I want to thank Michael Johnathon in asking me to play at his WoodSongs Front Porch Association in KY. His idea is not a bad idea that is having folks gather in your communities to play music and listen. Stop the fast wheels of these times and gather at your church or community centers or bars. The weekend was held at a Shaker Village and there was live music, workshops and a very cool barn with a nice stage and lighting. The way the sun comes through at sunset was nice. Looking forward to next year! Back in the studio working on, Place I Make My Stand and other tracks. Still Pickin’ Bill
Right now we are working on the song, Cookin’ In The Kitchen and last night I went to see my friends who sing gospel music. We will need background gospel vocals on this song. I have not seen them sense our recording on my song, Crossing That River. So what that means is going to their church and going to a service and saying hello. I am not very religious any more but I do love good black southern music. There is nothing like it. It’s where rock & Roll gets its roots from and man, it is downright real and loud and happy and rocks. You get out of church when you experience this and you don’t feel good about yourself your dead. So I passed the CDR of what we are doing to the gospel folks and we will be able to lay down the tracks for background vocals. On top of that we are also adding horns and will tell all about that next week. It’s a trip who we found. Still Pickin’ Bill
It was 50 years that Woody Guthrie left this world at a hospital in Long Island, also left us a load of songs that we are still digging through. The number of songs goes on as do their stories in what Woody saw and then wrote down. We live in strange times and the world seems all upside down. But the times Woody was kicking around was the worst of times. I have not gone through that but my Mother and Father lived through it, a different generation, a different time. But in the worst of times comes the best music it seems. And Woody poured it out by the boat load. Not only songs but he wrote stories and somehow put you right there sitting with Woody like a bump on a log. That’s not easy to do, I know because I keep trying to do that. When Katrina hit I and Al Coffey got to play music to make people feel good down in the Gulf Coast and I keep a blog as went along, 24/7. Just to write what you are seeing in front of you in not an easy thing to do. Somewhere on the net is that blog. We made 13 trips and goes knows how many pages of blog. My point here is, Woody wrote stories and everybody out there in the net world should sit down, turn off the TV and radio and read Bound For Glory, a window into Woody’s time like a fly on the wall. Pete Seeger told me, he, Woody and Lee Hayes was on the plane going somewhere to a gig and Woody was writing on the barf bag on the plane, when they got off the plane Woody just left it there. I could see Pete picking up after Woody would leave them like leaves in the wind. Thanks Woody and Pete for all the songs and Toshi for the good food and love! See ya down the road…. Still Pickin’ Bill
Back In the Studio The Song, Place I Make My Stand is one we are chipping away at, strange song and short but has a good hook. This week we try to lay down some drum tracks. This one will be a simple tune in ways of arrangements go I think. With an accordion, drums, rhythm guitar, main voices and that might be it. Come Oct. 8th we record Cookin’ In The Kitchen with thanks to Steve Guius in producing this one. So it’s stacking up folks and hope everyone is near loved ones in these strange time in which we find ourselves. Still Pickin' Bill
Where the hell does one find your grove? To be honest I don’t really know except each and every person on this earth has a voice and each one is different than the other. The only way to find this out is jump in fall down, get up again and maybe fall down a few times but always get up. If you are trying to write a song, just start with a few lines. Like whenever someone passes me in their car like a bat out of hell and I see them at a red light. I want to write a slow honky -tonk song that starts, and I will see you at the next red light. Pick whatever you feel strong about and just write a few lines, put it out away and go back to it. I like to hang good lines on my walls. Once to have some kind of song, keep going back to lyrics and see if you have some sort of rhythm. Put it away for next time and go on to another song. Keep doing this and sooner or later something will come up. It might take a week or a morning or a few years. After a while the song will grow some feet and when you get too far off the path the song will tell ya, hey over here. It’s not easy and yes it takes some work. But I find if you hang in there something is bond to come to the top, just keep chipping away at it. Not every song you write is going to be a hit but does not matter. Keep trying to learn your trade as a songwriter. Read as much as you can about it listen to others who you dig and ask them questions. There is no roadmap to this but after a while you will find your grove.
T.O.S. TIME ON STAGE
“Art is not a market to be conquered or to be bow before. Art is a holy pursuit”- T. Bone Burnett
In the world in which we live in it seems as an artist one is wearing many hats all at the same time. You are trying to get bookings, working radio, writing new songs, recording and god knows what else. With the net you can get your music out to the world. At the same time there is a flood of people doing the same thing as you and you might feel what the point is? T. Bone gave a talk that everyone should read, he says a handful. It always for me comes down to the fundamental basic thing…that is the music and trying to find that sound, and that “holy pursuit” That is where it begins and ends for me. You can have all the pops and whistles and all the money too but if you an’t got that sound, it does not hold water. So work on your sound and keep chipping away at it. The muse does not give it up gently. You have to stay in there until you get it, it’s not a click of a mouse. There is no road map to this and at times it seems like you’re going blind, going fast down a dead-end street to see if you can get through but your “holy pursuit” should always be on your front seat. Try your new stuff with an audience in front of you. They will let you know if you have something, if you listen to them, not always but ya get a feel that maybe you have a good song. Ok, I have to get back to recording….
So far we have raised $102 for our kitchen down in Texas feeding folks for free. This we have done by simply putting out a tip jar when we play live. I am asking folks out there to do the same.
I want to make sure everyone out there knows there is still a need in Texas and Fla. And these folks have their feet on the ground feeding people for FREE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd7a6-6jYKs , please help them if you can! We are working on the next CD and some brand new songs we are getting down in the studio. I will be also re-recording Cook’in In The Kitchen. Steve Guidas is producing this and it’s getting close where we can lay down the tracks on this one, think Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys takes a left turn. Hope everyone out there in the world is safe and enjoying this beautiful planet in which we all live in.
Last night at our local open mike we raised $40 for the kitchen down in Rockport, Texas and you might think what good that that do Bill? Well every little thing helps. Today we also put a container out in our local music store, The Fret Mill to bring a little bit in, anything will help folks. If there are any musicians out there that have ideas feel free to let me know and like I said you can do the same thing in your communities too. Here is what we are supporting, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd7a6-6jYKs Lets show what music can do guys!
We all know what music can do and how it heals people to be able to go on. Right now there are folks in Texas and Fla. that will need help. You can help to raise money in your area by doing concerts or just put a bucket out. Please support our kitchen,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd7a6-6jYKs