Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween '07

Well, here it is. Homeless for Halloween. Yeah, that's a nod to my much missed friend Leroy and all my friends in Reno. I remember that first Honky Tonk Halloween with Johnny Dilks with as much clarity as anyone playing their second show on a new instrument can. Most clear recollections are the fabulous DJ and my friend Rhonda's efforts on the wig.

I am sending this out to my old friend Orion Harbour, whom I've lost touch with for way too long now. He's gone underground in San Francisco. It's been about 5 years now

Anyway O, if you're out there, I was reminded of our Blues Brothers Halloween, and what a kick-ass brother Elwood you made. I'm pretty easy to find you Darrell.

Frequently music themed, this is the first in several years a costume is a non-priority. Since 1992, I've dressed up only a handful of times:
'92: Axl Rose, Patience era (man, I miss that bandanna, Garth Kinnier. Nice sentiment, lousy trade).
'93: a member of a Scottish rugby team. I dunno; Anthony's mom could sew kilts.
'94: Jake Blues. I am unable to grow sideburns in 2 weeks.
'02 some how forgotten, but enjoyed drunk with geologists in Reno. There's a connection I suppose...
'03: Willie Nelson. Lora ruled the night with her help on that one.
'04: a hayseed fiddler from Kentucky. You had to be there.
'05: Paul McCartney circa '65. There's an old blog for that one.

and now, 2007, just a vagrant. Good times. My day so far consisted of deciding whether I should grow a beard and later, I decided if I should go to my PO box.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Photos from last week to present

Well it has rained all damn day. I have been killing time in Owensboro since I crawled out of my trailer. I put some pictures up for you. I recorded a bunch of Merle Haggard songs last night and that got me through a rough spot. I didn't make it down to see Dave Gleason. I didn't play on Saturday. I'm all right though, we did play outside of the show and I got to wear a vintage Stetson Open Road hat. Mark's the same hat size as me. I'm now three weeks past the specific things I planned to do here and have done a bunch of things I 'always wanted to do.' Like see the sunrise on the Atlantic ocean.

Mark and his wife have been great, even managing to secure a round of antibiotics. We'll see if they kick this chest congestion.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bust A Move

Howdy friends,

Well my travels have taken me all over the place lately. I am in my mom's cousin's recliner outside of Blanchester OH, watching some show on GAC about 'the hitmakers' or something. I've been having lots of nice, visiting days, but alas, it is time to go. I've done some recording in a campground, in my great Aunt's garage, had a great lesson from the talented Bill Mize. I've been working on the seven new song ideas I'm happy with, trying to flesh them out, figure them out. I haven't really felt like going back to sleeping in a tent after spending so much great time here in southern Ohio.

Late last week, I went to Hamilton, OH, to get some guitar strings. I was impressed by all that I saw. It was neat to be in an old region, where industry had existed for a couple of hundred years. My grandfather moved to Dayton to find work after the war, as did several of his brothers, and husbands of his sisters. So I've got pretty deep roots in southern Ohio, in a way. My mom was born in Dayton before my grandparents bailed back to Manchester, NH.

Anyway, while there in Hamilton I got on the wireless, and lo, would you believe Charles Richter is from Ohio? Yup, Mr. Richter Scale was raised around there. I found a music store and bought a bunch of CDs. It's not like me to do this as I am a thorough discography researcher and online purchaser. But I wanted some more blues. I got a great great album by Junior Wells, a Chicago blues harp player, from 1965 featuring Buddy Guy on electric guitar. It's cool to come across the original version of a song I first heard from the Loved Ones just this February. "Good morning little school girl..." I finally know what the hell Zan was doing at the end of that song that seemed so non-sequitor. Buddy Guy did that. Cool. Really cool if you know my spiderweb connections to Buddy-Zan-1993-Loved Ones.

The coolness ends when you know I was listening to this album on my way to Home Depot to buy supplies to redo the plumbing in her guest bedroom toilet. She says '"it ran ran ran, so I shut it off. I was never much inclined to use it." That was 4 years ago. So I fixed it for her. We had so much great time. And I had a lot of great time with her daughter Edie and John, who teaches piano. She gave me sort of a piano lesson, but I've got a long way to go. :) And now, I've spent two days here with Wayne and Sheila. Cool people man.

Well, there's gettin to be too much to write I guess. I write the blogs when I feel like, and just haven't felt like it lately. I haven't really slowed down much, and taken hundreds and hundreds of pictures in 4 or 5 states. But I just haven't felt like finding a way to encapsulate into one of these things. Maybe it was easier when I was geographically immobile there in Rosine.

I am moving to Henderson, KY for a little while, just west of Owensboro. There's no moving actually, I am homeless and have been living out of my car for two weeks tomorrow. I mean, I've been living out of my car, but in the same camp since I left Reno. I am staying with Kings Highway bandleader Mark Hargis. Well, staying on his property in his camper. I guess. We'll see. I have a private party gig to make some music with those guys on Saturday. That'll be fun. And my music buddy Dave Gleason arrived in Nashville today, so I'll probably cruise down there for some time with him.

I have some kind of bronchitis. A weird chest cold like I've not had before, so yeah, that's screwed. I'm going to try to get to Owensboro early enough to try and get to see a physician tomorrow. I have totally enjoyed Ohio, and see really cool things here. Did you know I have an undergraduate degree in Economics? And that I focused on regional economics, the study of why and how people/places get to be where they are? Well, I can tell you, Ohio is much more textbook than anything I saw in California, Nevada or Oregon. It's neat. Hard working people, for generations.

Where I stayed in Lebanon, OH, was only about a mile from where Marty Roe, singer for Diamond Rio grew up. In fact, my mom's cousin's daughter Lorie was in the same high school class as he. Neil Armstrong lives in Lebanon. Larry Sparks is from Lebanon. The Osborne Brothers are from Dayton.

And you know what? While checking out the goodwill store seeking to replace my big beautiful broken oversized Stanford coffee mug, I found Young MC's Bust A Move CD on sale for $0.85. So all the while cruising around town I was blaring "your best friend Harry has a brother larry and in 5 days from now he's gonna marry you're hoping you can make it there if you can cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man"

Don't just stand there, bust a move. Aside from that song, it's been 15 years since I heard all of those other tracks before. It was a treat. I am serious.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Head in the clouds

For those of you that have been digging the pictures, here are some more.

The festival is over and what a time it was. That is nearly is far as I had planned. I have yet to find a place to live. In a town so small, in an economy like this, rental houses are not to be found. I secretly hoped that someone would let me stay at their cabin for a low-ish rent and watch over the place. Trouble is, I didn't meet any of those kind of people yet. If I were inclined, I could get a modest brick home for less than $75k.

I have been trying to write songs by laying down grooves as I come up with them. This has been happening since about July. I've fine-tuned the five grooves thus far and what has happened is that my music has become instrumental. I've got this killer thing happening in F [dropped D, capo 4]. The music is pouring out, but I can't sort it out yet. I further recognize that I can't rush it. Especially singing. I can only sing for about an hour before I get tired. And without a quality mic, I can't tell what I'm doing right or wrong anyway. The studio work will begin as soon as I can plug in somewhere quiet. In the meantime, I have been trying to get proficient with doing with my laptop and the AC inverter near the car. I'll probably get going with that soon since I don't know when I'll have stable housing, but the music must get going!

I can tell now with some of the way the notes are coming out of the guitar that I crossed over into some great new land. Unfortunately, it heightens my self-consciousness as a songwriter, singer, and mandolin player. My guitar has been loving the humidity, but as some of you know, my guitar 'opened up' before I left, since about June. It sounds every bit as good as a 30 year old Martin, coming in at 9 years of age. It probably has 30 years of notes rung through it though. So it's hard for me to stink up my own guitar playing with lyrics-in-progress and voice-in-progress. It comes across, quite legitimately, that perhaps I should just stick to playing it. Yet that is not my intention.

On the mandolin, I'm on a strict Monroe-instrumental diet, lately consisting of Roanoake, Wheel Hoss, Old Ebeneezer Scrooge, and The Methodist Preacher. I composed a dark piece on the mandolin in open D-minor that I think sounds Romanian, so I am using reference from the true account of the rule of Vlad The Impaler. My brother-in-law followed up my vampire-flick kick from Christmas (I know, how appropriate I am) by TiVo-ing some vampire documentaries we watched before I left. The tale of Vlad is what inspired Bram Stoker's version of Dracula. However, it is so horrific to think of being impaled, that I am not sure I want my first instrumental piece to be associated with that tale. The reality is that a freak like me would've been one of the first stuck up there. Anyway, the idea of running from a horrible inescapable death fits the tune. Hey, I didn't ask for it, it just came out in one piece, entirely improvised, in total darkness a few weeks ago. I've been trying to figure out since then. Here it is as it was first played in the dark. You can hear the bugs and you can hear how I couldn't see the damn mandolin. Listen all the way through if you can.

That's some of my doings for now. Sound as ever,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A few pictures from the festival weekend

I have been recuperating from the festival which was one of the best weekends of my life. I took lots of pictures of my friends and the other performers, but I'm guessing they're not appropriate to post here on my blog. Here are some pictures for you.

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