Good morning to you all!
Still hanging out in Canada, working on my 2017 calendar, working on my new solo/acoustic set and stoking the fire!
2017 is taking shape. If you look at my latest calendar you'll see we've added several shows. Still working on Seattle/Portland for August. It's a job. I've got some friends in the area who are helping but they don't know me from Adam out there and it's challenging to get an answer from venues online. If you know a club owner there or a music lover who'd like to host a house concert, please let me know. Thanks to Karen Kilbane and Bruce Sharer who have given me lots of leads!
I'm happy to share a new video with you from my Akron Civic show. We grabbed some footage and I made a compilation of that. Some of it's a little fuzzy but we're learning as you go and I think you'll enjoy it just the same. This is from my Nov. 11 show. Take a look...
I want to ask you to do something for me. If you listen to music on Spotify, will you please follow me? It will be a huge help.
Once I get to 250 followers (46 right now), Spotify will “verify” my account, which opens up some cool possibilities for my music, and I’ll also be able to keep you updated whenever I release new songs or playlists.
If you have a minute please click the blue mood ring below and follow me on Spotify. It really will be a huge help and you'll make my mood ring stay blue (happy) if you do it. There are almost 2000 people on this mailing list. I need 204 of you to click "follow" and I'm verified. Spotify "help" told me to set a goal as to when I'd like to reach 250 people. My goal is that after 2 of these mailers, I'm there, but you can surprise me! Click the ring and it will magically take you to a page with a green "follow" button and it will direct you.
Something has happened during my work on my new set that has surprised me. I guess it's something you forget when you don't learn something new for a while or if things you've been doing have come easily to you. As some of you have seen at my live shows, I've picked up the ukulele. That's not too hard as I have played the guitar for years and the skills transfer easily. BUT I have also purchased a cajon. That's this...
Most likely you have seen or would see a percussionist or drummer sitting on top of this tapping it with her hands or using a kick pedal on it as she strikes it with her hands. The cajon has a snare in it as well to add to the sound. I first saw one used when I moved to Nashville. It was my buddy Matt Burgess playing. He's awesome so the experience was great. Well, I went to Guitar Center before Christmas. It's basically mayhem there right before Christmas. It's so noisy! Lots of people buying gifts. They have great sales then. I was in to pick up something I had ordered. I walked out with that and one of the above....It really was a great deal and I already had had my kick pedal (ebay) for several months just waiting to hit something (I know how it feels...peace peace).
Now I go down to the basement and sit in front of my cajon to practice The Cape, a Guy Clark cover I do. I am using hot rods attached to my kick pedal to strike a beat with my foot on the cajon while playing the ukulele and singing. People do this kind of thing all the time. Not me. Not yet.
These are hot rods....
They make a nice "ticky" sound if that makes sense.
Here's what it's like....Remember the first time you tried to tap your head and rub your stomach at the same time? That's it. Remember you were probably 5 years old so doing it now is not the same challenge. I swear when I start something new I think, I'm not sure this is possible....It might not be possible. Even if I know other people who can do it, I think it might not be possible for me. This is not good. I seriously forget that you have to break it down, slow it down and go over and over and over it until your brain makes the connection between the two things that need to be connected in order to do what you're trying to do. Then I remember that. I'm always surprised and delighted when I start to be able to master a skill. It's a really great feeling. You'd think I might know this all by now but I continue to be amazed and surprised by it. And I still cry a little.
It's a very simple drumming pattern that I'm doing while singing and playing. I'm not even singing it yet when I practice but I will. It will look easy by the time you see it (I hope) but I tell you what...
I encourage you to try something new that you think you might not be able to do. I'm sure gurus encourage this all the time. What do they know???!!! But before you do, talk to someone who already knows how to do it and ask them if it takes time. I need to hear from someone who has done it in order to keep the faith. Thank you Matt Burgess for walking me through it over the phone, helping me break it down so I can eventually play the song!
Click on photo to watch.