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The Dharma Fools / Blog

Holy Hound, Sunday Night

Has it really been since January that we were here? Well, the Dharma Fools have not been since, due to work, real life and other considerations. But Dan and I returned to the spot, and the Labor Day crowd was pretty fine. Ronn Benway of the Snake Oil Band has taken over the Open Mic, and has kept with providing entertainment, plus a few different acts. I'm not going to be able to remember all of them, but Ronn didn't even perform. At least not when we were there; he was having as much fun as we did. We were recognized from Faerie Fest, and the old Ahltyrra days by a fellow named Zac Anger. You can find him on Soundcloud; good guitarist, interesting guy, and really nice. He's headed for Boston to make a living as a busker. I wish him luck, as I used to live there. He seems ready to make the move. Lot of people doing covers tonight...Zac did some, a third-grade teacher named Jeff made his first open mic appearance, and did very well. Papa Da (I think that is his name) opened the show, and I've known him for some time, one of the regulars about the area. We went on 5th; our set list: We Gotta Move On (new song for this venue) *Reading from "Parasite Girls," followed by Blade Baby Step Back (Gordon Lightfoot) Ridin' On the Same Train (new song) Beyond These Walls/Ma Durga (new song) The new songs went down reasonably well, probably a little too downtempo toward the end, but we were on form. Dan borrowed a six-string of mine, and did some really good work. Benway didn't know Dan played guitar, heehee. A lady I've seen there fairly often named Cassandra came next and did well...new fellow (to me) named Tom and the board was full when we left about 11-ish. Good time indeed...do not know what is next for gigs, but we felt good at doing this one!

Dharma Fool Tonight...

Well, I have had to get myself back up to HMAC, especially as I'm going to be right up the street on Saturday. For those who wonder, my first book is what I'm going to be signing this Saturday at Midtown Scholar Bookstore from 2-4 pm. http://www.amazon.com/Parasite-Girls-Tory-Gates/dp/1494401975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391569698&sr=8-1&keywords=Parasite+Girls Mike Banks opened the HMAC Open Mic as he does every Wednesday, and performed another blazing set of guitar pieces, ended with his song (I think it's his), "Storytime." As I was alone, I decided to throw up two new songs to see what would occur... "We Gotta Move On" -- Dan likes this one, and it should be a new opener for us. Pretty self-explanatory. I then read from "Parasite Girls," and followed with "Blade." My friend/colleague Matt Meyer was on hand, and he liked how I went from that reading and song into talking about the next book, and how the male lead likes Gordon Lightfoot. That fits. "Is There Any Other Way" is the song in question, which I've written for the follow-up work, "Drifters." Went over okay, light crowd, but supportive. Very nice. We'll see what happens next...

Back to the Hound, and "Parasite Girls"

Well, the Dharma Fools braved nasty weather to find a nice crowd and lots of music at Holy Hound Taproom's Open Mic Night...Ronn Benway has taken over the show, and was his usual entertaining self!

Good to see our old bandmate Joanna "Mari" Hardway looking well! She has had health issues for some time, but she was positive and it is really nice to see her again! Saw some of the interesting gang; we were a little late, but we had a long talk with Brian Shoop, and learned of some other fun stuff.

Jasper the Tourist has a new CD coming out! https://www.facebook.com/jasper.thetourist?fref=ts

Great set from him, from Kennedy and some other fine acoustic artists. Nervous I was:

We began with a reading from "Parasite Girls," my debut novel.


We've been playing one of the songs from it, but now I read again, and it's available via Amazon.com and also Smashwords. The Set:

Reading... "Blade" "Across the Divide/In My Mind" (New Song) "Black Ambition" "Beauty Way" (E. Gilkyson)

"Divide" is a new song for one of my other projects. Dan liked it a lot and wanted to do it, so we got another new one out there.

Sounded good, and had a great time...back at it soon we hope...the Hound remains a great time, do come out and support the groups they have, and enjoy the atmosphere...

See ya soon!

Reading, "Parasite Girls"

Well, the Dharma Fools are not playing a show, per se, but we have something of interest.


Our friend Jessica Brooks is the owner of the Ladybug Bakery and Cafe in Downtown York. Tonight, the cafe hosts a "Men's Night" from 5-9 pm. Local businesses such as a cigar roller, a brewery, an artist, and yours truly reading from his new book, "Parasite Girls."

Currently the ebook is available on Smashwords. We may soon do a print on demand deal as well. The book is fiction, with a highlight of social concerns, and I think is a pretty good read.

Dan has offered to provide music for my reading portions, and as one of my songs is in the story, we'll perform that too. We are excited to be a part of this event, which hopes to stimulate local interest in our downtown. There's a lot on offer here, so please come have a look and listen.

Note: Ladybug is on Beaver St., right down from the Holy Hound. Hope to see you there. 5 pm starter, we go at six!

"Wish You Were Here"

Well, I'm back from Verse 254 in Downtown York, PA and the above-mentioned benefit for Curt Potteiger. Curt is a much-loved and respected individual in the arts community here--a computer whiz, a teacher and a brilliant artist are among the many things he's complimented as being. I saw the latter myself in action one evening at a Second Saturday event.

Curt has battled brain tumors and related issues, and is recovering in hospital. The event tonight was to raise funds and make a video of the show that it might give him strength and know a lot of people dig him.

Dan is a good friend of Curt's and he along with Lovie Reinholt-Price put the event on and got it together. I was just happy to help out by being there and playing.

Verse 254 is in a row house, part home part art gallery, and Lovie's works are wonderful to see. She is self-taught, and has many really exceptional pieces. The place has a Facebook page; go look.

The load-in and jamming beforehand made one think this might be an interesting night, and it was.

Dharma Fools ended up opening the show...we were suppose to close the night but things have a way of changing, and we moved to the mid-card. Then we ended up opening. Fine with me.

Our set list:

"Back Porch"

"Beauty Way" (Eliza Gilkyson)

"Black Ambition"


"Dark Star"

"Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Curt is a Gordon Lightfoot fan, yay!)

"The Show Goes On" -- this is a "new" song of mine. Actually I wrote it 2.5 years ago, and recently found it.

We did alright in the front room with a small audience scattered about the place. We played damned well, got a lot of nice compliments. For this I am thankful!

Dan then stood in with a fellow named Lane from Alexandria, VA. Used to live in York, and came up for the event. Awesome bass player...what else can I say?

Dan went to six-string, and they cranked through some R&B and rock classics, great stuff! A lady stepped in to sing "Evil Ways" with them, Mary Rose Kelly. Good work!

Dan's OTHER project, Moxy & Mayhem soon followed. Tell you what, Lauren's singing and work (both of them) is getting better and better. They opened with "Wish You Were Here," yes that one...Curt likes the Floyd, and on with some original stuff.

I spent a bit of the night on the camera, but also talking with quite a few other folks from the community. There is a well of great talent, and people are looking out for each other. It's something really cool.

I left after M&M because I gotta work tomorrow, but I think this was a good night, despite the monsoons.

Thanks to Lovie and her people, and Curt well knows there are people who have his back.

Blessed Be, Curt...we know you'll be back before we know it!

Alchemy for the Earth...back to the Stage!

Dharma Fools got it done! This past week has been a busy one, as Dan and I worked to get our material ready for Day 1 of Alchemy for the Earth. Our former member Merryiad got us the gig (thank you, missed your presence!), and Cheryl Kilduff provided us with all we needed.

It was for me a nervous period, because we came off a terrible performance at open mic in York...the problem was me, and I didn't even blog about it because I was so unhappy with my show of whatever the hell that was. Just awful.

So I was determined to do better. This was officially the DF's first show under that name, and our first in over three years. A lot of folks have asked us where we were...real life and its circumstances tended to take us away, but since we started doing open mics, it finally took hold.

Alchemy for the Earth continues into Sunday--they are on Facebook. Much of the day was for Native American, spiritual and other events, raisings, rituals, and so forth. Fairy Fresh Farm is in a lovely area of Maryland. Finksburg is the town, but it's out in the farm country. Farms and newer homes co-exist well here.

The farm built us a small stage, down by the roadside, and across from vendors, with the bigger events up on the hill.

Lauren and Chris Mason (she of Moxy & Mayhem, with Dan) and their sons brought us their new PA gear, and we sounded quite good. Well done.

The weather threatened but held off enough for the DF's...our set list:

Back Porch/Beauty Way (latter is Eliza Gilkyson's song)

Black Ambition

The Mystery (New song)


Too Many Clues in this Room (Gordon Lightfoot)

Dark Star

He Left Me His Guitar

Is There Any Other Way? (New song)

Street of the Broken Dreams

Fragile Thing (Big Country)

Live My Life (new song, by Dan)

Broken Stones (Paul Weller)

When We Were Stars

End of the Road

Rain dripped in and out, but the small group hung in, and we did have to cut our set of the last two pieces. I was really thrilled to get some of the old songs in, plus a couple of new ones.

Dan's song was a rocker, and he laid down a helluva solo...we need more of that, we do.

As for me, I'm satisfied with my performance. Couple of guitar change slipups near the end, but not a bad show at all. Very grateful I am to get through that and feel really good out the other side.

We also got tips...$5 worth! It's a start! Thank you for that!

So we got done, and M&M were supposed take the stage at four. Mother Nature had other ideas. The rain came down (and it still is out here)...it became a safety issue, and sadly M&M were postponed.

They may get to do it tomorrow afternoon, but they may also go to the Mother Earth Harvest Fair @ Spoutwood Farm in the Glen Rock area. I felt bad for Dan and Lauren, but they took it in stride. Other days are gonna come.

I took a walk about after, visited the booths and talked with some of the folks. Really nice people, and we got some nice compliments on our music and originality. I'm thankful and pleased.

So yeah, we got soaking wet in tearing everything down, and drove back through nasty weather, but it was worth it!

So far, our next event will be in York on October 11th, the benefit for Curt Potteiger, but I assume we'll find more to do.

Thanks to Cheryl Kilduff, and to everyone else for their having us, the support and the good compliments. Feels really nice to get it done!

Oh What A Night...

Well, well! A pre-Labor Day full house in effect at the Holy Hound Taproom! An excellent night of music, and I will do my best to make sure I include as many people as I can remember.

Chris Dempwolf, and these are not in order...a cool duo named Eddi &...someone, argh I'm sorry I can't remember. Electric guitar and piano, and a great cover of a Peter Frampton classic.

Elijah Cross, brilliant on piano and vocals as ever...lovely version of "Levon."

A violinist and singer named Helena and two friends did some great stuff...the guitarist borrowed mine, and wouldn't you know?

I have a Martin...and the jack keeps coming loose and cut out! A Martin! Oh, someone is gonna hear from me about this.

Anyway, Helena and her friends were fantastic. Williamson Vetter came to play, our friend Keith with help from others...Jasper the Tourist, acoustic solo, very nice...Brian Shoop, acoustic solo...

We were in the middle of it; with a shot guitar, we just mic'd the front and rolled with it.

Our set list:

"Beauty Way" (E. Gilkyson) "Dark Star" "He Left Me His Guitar" "Fragile Thing" (Big Country) "Black Ambition"

We were good, but not as good as most of the others. This is something we need to remedy, but we did get good compliments on our tightness. So it's all good. We have three weeks to get ready for Alchemy of the Earth in MD, and we'll do it.

Ronn Benway was on hand to close the show, but as always Sympathy and the Lion stole it! They are an exceptional group, and if you can seen them, by all means do so!

There may have been others and I'm sorry if I forgot. But a full house and a great night of fantastic music!

It is a lot of fun, and makes a rough night more than bearable.

So yeah...we are getting ready for the show on the 21st...more on our page!

Back to the Hound!

Well, another fun night of music at the Holy Hound Taproom...you never know who will show up at these things.

Chris Dempwolf, our compere opened with another good set. Next up was a fellow named Tony C., who drums locally, but he gave us a one-man Beat Box performance, which was really quite good! Like I say...you never know.

Our friends Williamson and Keith are now called "Room for Rent." They did a couple of country classics, and I mean Classics: "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and "For the Good Times." Keith can sing anything...they then moved into some other tunes, including a couple of W's. Good fun.

Then it was our turn--our set list:

"Back Porch" (instrumental we warm up with) "Beauty Way" (E. Gilkyson tune) "Blade" "The One at the End of the Road" -- this is an old Ahltyrra song that we brought back. Little rough, but okay. "Fragile Thing" -- a Big Country song I've loved for years, and we finally got to do it. "Unifnished" -- another from the Ahltyrra catalog. "Black Ambition"

I think that was it.

Brian Shoop, who is Chris' bass player came in to sing a number of his songs, always good.

Then the stage was cleared for three members of Sympathy & the Lion. Local Americana type band, very good stuff!

Our man Ronn Benway was there tonight, but did not play...odd...but he is always fun to be around.

Well! Good get back for the first time in a while. We are playing in Finksburg, MD at the Alchemy for the Earth event on September 21st--Dan's other band, Durango Moon is also on the card. Really interesting event of Native American, New Age, Pagan type events. I think we will have a good time--the Facebook page has details!

Alchemy for the Earth

Well, some good news...the Dharma Fools are slated to make their official stage appearance here!


Alchemy for the Earth takes place in Finksburg, MD on the 21st of September -- times, stages and so forth not yet determined, but we'll keep you up.

We'd heard for some time about this event, and it appears we are now headed to play the fall, and do well with it...very excited!

My back is doing better, but is still a short distance from fully healing. A long, slow process but that's how it goes. I am playing again, and we'll be out and about soon.

Thanks for reading and your support!

Back to the Vibe Room

Wow, one month from! Was it really that long? For those who wondered about the Dharma Fools, well yours truly has been on the Unable to Perform List for a time.

I underwent surgery to correct an issue in my leg on July 1; while at it, two sebaceous cysts were also taken out of me. The one on my lower back has been the big issue: it was the size of a small tennis ball, and the wound was troublesome. Stitches kept breaking, and finally it had to heal inside out. Still doing it, but needless to say, standing and holding a guitar, or sitting with one the way I play was not happening. Too much stress, and I'm still feeling it.

Dan and I did return to the Vibe Room tonight, and we will try to get back to Open Mic Night at the Holy Hound on Sunday.

We went over some old stuff, a couple of songs from the treasure chest, and Dan played me some of his stuff. Good licks, good songs.

As for playing elsewhere...Dan's other project, generally known as Durango Moon, also goes by the name of Moxy & Mayhem. They landed a spot at the Music Fest coming up in Hanover soon. Supposedly they are also on the bill at the Maryland Harvest Festival; DF's should be too, but we don't know for sure.

Anyway, just good to get back at it for a bit!