It's been a Christmas Dream this year. My dear mom, and sister arrived to spend Christmas with us. My eldest son has been staying with us over the last 6 weeks or so, and my youngest son whom I've not seen in 3+ years arrived after midnight on Christmas eve. It's been so wonderful. We all visited, ate and slept, had long talks and went exploring. Home is where the heart is as the saying goes. And for just a few brief days I've felt "home" again. It didn't feel like I was in Washington state, thousands of miles from all that I've known in the past. It's been a special holiday, and I'm so thankful. So thanks to my mother for making the journey, thanks to my sons mother for the purchase of his ticket up here too! Mom and sister are winging their way back to Phoenix AZ as I'm writing this, my younger son departs for San Diego Tuesday Morning, and on January 1rst, my elder son departs for Las Vegas Nevada, to be reunited with his new lady. What a dream it's been. Time moves so fast, and as I get older, it's moving faster. Oh so fine to see my family again. slowly my arm is recovering. It's that time of year when the machine finally stops for just a moment so as the wheels get to turning again, I hope to be ready to move along...I've still got songs to write. Sweet dreams everyone.
It is the darkest longest night of winter...the Winter Solstice now. Things are going to get get brighter. I was contacted by one Pedal Steel guy, but he didn't relate to my songs...oh well the search continues. My friend Jordan will put the word out after the holidays. I trust that someone will manifest in the coming weeks. Right now it's time for the "long winters nap". These will be short weeks coming up, and up here in Seattle, the days are especially short...it's dark here at 4 pm or so. I relish the few quiet days off for the the holidays. I am so fortunate, my wonderful mom and my sister are flying up to spend Christmas with us. I cherish these times. Time gets more important as things move along. I've been nursing another injury..this time my left arm...it's basically "Tennis Elbow" comes from bad positioning on the computer at work, and intense guitar playing. I've had to reduce my playing time to 2 or 3 nights a week to give my arm a chance to heal. At work they've been kind enough to provide me with some ergonomic equipment and my condition is slowly getting better...been working with this for a few months now. It's likely a blessing that I don't have a bunch of dates to play with this injury. On our walk today we talked about Ego. Ego is on my mind today..Ego plays a role. You have a to have a healthy share of it to move things forward, too believe in yourself, but not to go so far as to discount other spirits in your life. I am driven by a desire to leave some mark here on this place, to hopefully not be too quickly forgotten. In my 60's now, I feel a sense of urgency to get my songs written, and out there. Yes there's ego involved, but nothing unhealthy. I am told that I have tremendous gifts in my abilities as a guitarist, and as a songwriter. Life is more and more a spirit walk as I get older, and my music is what I feel best represents my voice and manifests my spirit. It is what I have to share with everyone. I suppose it's just a part of the turning of the big wheel to be here at this age, hoping to leave a mark. I remember being in old Indian ruins on the Verde River in Arizona...there were petroglyphs on the stones, hands of white forever embellished...hands that say, I was here...I put my hand there..more than once...I felt it was a fitting answer to the hand once there. To touch the mark of another spirit so far gone in time. I am trusting that I'll have time to mark the stone in my way, and hopefully be blessed by the company of others willing to work with me. In the meantime...I feel as a outlaw in my own country, no account..no credit. It is so hard to find a place to do my work, when the keys are held by those who judge life by the credit report. I have turned my back on that system forever. So a gypsy I will be.
Hi Friends, here's the latest. My son's arrival as it works out is going to be temporary..seems there's now a woman in the picture. I'm joyful and hopeful for both he and she. So, he's working his way back to her, and will likely be gone before you know it. I've sure enjoyed having him nearby for a time. It's been 3 years, and maybe that again going forward, so I'm thankful for the time together. My mom and sister are going to come up and spend Christmas with us! I'm excited! The two of them are all that remain of my nuclear family... it will be a wonderful holiday! I've decided that with my unrelenting work schedule, it's useless to make any attempts at playing any open mics around town, I just cant' afford to be out late. So.... it's going to be weekend house concerts, at least for starters. I met with my recording engineer friend again last Sunday, and he's willing to be part of the effort which I'm thrilled about. I've put up an ad now, and I'm casting around for a Pedal Steel player...it may take some time, but I'm looking to assemble a willing group of folks, and get into rehearsals. I've contacted 2 of the local house concert promoters, and Jordan my engineer friend knows a few others so hopefully we'll get something going and get out there as the daylight hours increase again in this part of the world. In the meantime, I'm still searching for a space to work in..found an office building nearby actively seeking tenants, but they're not interested in any music "type" businesses. Seems to be a constant thread here so far. This is Rock Band country up here and the word is out I guess. There are some other spots to try yet, largely band rehearsal halls, which to my way of thinking might not be too good for recording...but, I'll make the calls this week and see what's what. Likely just as well, as the holidays are here which means short paychecks. As soon as I can accomplish this, I will...I need to get back to my recording. Life remains an adventure. Things though slow in coming as they seem, are moving along. If anybody knows a Pedal Steel Guitarist around here...get back to me! As always, thanks for following along...More to Come!
Hi friends, I'm still here...I know I missed a week. Last week was a busy one, my eldest son joined us here, so it was all about collecting him at the airport and getting settled in. He found a job in just 4 days! Last weekend, thanks to my friend Dan, we went to EMP museum here in Seattle, my son is also a musical guy, guitarist drummer, and songwriter and this place is all about music. As you may know Jimi Hendrix, Curt Cobain, Sound Garden etc. all hail from here, and the EMP museum has dedicated areas for all of these folks. It was great fun to see pieces of Hendrix's smashed guitars in glass cases, as well as Cobain's Mosrite Guitar and all the other cool grunge stuff. The building is a Frank Gehry concoction...so that was fun for me too. They have little studio rooms with guitars and Drum sets where you can play for 10 minutes....so we, my son and I, did and it was fun...I'm not an electric player, but I was transported back to my teen years with a Stratocaster and a Marshal stack. It was fun to play with my son in his drummer mode . The Space Needle is just next door...so we went and perused the gift shop. The line was too long to go up in the thing, and they wanted near 20 bucks a head to do so, so we passed on it. It's a funny thing for me...I was 8 years old when the Space Needle was built, and I remember all the hype and hoopla regarding the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1962. All the great ideas, the lovely Jetson's architecture, the monorail, and all the progress we were to see in the 21rst century. Recently, I heard the comedian Lewis Black speak of this as well; he said the 21rst Century so far is just the 20th century all over again...sad but true. The shining ideals, the progress of mankind, the advances of science, all lost to the robber barons once again, and now we repeat the struggles of labor, the crusades, and fight once again the bankers who steal it all and send progress of our country up the chimney to the 1 percent. Yawn, pretty sad business. That sparkling monorail car from 1962 , looks like a sad and withered sci-fi prop nowadays. I miss the hopeful joy and innocent thoughts of how far along we'd be as a country in the 21rst century, where's Daffy Duck, aka "Duck Dodgers" when you need him? In the meantime I'm nursing my playing arm...too much computer work , and as always, I'm a mad man on the guitar...I love it too much. See you next week, gotta call my Mom now. Thanks for following along!
Hi friends, I'm all achy-breaky tonight. Yes we traveled down to Vancouver yesterday, rented a 17 ft. truck, loaded up the whole storage unit and drove it all up here to Kent, WA. This morning, unloaded all of it into a new storage unit, and turned the truck back in. Its just 8:30pm and I'm wasted tired...gonna need to hit the hay soon. So all of our stuff is up here in WA now. I'm glad that little chore is finally done! Realized I had a headlight out in my little car today. Stopped in at Jiffy Lube, and while they replaced the headlight, we cruised a Goodwill store...found a nice little Stella H929...it's in good shape and it's an old one. This place sells everything by the pound, so I paid $5.24 for the thing. Near as I can figure it's early 50's...or possibly earlier. Needs a nut and some tuning machines...then we'll string her up..lucky find! Notable news, my cousin John is home from his long hospital stay. Here's to a speedy recovery! My mom has returned from her European riverboat trip through the Eastern Block Countries, and she's home in good shape aside from a bad case of jet lag, and my eldest son arrives here in Seattle on Thursday to stay and make a new chapter for himself here in town. I'm a happy guy..I haven't seen him in a few years, and it will be wonderful to have him close by. Bit by bit we're taking hold here...songwriting will resume. My recording project will happen..Plans to meet with my recording engineer friend Jordan again next weekend to further that along. OK then, thanks for following along...more coming!
Hi friends. It's my 60th birthday today! So I've enjoyed a few selfish pleasures this weekend. Janeane was working the phones to aid in getting out the vote, so I had a few hours on my own Saturday. We're living south of the city center of Seattle, but there's this guitar shop up in Seattle...Dusty Strings, so I pulled it together and went for a visit. Seattle proper is very dense, everything is really tightly packed together..hard to find parking etc. But the shop was great. I played the heck out of a couple of new Martin Guitars, and really enjoyed the place. The folks there were kind and friendly fellow musician types. I made it home again without getting too lost, and in the process drove by the famous Space Needle, so now I've been to Seattle. I've been up into the city 4 times now...getting pretty bold LOL! Today I went to spend a few hours with my recording engineer friend, and we worked on another four of my songs. Jordan...you're keeping me alive my friend. Thank you! It's great to be working with you. Funny that he lives in the same area I explored on Saturday...strange serendipity. In the meantime it's back to saving the world tomorrow...according the the UN Report on Climate Change...fossil fuels need to end ASAP...I'm happy to be a small part of the turning. I'll be back to my role as "truck driver" next weekend. We'll be renting yet another truck and heading down to Vancouver again to empty the 2nd storage unit and haul it all up here to the new storage space. This will be the big stuff..furniture etc. I'll be glad to have this done, and have our stuff close at hand. Once Janeane is working, then we'll think about finding a place, but for now the Golden Kent Motel is working out just fine. Expecting the arrival of my eldest son up here mid November, he'll be staying with us until he can find work and pull it all together. I haven't seen him in 3 years or so. It will be great to have him near again. Cousin John is getting better every day...my thoughts are with him wishing a speedy recovery and quick return to the business of his life! Thanks for reading along and..more coming next week! A special thanks to my beautiful mom..thanks for giving me life, and thanks for your wonderful company..have a great time!
Hi Friends, OK I'm late...yep the day job is nippin' at my heels as usual. It's still all about moving..all of our stuff is stored in 2 storage units down in Vancouver WA, and we've been down there 2 or 3 times now sorting and organizing things in preparation to move it up here. This weekend, we rented a 14' UHaul truck and moved everything out of one of the units. Little did I realize that a tropical storm was brewing out in the Pacific just off the coast. Well, did I tell you that it rains in Washington? Yep it rained like hell...the Saturday night run up from Vancouver had me running the wipers on high speed, and that was barely keeping up! The truckers were down to 50 MPH..it was a 3 hour ride through the dark tunnel...just follow the light they say...Got it all moved into a new storage unit just up the street from our current location. 1 down, 1 to go. I've got all my music gear at hand now. I've just got to find a reasonable space to rent where I can work...another day. In the meantime my eldest son will be coming up here to stay in 2 weeks or so...I'll be helping him along as I can until he can stand on his own. He's a capable fellow...should do fine up here. My cousin I hear is continuing to improve, He's out of intensive care, and getting better...so thankful for him and our family. Life is precious. My Odometer is going to flip to my sixth decade in a few days. I plan the be playing music that day with my recording engineer friend. I'm thankful for his presence...he's keeping me motivated through this fog of work. Still playing strong, and little by little we're getting our footing here. It just feels like it's taking forever!..OK then, more coming. Thanks for reading along.
Yeah, I missed a week. The candle was burning low...a few days of reflection. The work I'm doing is keeping me from the work I need to be doing. I don't mind a compromise, hell I'm willing to go 60/40...but to take it all? Not at all sure how this will play out. I need time to be creative. Time to do my writing,. The time and a place to record my demo tunes. When I'm disconnected from what energizes me....I start going numb, and my life force goes dim. The good news this week is... today I met with my recording engineer friend at Empty Sea Studios here in Seattle, took the nickel tour of the place, then he and I spent 3.5 hours working together on 4 of my songs with him playing a number of instruments, trying on different sounds. A few Mandolins, as well as an upright bass. It's wonderful to have the interest and support of another creative spirit in my songs. Gaining balance between the day job, and the recording work is key...I don't know yet how to get there. We'll see in the coming weeks what comes along. In other news, my eldest son came off of his band tour and landed back in the SF Bay area without a nickel to his name. We helped out as we could, and fortunately, he hooked up with a friend who delivered him back to southern CA. He'll make due around there for a time and then we'll have a better shot at organizing his arrival up here. So as of today, my sons are safe, and my music has a heartbeat again. I have a cousin in AZ, he suffered a bad spill riding his mountain bike...people wear a helmet! He is certainly a beloved family member. His injuries are serious..3 weeks in intensive care. He's making good progress. He's certainly in my thoughts, and I wish him a speedy recovery. Life is precious..time is precious. We're focusing over the next 3 weeks on bringing our stuff up from storage in Vancouver, to our location here in Kent WA. Did the round trip drive yesterday, and will do so for the next few weekends running. The 8th of November, we'll rent a truck and bring up the balance.Too all of you whom I typically keep in contact with...I'm still around...just working 10-11-12 hour days...I haven't forgotten you. Flickering...more next week.
Yeah, we walked hard today and covered about 6 miles or so along the Green River trail here in Kent Washington. I'm all worn out...but we walked hard. Not a lot to tell on the music front this week. Working up to spending some quality time in the studio...but that's looking like a short/long term goal. Now, we're largely scheming on getting our stuff up here. Everything we own is in 2 storage units down in Vancouver. Made a reservation for a 10x30' unit at a storage facility just up the street, one we can walk to. So next week, we'll pay for it...then over a the next 3 or four weekends we'll be making one day trips, filling up both cars and hauling stuff up here...the final trip in early November will be renting a truck and driving the big stuff up here. It's about 150 miles from Vancouver to Kent. From there, the focus will be on the both of us finding work spaces for doing what we love. Janeane for her fabric design work, and a small studio-office for me. We can live in the Kent Motel forever I suppose! In other news, my eldest son is coming off his national tour with his band, and will be joining us here in Seattle in 2 or 3 weeks. I haven't seen him in 3 years...it will be a real gift to have him nearby. In the meantime...getting a real education at the solar shop, and I'm enjoying the guys I'm working with. Just finishing a biography on Crazy Horse. It's all about his life, and the coming of the white man. Manifest destiny they called it. This stuff if still going on in the world. the middle east, and here...our "democracy" taken over by corporations and plutocrats. Is this our Manifest Destiny? What will the plutocrats do with all of us..we are more than they. What then if Chief Pontiac had been successful? More next week!
Hi Friends, Sunday night now here in Seattle WA. We've just returned from a weekend trip to Vancouver WA where our stuff is stored. We re-arranged 2 storage units today. In the coming weeks, we'll rent another unit up here in Kent, rent a truck and bring it all up here. Another busy, busy week at the solar shop. I'm working with spread sheets!!! Arghhhhh I never thought LOL! It's all good but very busy. I met with our fine fellow, the aforementioned Recording Engineer. We had a great but short meeting, and it looks like things are going to begin moving forward again pretty soon. We'll begin with me playing my songs for him and he jumping in with mandolin or one of the many other instruments he plays. We'll get mutually acquainted with my songs and work forward from there. There was some talk of recording them live with a group of musicians...sounds pretty wonderful to me. So, I'm thrilled about the prospects...next Sunday may be a musical meeting, we'll see. In the meantime, the car overheated on the way home on Friday. So, she's sitting outside the mechanics shop around the corner. Things aren't so bad for me...around here there are lots of spaces overgrown with trees and blackberry bushes. Seemingly inaccessible. But down every rabbit trail, every hidie hole...there are campers. People living in the brush in primitive conditions..we stumbled into one of these abandoned camps last weekend on our hike along the Green River trail. A clearing in the brambles, some pallets, a frying pan hanging from a tree branch...a lot of trash. Haunting images of life for those fallen through the cracks. Lost boys and girls. And winter approaches. A small prayer for they, who make their way just under the radar of this crazy culture. A small prayer for us all in the time of the predator.