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Bob Quinn, Songmaker / Blog

1.46_Burnin' Low

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.

Myran Wahlstream
Myran Wahlstream  (3 days ago)

There's a lot in this, that can be lyrics to songs.

NorthernBandit / Burt K. Arthur
NorthernBandit / Burt K. Arthur  (3 days ago)

Hey Bob it's Burt...Life is a never ending highway...I think that was a theme for Gordon Lightfoot or Jim Croce...all of our theme. It is the Journey my friend as you well know, you have the reins...Ye Ha Rawhide!

1.44_Walk Hard

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!

1.43_Lost Boys and Girls

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.

Brenda Ross
Brenda Ross  (23 days ago)

Hello Bob; glad you are getting settled in. I pray as you do for all those homeless people as winter sets in soon. I pray God will give spread a blanket of love and grace over them and keep them warm and fed. Most of all I pray God will let them see him in their lives. Blessings to you Bob. Brenda Ross

1.42_September 29th

Hello friends. Sunday again. This week's been much like the last. working long hours. The solar shop is doing really well and it's been keeping me hopping. I'm yet becoming acquainted with the rhythms of this place. I'm told we'll be going onto 40 hour weeks starting the Monday of September 29th. That's great to know. Already the changing season is making it's presence known. It's getting dark earlier, and the deciduous trees are starting to turn. Going to be time to switch over to the winter hat soon. I'm going through my songs now, finding new chord voicings, new timings, etc. Generally polishing things up. Not much to report on the writing front. I've been switched off for a time with all the moving around throughout the summer. Starting to feel some rumblings of ideas though. I'll get that engine running again soon. No meeting last week with my recording engineer...postponed to sometime this week. I'm anxious to meet with this fellow...looking forward to gaining insights about how to move the process forward. In the meantime, as the evenings open a bit I'll keep working my songs up toward playing out. I'll be hitting the open mics as soon as I can. For now life and work go on. Thanks for following along!

1.41_With the Muses

Here it is Sunday again. I'm hoping to meet this week with my recording engineer acquaintance, we've been trading emails for a week or 2 now. Last night, I finally felt comfortable enough about our situation to break open the old leather satchel containing my song notebooks, and I started to work on reviving 3 of them. It's a new energy now. I have a more developed ear, and I'm able to hear them all more clearly after the time away. Work continues to be the dominating force in my life right now, but it was so good to get together with my old self for a few hours last night. I worked on 3 songs for 2 hours and found some spots where I was able to improve phrasing, chord work, and timing. It feels great to be in contact with my muses again! So it begins...I'll continue to get these songs into working condition again as time allows and hopefully we'll have a chance to visit the open mics, as well as the recording studio in the coming weeks. The Golden Kent Motel continues to be a good home for us for now. The Seattle story is only just beginning to open. When we have some idea of where Janeane will be working, then we'll again to attempt to rent a space for ourselves to live in beyond this motel. I'm looking around for a little office space I can work in for a while...there's one just up the street I'll be calling on soon. In the meantime, the 5 O-Clock alarm looms for tomorrow and the days beyond. Rest is a precious commodity these days. I'm preparing as I can, and ever hopeful to resume the work as soon as possible. See you next week!

1.40_Lookin' At An Empty Sea

Hello friends, we're enjoying Kent WA, and the Golden Kent Motel! Last weekend, I answered a Craigslist ad posted by a recording engineer. We've been chatting through the week and it turns out that he's a staff engineer at Empty Sea Studios. http://www.emptysea.com/ EmptySea inhabits an old converted house in a northern Seattle neighborhood. EmptySea is also a small and beautiful performance space dedicated to Acoustic Music. I'm really looking forward to visiting the studio and attending some of the shows! So the conversation continues, and hopefully I can break away for an introductory meeting with this fellow as soon as time allows. In the meantime...it's time to pull out the old leather satchel with all of my songs, dust it off and start getting re-acquainted with my muses. With a bit of luck, and if my employment situation holds, we'll be in the studio in early fall...to once again...get back to the microphones. In the day job...which is a way of life now...things are still thundering forward. There's no way to know for sure, but there have been hints that we'll return to a 40 hour work week sometime in October. Once that happens.I'll be looking to hit the open mics as well. I'm really looking forward to whatever the Seattle story will be musically. There are a lot of talented people here...it's going to be a wonderful tale as it unfolds. My eldest son is on tour with his band, and it warms my heart to see him doing what he loves to do. My younger is doing demonstration drawings in 3-D Max, and Z-Brush on the internet, doing his character design work. Both my boys are growing into their passions. I'm blessed with all the friends I'm finding on Reverbnation...so many talented, and warm souls. You know who you are! I'm forever reading biographies of songwriters and I just finished Carole King's "Natural Woman" wow...what a writer she is...so many many hit songs! It's such an inspiration to me to read of these peoples lives and their paths. Summer is enjoying it's last gasp here in Washington this weekend with temps in the low 90's...I thought we left all of that in New Mexico? I'm told it's going to rain soon...OK then, thanks for reading along. More to come next week!

1.39_Fork and a Can Opener

Hi friends. My son in San Francisco was ok after last weekend's earthquake, he sure felt it though, and I was relieved. OK then, the apartment we looked at last Sunday was lovely, but it went to a single mother. There is a school just down the street, so all were well served I suppose. I'm still working long hours, hanging in there. Our little teeny tiny cell of a hotel room was in a notoriously bad area. We've moved as of yesterday into the "Golden Kent Motel" in Kent Washington. The place is a mom and pop outfit. Built in 1957 as an apartment complex. It's a lot more roomy than what we've become used to, but so far so good! Musically, not much happening...I still play every night, and am growing as a guitarist for sure. I seem to be growing into a jazzy/country/gypsy kind of phase..a lot more lead line playing than before. Pretty intense stuff, and I'm having to take a night off here and there, as always there's some physical pain in these transitions so I"m learning to adjust my touch as I go. Left arm muscle pain, tells me I'm squeezing the neck too hard. I'm going to switch to a lighter gauge string for a time while doing this adjustment. Off to find the local Guitar Center today! Otherwise, I've been looking at recording studios up here...there are many, many top drawer studios in the area, but It's dawning on me that I need to find a producer to work with, and how to get there...hmmm don't know? I know that I'm looking for someone with a track record...there are a lot of people calling themselves producers these days. Acoustic Chambers Recording Studio is in my neighborhood..I'm thinking I'll contact them, to see if they can make any suggestions...I'd love to record there...lot's of high end mics and equipment. What I really need is a place to work where I can polish up my songs, and the time to get out into the mix of this place. Another 6 weeks or so of heavy hours, but after that, I'm itching to see about the music situation here. It will all unfold, but I"m anxious...some kid threw a fork and a can opener at us from the third story of the hotel as we were packing to leave yesterday...geeez...glad to have moved on from that spot! OK more next week. Thanks for following along!

1.38_Turn Turn Turn

Hello Everyone. I'm writing this morning from our hotel room in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, OR. We had to make a run down here to search out some documents,and bring a few things up to Seattle from our 2 storage rooms here. There's been a good sized earthquake in the bay area in CA. My eldest son lives there. Haven't' been able to get him on the phone, so I sent him a text. Not unusual to not hear back before the "sun is warm". He's a working man, and a musician as well. In the meantime the 12 hour days continue on in my working life. I'm getting the rhythm of this grind now, and hopefully I can survive it until early October when I'm told things will settle down. We've got an appointment to visit a woman with a condo to rent this evening in Des Moines, WA just south of Seattle. Hoping it goes well, and just maybe soon we can get out of our temporary hotel. It's a nice area right on the Puget Sound..it's watery with good air quality. Our temporary hotel...It's a curious place...the party crowd was starting to take over, and had to have their cages rattled, then we were all turned out that same night at 4:30 am...some joker thought it would be funny to set off the fire alarm!..that was a tough day to follow. Sleep is a precious commodity these days. It's a slow process, returning to my music, I'll get there soon I hope. In the meantime...working in the solar energy biz, doing my part to save us from ourselves. The seasons are already beginning to turn here in Washington, the days are getting shorter. It strange to me after so many years in the southwest, this turning wouldn't come for months yet. Did a quick review of the Seattle area recording studios..oh my...the business is here for sure. It will be an interesting process to see how this all unfolds. Thanks for following along.

1.37 "Slip Slidin' Away" (Along)

Hi all, missed you last week. I'm in the solar army up here. It's a major gear shifting push for solar energy, and for this solar company I'm working for. 7am to 7pm, 5 days running...doesn't leave much time for anything beyond work. All worth it though, things in our lives are ascending...so the move has been worthwhile I believe. Also, we still have no internet in our hotel, which is making it difficult to keep things current. OK then, I started this thing as a chronicle of the progress on a recording project with my friend Drake Hardin in Albuquerque who is an amazing engineer..if you're nearby, Drake's your man! We recorded 23 scratch tracks winter before last. At that time I was working a dead end job with a boss man who, although likeable in many ways, had some anger management issues. I wasn't making enough money to take the project forward. So in an effort to improve things, I jumped at the first bus outta there. Reference my song.."The King of Rags". Well...that was a bust, and I learned some things about people...always good. Reference my song "Captain". Anyhow, the road has lead me here to Seattle now. The money is improving, as have my guitar skills, but I'm 1,500 miles from the original situation. Not sure how that's going to play out...maybe one day I can take a vacation, go back to wherever Drake is and re-work things. Likely, I'll resume somewhere up here once I find a place to record. I'm searching. It's a bittersweet parting. So the road continues to unroll..we'll see where it takes us eh? It does feel a bit like Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away" though. I'm anxious to find my way into the music scene up here. The long hours will recede at some point and when they do, hopefully we'll be living somewhere other than a little hotel room. I'll polish up my material, start playing out, and get myself into the nearest studio! I've got some very strong material that none of you have heard...I'm looking forward to getting this stuff out in broadcast quality in the coming months (years)? To my Swedish friend Myron...Here's where the story is for now. Yes, there was a woman singer whom I was working with for a time, her name is Emily Dickinson, a distant relative of the same. Sadly she passed away by her own hand...she became a dear friend, and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to put her under the headphones and give her entry into the world of reverb under the phones..she was ecstatic to be there singing her heart out! I'll never forget her..dear Emily. For now, I'm a solar soldier dreaming of recording studios, high end microphones, Neve consoles, and great mastering. After we save the world, I'll be along. I don't know if it was a false start..time will tell, but my skills are sharper than ever, and I'm full of ideas and fire. More to come as the road rises....Thanks for following along friends!

1.35_Eco Warriors!

In my 4th grade class we were visited by a fellow of Buckminster Fulle. The designer, architect, futurist of the early 60's. Credited with the invention of the Geodesic Dome. The fellow spoke of a vision of the future where we'd all be living in domes, driving Dymaxion cars, and all of this would be powered by solar energy. My young brain went bonkers on a school library research mission about solar energy. It was this memory which I re-connected with that sent me into solar back when the cartoon biz came to a close. Although I've worked in solar for over 10 years, it seems that only now, the dream of solar becoming mainstream is finally being realized..I'll be 60 in a few months. Now I'm in with a solar outfit full of excited younger folks... eco warriors all, and all on a mission from God. It's exciting! I feel like I'm finally seeing what I dreamed of as a kid, and I've lived long enough to be part of it all! The hours are long...so I've not been very present on the other social networking sites during this last week. In the meantime, the internet is down in our little hotel room here in Seattle. Catching up on reading...I'm reading "Fab" An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes. I've read a number of these biographies of songwriters lately...looking for clues. Not sure when I'll be able to get back to recording. We'll see how things go, but an office rental may be in the cards going forward. In the meantime, we have an address! I've just finished all the address changes online. It's been nearly 2 months since we've had an address...just maybe this change will "take"! Thanks for reading, and I'll be along next week with the latest!