These winter months offer an opportunity to look back over 2013, in my case over powdered sugar covered beignets and a macchiato; that's a sweet life experience right there. 2013 brought good gigs, recordings and tours on my own and with The Fall Risk, Everyone Orchestra, Shelley Doty, Jambay and more; I asked for variety and I got it. Completion of a recording project for another artist as producer/engineer has generated much satisfaction and the knowledge, trust and relationships gained through all of these endeavors is the greatest reward. The coming year promises no less. I have begun a new recording project of my own to reflect the music that I've been performing at my solo shows. The Fall Risk kicks up again in February. In the meantime local gigs, teaching, writing, practice, recreational listening, studio and live gear maintenance(more rewarding that you'd think!) are getting their due. Thanks for supporting independent musicians, for taking the time to listen and for the feedback and fandom.
The drive out of Yosemite was idyllic and unexpectedly enjoyable. All I had been expecting was slapping myself to stay awake in the dark after little sleep. Facing down a couple hundred miles to an early solo acoustic gig on the California coast following a late night electric show with "Little Muddy" in Yosemite, I thought that waking up and getting going alone in the pre-dawn darkness would be a challenge. I did have to stop a few times to take photos of the rising sun over the terrain. It was a beautiful drive accompanied by the random play off my old mp3 player. I still had a head full of the music from 3 fun gigs I had played from Friday at UC Davis with The Fall Risk, to Little Muddy in Sacramento and Groveland. A few highway stretches of silence to get some harmonic ideas together for the upcoming sets that would ultimately be 6 hours of solo music. One of the best weekends of music this year for me. More to come.....
More gigs: solo acoustic, with my old band: Jambay, with a new band: The Fall Risk, more recording for studio clients at Sugar Sound Studio, more students in the lab and more improvisation, creation and composition going on all the time. I'm loving the variety in my craft right now.
April showers and flowers all over in Santa Cruz, CA. Still planting seeds for good things in the summer and fall like bookings from Santa Rosa to San Gregorio. Fun events with musician friends all over the Bay and out to Sacramento. Sacramento this Saturday with Little Muddy, next week with Shelley Doty one night in Berkeley and Everyone Orchestra with Michael Kang and Mark Karan the next night at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley. Music is a divine dream but the business is challenging as ever and these are DIY days for many musicians. This means a lot of time composing, working in the studio, rehearsing, booking shows and dropping in on blogs like this. So it is always so inspiring to see that folks still love seeing live music performances. That is where the spirit lives. Whether you listen to my music or go to my shows, here's a big ol' thank you to all who recognize the true immediacy and magic in a live performance and support their favorite musicians and venues. Happy Spring and abundant good things!
Busy little winter here in Sugarland. I had the honor of stepping in for Bobby Vega as bassist for Zero, playing with Nat Keefe and his concert carnival, playing with John Kadlecik, Melvin Seals, Nicki and Tim Bluhm, Timothy Carbone and so many other talented people and that was all before February. On Valentine's Day I was all alone...playing solo acoustic versions of my favorite love songs by Cole Porter, Buena Vista Social Club, Tony Bennett's well known ballads and my appropriate original songs at the New Beet Cafe. Thanks Derek Bodkin for the terrific solos and vocal duet: I was not alone after all. Thanks to all who came out for the show. I'm excited to play some more solo shows including the Backstage Lounge in Santa Cruz. Then there's Caffe Trieste in Berkeley opening the show solo and jamming with longtime musical cohort Shelley Doty to raise the roof and close it down. I had been hoping to play some more jams with Mark Karan after the recent KPFA radio show with him and Maria Muldaur and I got my wish: coming up I'll be jamming with Mark at his new Wednesday haunt at the new Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley.
Fabulous summer here in Santa Cruz. The studio is rocking. I'll be playing acoustic tunes at the Chill Out patio on 41st Ave on Saturday mornings weather permitting... and it's been permissive.
The new album is now also available at Amazon, iTunes and apparently OneStop among others; soon to be bouncing off the planets.
I've been bouncing off of L.A. and San Francisco. Recent performances with the Taciteers and Seahorse Rodeo have been challenging and great fun with friends from Tea Leaf Green, ALO, Soul Coughing and more.
I'm heading back into the studio for fun, practice, maintenance, masterminding the master plans and meditation.
The Eco Punk Babies EP "Defend Your Planet!" is out. Many thanks to David Cook for including me in his most audacious sonic vision. Get it here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ecopunkbabies
The album "Again With The Microphone" is now available at cdbaby and will be available at affiliated retailers in the next few weeks. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mikesugar2
...2011, the new album, more music and adventures. The solo CD is being manufactured and will be available in January. At the studio I'll be mastering recordings from a large variety of artists for the Voice Project, headed up by Anna Gabriel, daughter of Peter. Happy Holidays!
The mastering engineer (me) has decided he's done the last revision so the artist (I) must choose from quieter, louder or LOUDEST version. The graphic designer (who could it be) is making much pastiche and not much brand recognition. Defiant artist laughs: .. bran wrecka-wha..?
Number 12 with a missile in Buellton.
Studio repairs and upcoming Sunshine Brothers show get my attention next.