In the darkness of that event, it became obvious that we need to seek the light, and to bring that light to others. I was pleased to see stories on the news about ways people were reaching out to one another. I figured this song was my way of trying to bring some hope and light to my corner of the world.
I hope you will all join me in spreading light and hope. And, if you are in the Worcester, MA area,join me for my first Random Gig of Kindness at the Worcester Public Library on June 29, 2013.
In Peace, Gary
It seems that the tone in our country, and throughout the world, is one of anger and venom. People aren't content to just disagree; they seem to need to be disagreeable as well. I fully understand having strong beliefs as I have some myself. I also, however, understand that some people see things differently than I do and that's okay.
We need to find ways to work out differences without calling names and fanning flames. We need to recognize that compromise is not a four-letter word. We need to have open minds, willing hearts, and freedom of soul.
I have a video of a song I wrote that addresses this issue; it can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taUfQPckWk0&feature=player_profilepage . I hope that you will share this video with others and this message can grow.
Yours in Peace Gary Blanchard
A discussion of "political" music at the Harmony Central Acoustic Guitar forum led me to post these observations. As a writer and musician who frequently does "political" music, I have learned a number of things: •It doesn't pay to be too preachy. It is better to lead than to push. •It doesn't pay to be nasty or confrontational. I want to make people think rather than to become defensive. •People respond more to songs that present solutions rather than those that present problems. •Not everyone will agree with you. Be prepared to deal with it. •There are times when you need to leave the message behind. •Don't take yourself too seriously. What do you think?
Coming, as I do, from the tradition of Pete Seeger, it is important to me that music both entertain and inform. I don't want to preach at people, but I do like to make them think. While some songs may point out a problem, I prefer songs that build hope and encourage people to become involved in the things that are important to them. Even if I am singing a more personal song. like Journey Of Life or Starlight, I am hoping to get people to take stock of their lives and to become more aware of the wonder that is around us. This might sound rather boring, but I seem to have managed making it entertaining and exciting. Hard to believe? Come to an upcoming show and find out for yourself.