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Bob Quinn, Songmaker / Blog

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!

1.34_More Changes (for the better!)

Hi friends, welcome back, and here's the latest. The Job in Portland turned out to be disingenuous, there were some curious political things going on which led me to believe it was time for me to take a hasty leave of absence. I put out some feelers in the state of Washington, and thankfully received an enthusiastic response.... This explaining last weeks trip to Seattle. I'm writing this from our new extended stay hotel. This extended stay is the exact mirror image of the last one in Salem, OR. This room even has the very same picture on the wall above the bed! The wonderful difference is that outside our window is a fine view of the Puget Sound. So here we are now parked in Seattle Washington. Tomorrow is the first day on the new job, with a new solar outfit, one that appears to be a good match with the way I approach the work. I'm pretty excited about working with them. That final check from OR was a real help. I got my hair trimmed a bit. A wonderful Chinese woman, lectured me about the importance of trimming my long hair. I've been growing it now for nearly 5 years. I'm light 7 inches of hair now, but all the split ends are gone, and she suggested that I braid it...she did, and looks like a new thing going forward. Got new shoes that day, and a new hat too! A new Stetson straw hat. My poor old summer Stetson from Ecuador...this is it's fourth summer, and it's got me looking like a ragamuffin for sure! So tomorrow it's going to be like the first day of school for me, new clothes, haircut, and a new hat. I don't know why but hats are a big deal to me. So, looks like Portland wasn't our road after all. I'm hoping to be settled in the coming weeks so I can resume my recording work. I'm playing the heck out of my poor guitar, but she and me are both getting twitchy about getting back to work! Thanks for following along..more to come!

Saudade
Saudade  (about 1 month ago)

I enjoy getting your posts. Enjoy your first day of school, ah, work. Now I have two people to visit in Seattle. My former bandmate, Michael Grimes is a bassist who plays out there a lot. Jazz mostly but i'm sure other genres. Tell him hi if you run into him. Have a fun adventure. Glad things worked out.

1.33_The Lure of Wanderlust

Took a whirlwind ride up to Seattle Washington. Well, to the southern part of town...saw the Space Needle from a distance. It was a fortuitous meeting, and there is more change in the wind. More on that later. In the meantime we're gypsies, looking for a home, I'm not whining, it's been an interesting experience. To understand that one place is like any other. I can see the the lure of wanderlust. Once you're away, it's easy to be me more away, and the bends in road offer their siren call to see what's just round the corner. Hopefully, we'll have an opportunity to settle again for a while soon. I'm taking this is a preview of the road. Maybe one day I'll tour? But I tend to enjoy the freedom of some moorings. I need a place to work, and the sense of belonging with other people, otherwise my earthly footings become a little loose. I'm ever so thankful for the wonderful people in my life. I do miss my sons, perhaps once I'm moored again, they'll consider being near? More to come, next week will reveal some changes I believe. Thanks for following along!

1.32_Strong and Wonderful Women

Another week in the hotel room in Salem, OR. Good news is we found a real estate person who deals in rentals who thinks she can work with us! It's a duplex in Portland, with a good size basement as well. We'll see. In other news we'll be traveling to Seattle this week Thursday and Friday, for reasons I'll reveal later on. It should be fun, I've never seen Seattle..Space Needle here I come! Musically, It's a different season for sure..I can't record, but I'm making tremendous strides with the guitar, I've been working on scales and chord scales for a few months now, and finding a tremendous boost in soloing. Had a nice day up in Vancouver WA yesterday, and visited St. Helen, OR. A huge bike ride that happens every year was happening, 10,000 riders doing a ride from Seattle to Portland. Bikes were every where! I didn't hit anyone...a minor miracle, but it made for additional entertainment on our weekly explore. It's cool today and overcast, Thunder is rumbling somewhere...It will be perfect for our now weekly hike in Silver Falls National Park today. Again, a special thank you to my wonderful Mom, her support is certainly making all of this possible. I am blessed, to be surrounded by strong and wonderful women. More next week!

1.31_A Developing Situation

It's a developing situation...It's ALL a developing situation. Writing today cause' tomorrow it's back to work again for my big 3 day week. We fell into the housing scam here..that is, sign here..initial here, pay us for each application and we'll happily reject your applications. The rental market in Portland, has a vacancy rate of 2%..so, there are very many more applicants than housing units, and the business is brisk for them...applications all day long, along with denials and cha-ching..thank you for your interest in...have a nice life. We're looking northward now, up in Washington State, little towns at the frontiers of Portland, rents become reasonable an hour out in any direction. Rumors of drug trafficking in WA..spoke to a local young fellow...said there's a lot of Pot in WA..it's going to become legal there in just a few days...Pot, very scary..Heroin and Meth...Now we're talkin' scary. At any rate, it's looking like we're looking to go to one of these places to escape the mechanical approach to the little game of "Who gets to live in Portland". Musically, lots of study, and practice. I'm making great advances in my skills, but not much happening in terms of writing and recording...I'm asking the universe to direct us to the place where we can do the work we love to do. DID YA HEAR THAT? Thank you very much. After two trips up into WA, today we're headed back out to Silver Falls National park for another walk in the woods, it's a lovely escape from the madness. Thanks for following along!

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