Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting Ready to Travel and a CD Release

Well as usual I wait until the very last minute to pack, getting ready for my trip to Austin and Echo Hill Ranch in Medina, home of Utopia Rescue Ranch and Kinky Friedman; up today at 2:30am to start packing and putting stuff together. Very excited to see my friends in Texas again. I get in tomorrow night and Thursday night will play a show at Joe Pope's house in Manor on the outskirts of Austin, then drive on over to Medina and perform at the ranch. Originally I planned to go back down there in November but this is great, Mercury retrograde or not (I've noticed things just take a little more attention during this time).

These last two months in Washington, I got my bus moved up to the hill, which was no easy feat, driving a 30 foot Bluebird straight up three miles of windy dirt mountain road full of ravines and large rocks and drop offs, but I took it slow, and that old diesel just creeped on up and didn't even overheat. And I started a garden which is growing like crazy already, going back up there today to check on it, drop off Willie the dog for a two week vacation with Mom, visit with the folks a bit, then it's back down to town to catch the bus early to head to Spokane to get the plane.

This morning I made available by digital release my "new" CD called "Because of You." It's been done for a little while now, The CD can now be found here, and the money will actually go to me:

You can preview all the songs in their entirety to listen first and see if you like them enough to buy them. You can buy the whole she-bang for 12. bucks or buy the tracks individually for a dollar a piece.

I had such a great time recording this CD, I flew into Nashville, had a few writing appointments with Thomm Jutz, Kim Richey, and John Weisberger, and two of the songs we wrote went directly onto the CD, those are "Blue Martin" and "Oh Angel." Also what's pretty cool and an honorific thing for me is that Blaze Foley's sister Marsha gave me 5 of Blaze's songs that were never published and never had music put to them, so at her request I wrote the music and she accepted 4 of them. "Because of You" is one of those songs and "Goin' Downtown" is another. What an amazing deal. Merle Haggard is getting ready to record these songs as well. If you've never heard of Blaze, check his music out. He's been recorded by Willie Nelson, John Prine, and Merle Haggard.

When I raise a little bit of money I'll have some physical copies made.

So, on with the day. The sun comes up around 4am and goes down around 10:30pm, and now at 6 the sky is brightening and it looks clear out there. Yesterday afternoon we saw the heaviest rain I've ever seen since I've been here, it washed away part of the street in front of the house and they had big machinery out there putting it all back in place.

Thanks Nancy for putting it all together for this show Saturday evening! Also a big thanks to Joe and Dona Pope who are opening their house up for guests and camping and for me to play Thursday night.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1st

It's June 1st already. Somebody stole the gas can off the porch last night. Even in small towns now I guess, eh? I remember living in East Nashville and while fixing the gutter on the the back of the roof of my girlfriend's house, well, I took the old one off, and that was gone in the morning. Every thing that wasn't nailed down there was gone. So off to Wal-mart to buy a new gas-can (god bless the dude or lady who invented/designed the new gas can spouts, how I love spilling gas on my clothes and shoes every time I use it; if you can, don't use the spout and pour the gas into a funnel.)

Had a family gathering last night in Marcus, at Galen's house, Bill Packer's daughter, I plugged in my PA system and played guitar for an hour or two, got the looper looping, picked away for awhile.

 My step-father Jim shows off his deer shed necklace and walking stick.
Present step father Jim (R) and previous step-father Bill Packer (L), who just drove 3,000 miles to Massachusetts to see his kids.
 Martha and I.  Martha and my Mom have been best friends since college.
 Jason, my step-brother, is talking about something conceptual, not a fishing trip.
 Mom and Bill chat.

Yesterday while trying to thin out files on my external hard drive, I kept getting messages like "you don't have access to this", or "you can't do that", or "that hat doesn't match your shirt." So, I erased the whole lot of it. It made me think of stuff you find in that trunk that gets passed down from generation to generation with the photo album or two in it, the wedding dress, the pocket knife .. I decided I don't need 16,000 pictures I took over ten years, or every scrap of this or that I put into the machine. Just don't need it. So now it's gone. I mean there's still recent things I'm working on that are still there on the laptop, but, it was freeing to do that. Un-clutter it, there's enough to deal with on a daily basis.

 This is a sky view from the porch of the house where I'm staying in Colville, for my in town days, and some deer hanging out in the yard. Ed Miller just welcomed me back here when I got back from Texas, said, 'go ahead and move it if you like', thanks a lot, Ed.
This is Ed on the left, he doesn't get out of the house much because of health issues, but he came to my last gig at the brewery.

Friday, May 30, 2014

"Losin' Hand"

I spent most of the winter on Echo Hill Ranch in Medina Texas visiting with Kinky Friedman, Tony and Nancy Parker-Simons, and the many assorted creatures who live there, Sophie, Winston, the cats under the house, and Chum, too, for awhile, the hummingbirds of April, and a seemingly endless string of wild and woolly visitors that came and went.  I did a lot of writing. I moved around from building to building as company and weather dictated. I recorded this little video in the White Trailer as Spring got near. The song is called "Losin' Hand" and I wrote it down in the red dirt Palo Duro canyon South of Amarillo.

I didn't think I'd be going back there to Texas until the Fall, but in just a few weeks there are a string of house concerts that have sprung up and I'm looking forward to visiting and playing for my friends in Texas again. 

Really looking forward to performing at the Utopia Rescue Ranch on Saturday, June 21st, which is the Summer Solstice, longest day of the year (already?), starting at 6:30pm. Contact Cousin Nancy for tickets and details at cousinnancy@blogspot.com.

There are three deer sleeping in the side yard this morning under the apple tree and it's a windy sunny day in Colville Washington.

and so begins a new chapter

and so begins my adventure in blogging, thanks to the encouragement of Nancy Parker Simons, I was able to stick with the screen here long enough to get this stuff set up