Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am in Hartford, Kentucky at the library. It is a good thing for me to have these kind of limitations:
1) 20 minute drive to get wi-fi
2) locked gate at 5:00 pm. That reminds me, I must be off soon.

The farm (Bill Monroe's family farm) is very near Rosine. My P.O. box for your correspondence is as well. I am without all of my friends and family so if you'd like to send me something to make my day:
P.O. Box 426
Rosine, KY 42370
Also, Cingular is big around here and I have coverage all over the place.

I have been settling in and will be staying in my tent until the festival on September 28. The festival is called Jerusalem Ridge bluegrass Festival, named after the location. Bill used to run the hounds all around back there and eventually wrote a famous instrumental called Jerusalem Ridge.

I've been thinking of the name of my publishing company, and have come up with a couple that I like. First is Chico Creek Music and the other is Handful of Sand Music. Publishing companies are a formality of the songwriting process. It allows you to do a couple of things, but one is not formal; it is saying whatever you'd like after each of your songs in a legal way. Chico Creek is where I spent much of my youth, was born within a mile of, returned to for college, helped pick up trash, you get it. I'm from Chico. I'm from everywhere I've lived, but after visiting at the end of August, Chico is certainly 'the place.' A handful of sand is a metaphor I've been working on. In part, I do it. Grabbing a handful of sand tells you a lot about the upstream geology (if there's a lot to tell). It also is a metaphor of how all the grains are the same, but really are all quite different. And it is also a metaphor for where you find sand; it's collected anywhere you have streams and tells the story of that stream. The furter down the fluvial system you go, the more story the grains tell. Beaches near geologically complex areas (Ophir, Oregon) send the geologists' mind spinning. Setting up in this way, get it? We're all grains of sand of humanity. I've been working in that song lately. I've also been working on a song for Arthur Potts Wells, my grandpa's little brother that was killed during WWII in Italy by a sniper. My mom recently got the mandolin he made from my oldest brother Jim. It's not in great shape but it was neat to see; I don't remember Grandpa taking it out for me.

Soon I'll start looking for a cheap, small rental house with hardwood floors and 3-prong electricity so I can set up my recording studio and write for the next ? months. On the long drive it occurred to me to invest in my songs and music for a while; if I run out of money, at least I'll have something of my own. The other option was to scramble around Nashville and figure out a way to do that silly 'try to make' notion. That never felt like my style anyway. But I told it to people because it required less explanation.

I'm going to see one of my guitar heroes Bill Mize at the Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville on 9/22. That'll be great. He's a 'new age' guitarist that plays a D-28, though he's more fingerstyle than my other 'new age' favorite who played a D-28, Michael Hedges. I play a D-28. Nearly every guitarist with Bill Monroe played his D-28 until the 70's or so. My guitar is sounding really great to me these days.

I must run because I just found out the library closes at 4:30. Perfect! It will be even harder for me to be late for the 5:00 gate.

Older, nearly useless traveling blogs
September 9, 3:46 p.m.
Confucius said: Reviewing the old as a means of realizing the new--such a person can be considered a teacher.

I have had great teachers.

September 8, 1:36 p.m.
I'm in Owensboro: That's a long drive. 12+ hours today from Lincoln, NE. Trip odometer says 2063; Google maps was totally accurate. Wow.

Missed all of my classes, but had a good jam with those remaining, especially friends from last year, John the dentist from Ohio and Lloyd the surgeon from Bismark.

Good times. I'm spent. Tomorrow I get to see how my living arrangement will be as we're going on a mid-day field trip to Rosine.

Sound as ever,

September 5, 12:37 p.m.

Now I am driving. Everything fit in the accord. Even croquet. Getting in the car right now. And so begins the 2,040 mile trek. Class begins Friday, 8 am, professional music career resumes on Monday.

I'll be careful; I'm smart. Thank you all for the warm wishes over the last weeks.

Going with the google route here.

September 2, 03:31 p.m.

I'm still packing. Ugh. This is for those who may be curious. How long does it take to drive to Kentucky?

The International Bluegrass Music Museum will present their annual Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp Faculty Concert on Saturday, September 8th at 8:00 PM in The Owensboro Symphony Academy. The Academy is located at 211 East Second St. in Downtown Owensboro just steps from the museum. Doors open at 7:00 PM. Seating is limited to 100. Tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event are $20, and can be purchased at the door or by calling 1 888 MY BANJO (692-2656.)

Five world-renowned mandolinists comprise this year's Monroe-Style Faculty. Performing together in concert for the first time are Frank Wakefield (Greenbriar Boys), Mike Compton (Nashville Bluegrass Band), Roland White (Kentucky Colonels, Blue Grass Boys), Skip Gorman (Rabbit in a Log) and David Long (Little Country Giants.)

They will be joined by a former member of Bill Monroe's band, The Blue Grass Boys and editor of the Bill Monroe Reader, Tom Ewing. Ewing played guitar and was lead vocalist for the Father of Bluegrass during the last 8 years of Mr. Monroe's career before his passing in 1996.

Bluegrass music enthusiasts from around the world are attending this year's Mandolin Camp at the Bluegrass Museum. Here, they immerse themselves in the rarefied atmosphere of the museum while learning the stylizations, songwriting, and multi-cultural musical influences of Bill Monroe, the "Father of Bluegrass".

If you would like to enroll as a camper, call Mike at 1 888 MY BANJO. Attendance is capped at 45. The $500 camp package includes all classes, 3 meals, 2 nights of hotel rooms, the concert, a group picture and a road trip to Rosine, KY, the birthplace and resting place of Bill Monroe. Tuition for local "Commuters" who do not require hotel rooms is $400.

The 2006 Camp drew participants from 25 states and 4 countries and received rave reviews.

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