Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Tree and Hearth

Merry Christmas to you all!!! No matter how I may try to ignore this season, I still love it in the end. Have a good one....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Dec 15 and Tuesday Dec 16

I woke up Monday in my own bed and a house full of nasty kerosene heater smell...it had burned dry and filled the house (and my bedroom) with that odor....yuck. It filled up my head and made me a little sick to my stomach....
The reason I had to be home this morning was to be here when they came to install my new satellite internet. (When I bought this house, I was told that I could get Verizon DSL....hint..ALWAYS check yourself!!!...not true...NO high speed internet at this place at ALL) Well, high speed internet is still something I am waiting on (they are due to try again the saturday after christmas). It can not be installed if you don't have electricity....
So, when the installer called and asked that, and told me he couldn't come, I decided the best thing for me to do would be to take off on the next part, and last part of my adventure....the MSG Neil shows. For these I am staying at Jilly's....so down to NJ I go....
The ride was an easy one. I stopped for breakfast and breaks and it still only took 2 1/2 hours. At around 10, I called Jill to let her know I was on my way. I figured that when I stayed there before, although she sleeps later than I, she was usually moving by then. There seemed to be something wrong with the phone because it went right to voice mail. I think I also left a message on the cell phone....but I didn't think much of it as I moved down the Turnpike....
Until I got to her house. It was quiet and dark at noon. I rang the bell. No answer. I called the house phone...didn't ring and went right to voice mail. Hmmmmm....as I stood there wondering what I should do, a very tired appearing Don opened the door...
So...as always the great host, I was assured that it was ok, and ushered into the house while he called up the stairs to Jill...who came down looking really tired too....I guess the night before was a long one for them!!! But...NEIL IS GOING TO PLAY IN JUST A FEW HOURS!!!!! ....didn't matter I had already seen him twice, I was more excited than ever because these were the last two shows of this tour (Neil often gives a little more in the last show) and I already KNEW how great these shows were.....
So they got ready for their day and we worried about time and when to go and such as that....
The preshow party was at Mustang Harry's at 6pm SHARP or they would not hold a table for the group. Of course, we wanted a meal, and reviewed our options...eat in NJ, eat in Manhattan, eat at Mustang Harry's. I think we decided to eat in the city, but when I was delivered to MH (I thought I was meeting someone there for a ticket, but she couldn't make it until the next day, come to find out) we just stayed and ate. When we got there in a small group, the hostess held us as she conferred with others and jilly just went upstairs and found RUSTIES!!!! Forgive me if I forget who all were there, but i KNOW that Karen S, Keith, Joe, Kathy B were all present, excited over a great Grizzly Circus Living Room Jam that Karen held the night before....(that I missed, as it turned out, for NO GOOD REASON, as I didn't get my satellite install ANYWAY!!!!!....but i did warm the house so maybe that helped my pipes not bust during the next freeze before the electric came back). The VD (Volume Drinkers) and Cristina and Julie and Bill A and HarryO and Trasher and others all came too....or were there already.....and we sat down and had a very tasty meal. I had a spicy fish dish which was good and hit the spot, as I admittedly had not been fueling my body very well on this trip (which I will pay for later....).
We collected ourselves and walked over to the venue....Madison Square Garden. There were some rusties just about on the fence and we gathered near them for the show. I tried sitting down as much as possible....standing from 7 or so until after 12 in the same place is trying....Everest and Wilco continue to present some great music in their sets...but of course, i am HERE to see Neil....and see him I do. There are a couple men who are very high on something right on the fence, allowing people to get on the fence in front of them. Ok, allowing women.....Cristina is one of the women they pull up to the fence....but she, wanting to share the wealth, turned to me early into neil's show and pulled me into the place. The men didn't know quite what to do and one started rubbing my back. I made it clear that free feels were not acceptable to me and I just stayed there for likely an hour before Cristina came back and wanted the spot...which i gave up with lots of thanks for allowing me to see neil RIGHT THERE.....
We went back to the bar thereafter for the inevitable rustie conversation about how great the show was...and it was. Neil sang things like 'New York City will never die' and just set the crowd on fire....
My hosts, knowing how much I need coffee, set the pot for me and we all went to sleep at some point Monday night....I was down for the count almost as soon as I came into the house!!! LOL

Tuesday was a SLOWWWWW day. I took Pouchie for a walk...the cutest little dog I have ever known, besides Tim and Dees dachshunds....We again wondered about when to go and get there and where to eat....mostly because Jill doesn't have a ticket. She spent much of the morning on the computer and phone trying to buy a GA and unload other tickets that she didn't mean to buy.....we had a meal along the way to the city this time....again, a great meal, but I think I had a little too much carbs....

At the bar this time, it was Harry and a smaller group of rusties, just sitting at the bar. I joined them while Jill tried to find a ticket. I was trying to hook up with Monica, but forgot to check my phone and she must have had a nerve wracking half hour trying to discern who in the crowd I may have been!!! Jill ended up walking blocks away in the falling snow to get to a place to buy a ticket, but she WAS successful....

New York City in the falling snow at Christmas time is a beautiful thing. A few of us hung outside Mustang Harry's and watched it fall....it was so peaceful....

Tickets in hand (and sold...), we walk to the venue for Neil's last show this tour. The fourth for me in five days (and for others too.....this run was a well attended rustie group activity....lol), and STILL i didn't get enough. Never enough Neil.

When we came in to the floor, we find Karen and KathyB RIGHT ON THE FENCE with BillA and Laura and others.....and they are NOT sharing. I had to get sick to get on the fence!!! LOL....no, i would have rather actually HEARD and SEEN neil to bothering my friends......

Jill and i positioned ourselves right behind them (so we had 'second row' and conciously 'expanded' to hold room for us and our friends....harry, thrasher, etc...and jill got rid of a guy who actually commented that since we had been up to the fence up until then, we should let THEM in for the neil part.....WHAT THE!!!!!! Do they really think that we stood there all those hours for Everest and Wilco????!!!!

Ah, well....I was excited, so I didn't sit as much between sets as I did the first two nights....and it was hot....and i wasn't sleeping or eating like i should have been.....and somewhere around Cortez i started to get a hot flash--which led to overwhelming dizziness and nausea. At some point KathyB noticed me and I admitted to being really dizzy and she pushed me up to the fence....but it didn't work and next thing i know i am looking into harrys face as he is trying to get me off the floor....shit. They stood me up and kept telling me to stand or they would take me away (ha ha hee hee ho ho, the the funny farm.......). Anyway, the rest of the show was a wash for a me.....the music was so loud it somehow melded with all the dizziness and hotsweats and kept me on this wave that i couldn't make stop.....but it did. Neil did stop. And left. And i missed it....

Oh well....
At Mustang Harry's we had a couple good laughs and i had a coke to get some sugar....and that was a good thing. I think between it all...including that high carb meal and no intake after.....produced the fall out....LOL

I drove back to Jills house in the rain....and ran a red light in manhattan. The officer wasn't too kind but he wasn't going to stand in the rain to write me the ticket, so he let me go (whew!!!!) and we got home and again, i hit the couch hard and didn't get up until......

Wednesday Dec 17, Thursday Dec 18

I woke up on Jilly's couch to the sound and smell of coffee made....she had set it to go off and left me travel cups so I could get on the road! I collected my things, spruced up a bit, left a "Hippies for Obama" button on the coffee table and took off down the street, my head still ringing from the massive sound of Neil's guitar....

I ALWAYS have trouble finding the entrance to the Garden State Parkway from Jillys, but this time, I had no problem. I was home in a couple hours. I knew I was probably not going to be very happy when I got out of my car and heard generators running all over the neighborhood.....and yep, I was right. I walked into my house, still feeling SO COLD. I unpacked the car and stood in my living room, wondering how I should proceed to get ready for my speaking engagement at the health department on addiction meds when I suddenly noticed all the noises....groaning, kick starting, humming....My house was waking up!!!! I turned on a light...it flickered but YES, it worked!!!!

So I unpacked and went to my speaking engagement (which went well) and stopped at Pebbles and spent too much money (isn't any money spent this year too much??) buying some clothes....

Back to work on Thursday was difficult. I had been living very unstructured for almost a full week...the only thing I HAD to do was show up at a concert every night...not very hard for this rocker....but the staff had everything organized for me and i was virtually caught up by noon.

I still wasn't in the best mood for the Christmas Party. I don't know why it seems so hard for me to believe that people give a shit, but i was in full 'nobody gives a shit' mode, ready for tears. Seems to me that party always does that to me...until people start to be kind and i see that i am full of shit.....

This year, the same person did it for me as last year...Jen, one of the nurses. She made sure I got the ornament I wanted and just looked after me, I guess. Gosh, that sounds so weird.....but really, it is the little things that count....really. The point is, I went home feeling like the people i work with care. That is good....

Friday, Dec 19 and Saturday, Dec 20

So I avoided much of the harassment of not having power in my house...I didn't live here during the outage and I skated on not having any real damage to my house....

By Friday, I was feeling ok, starting to feel rested, although I had a couple bouts of dizziness that led me to remind the staff at work not to have them take me to the ER unless 'I am not breathing'.

And it was snowing all day. Heavy, icy snow. The ride home was miserable. I pulled on my road, just a few feet from home. Coming towards me was a plow, but it looked like he was having some trouble coming down the hill. I pulled off to the side of the road and stopped so that he could pass....but he started to slide. I put my head into the passenger side and waited while the plow scraped the entire side of my car...

It is really scary to see a big plow coming at you out of control....and my poor car!!! it is not drivable. The state police officer stated that his judgment was 'no fault' and overall I agree....and said that the car had to removed from the road and could NOT be taken anywhere except the tow drivers place of business. The insurance company is telling me I have to pay for the 'second tow' to the facility that will repair the car...hmmmmmm.....got to talk to them today...

So, now, I am grounded. Shaken up. A very good friend who knew about the accident did stop by (in that snow!!!!) to give me some much needed and much appreciated support....but i was so tired and out of it....wow. And i wasn't even hurt!!!

The next day was full of phone calls to try and straighten out the tow thing, try to find a good place for the car, etc....and then I was done. No food in the house, I never did get shopping after I threw away all the spoiled stuff in the freezer...I am really not sure what I did, but time passed....and sometime around early afternoon MaryAnne called me from the supermarket...wondering could she pick something up for me....LOL.

I told her of my accident and she very kindly bought food for my house and for the evening Christmas Party at Todd and Michelles...

She also picked me up and brought me to the party....which ended up being her, paul, michelle, todd, me and mike later....so we ate really good chili, had some drinks and talked and laughed and then settled down for our yearly Christmas Carol sing....

I have been doing this at this party for maybe five years. When I started, it was really scary and i worked on those songs for a month before. Now, I don't practice the songs so much and to me, of course, it sounds like it....my friends think it is them, although I point out to them, we sound best on the songs that I have practiced!!!...and in the end, who really cares??? Are they having fun? Yeah? Then we sound GREAT....cause fun is what it is all about....and we did have fun. Lots of laughs and singing out and talking....good times with good people...music just enhances it...

I had told them when I started playing that I wrote a song and I was really scared of playing it, but I really WANT to, and they were to 'remind me'...and they did. Eventually, I sang the song that you will find if you follow the link to esnips to the right of this page, top of the bar, labelled 'Happy Holidays'. I hope you enjoy the song...and have a great holiday yourself.


so i have been off on many adventures recently. I really did mean to post from the road, but that didn't happen....and now I have a week to write about and there were so very many things to say about each day.....so this is what I am going to try to do.....start with the last days first and work my way back....so if you read this everyday, you will be backwards...but if you read the group when i am done, it will all be in order...hope you enjoy reading about my adventures....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Muse

"The less you know what you're doing, the easier it is to go to new places. You just have to surrender. It's the muse. That's the whole art of playing. It has nothing to do with notes." Neil Young, 2003

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am going to be on the road and wanna know if i can post to my blog from my email.....


When the music calls, i'll be there....Scattered, NY

"It's like a warning to me. Stay still, Shakey, and you'll
turn to rust and dust. So I keep on moving..." 1988

Grizzly Circus in Hudson!

Click on the title. Keith and Joe are taping in my home town...Hudson!!! The studio was pretty unknown when they arrived, but hit the paper in a large article just Sunday...The inside of the church is beautiful with solid wood everywhere. And the SOUND in the main room is just amazing and i am not talking about MUSIC, i didn't hear any...but the sound of my VOICE was clear and amplified...an amazing place. Glad to see Keith and Joe a couple of times.....now i am off to follow neil around the northeast usa in an ice and snow storm...figure, huh????

Anyway, visit Grizzly Circus' blog....see pictures of my hometown!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Barack Obama & Wilco at Farm Aid 2005

This is President Elect Obama in 2005 at Farm Aide, introducing Wilco. At the time, I had no idea who he was, but I asked around and the crowd there loved him...he certainly drew my attention....

Later, he told a news reporter that he had requested Southern Man from Neil and sat in a trailer while Neil practiced the song. Obama commented that it was the most fun he had had as a public servant so far....Obama is cool!!!

!!!!! MY BAD!!!!!
Correction on 11/14/08
I have been told that Obama may NOT have requested Southern Man, as I stated above and read on the internet (I am looking for an answer.....), and here is a newspaper story regarding Obama and Neil----

From USA Today, May 5th 2006:

Sen. Obama gets Neil Young's endorsement

OMAHA (AP) — Rocker Neil Young may want Sen. Barack Obama to run for
president, but the freshman Democratic senator from Illinois isn't having any
of it — at least not yet.

In his latest album, Living With War, Young mentions Obama in the song
Lookin' for a Leader. In it, Young sings of the nation's need for a new leader,
singing, "Yeah maybe it's Obama, but he thinks that he's too young."

The 44-year-old Obama said at a news conference before a fundraiser
Saturday that he had read the lyrics. But despite being name-checked by a
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Obama said he has no intention of running for
president in two years.

That doesn't mean Obama is dissing Young completely: "I'm a big Neil Young
fan," Obama said.

He and Young met in Chicago at last year's Farm Aid concert. Obama said he
sat in a trailer while Young rehearsed the song Southern Man.

"The acoustics in a trailer are terrific. It was unbelievable. ... It was one of the
best times that we've had since I was a senator," Obama said.

For his part, Young doesn't pin all his hopes on the Illinois senator. In the
same song, Young says the needed leader may also be a woman, possibly a
reference to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.>>

Monday, November 10, 2008

My blogging status.....

Not good....I have been neglectful still.

So I decided to list various times this summer I got to play with and for other people. I hope to come back to this list and write more....

In June, I was invited to play the Weekend at David's birthday party. I think I wrote about that....Then in July I went to Bugs' house to rehearse for ARF, played the folk jam in spencertown and had a GREAT weekend learning that I CAN create music at Willie Mae Rock Camp....I know I wrote about that. The last weekend of the month I went to Nan's for an ARF rehearsal and spent a lot of time playing with Nan and Robin...that was fun, sitting on Nan's porch, playing guitar with two women!!

August brought me ARF and the Ohio Rust Fest. I wrote about both and feel very fortunate to have those experiences....

In September I brought my guitar to my nephew's birthday party. That was cool because I was asked to play by attendees and encouraged to continue to play!!! I think I was a little distracting to the band in the house, as the night was a fine one and most folks would rather be outside than in the basement, even if there were a really fine band down there playing.....

In September I also had one of my favorites ...I provided the music (which included making sure others came up to the mic and played/sang!!) for Kathy B's pre-Farm Aid party. It was SO MUCH FUN to play music for those very appreciative rusties and family and friends of Kathy. I think it is right at the top of the most fun I have had playing....

Then I had rehearsal for OPL with Nan.

I didn't play with or for others again except for OPL/IRF/endless firecircle jams....i WILL write about that. I don't think I have fully recovered.

And then last week I played at David's house with him and Shaun and this past week I played Robin.

I am not SURE but I think that does it for my musical exploits.

Now, back to trying to sell some guitars (anyone interested in a ventura??) LOL....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Too Weak to Work--I Believe in You

Here is Too Weak to Work....Behind me is Keith Hamon on steel, Bill Shaw on bass, Paul Dionne on drums, Trish vocals, Nan Philpot on guitar. What stands out for me is Keith's steel and Trish....she came in to help out on vocals with very little time to prepare...thanks Trish!!! And thanks to everyone in the band....good job guys!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Union Man 2008 OPL-Grizzly Circus

Wow....this was so much fun! Keith and Joe....Grizzly Circus....had us ROCKIN'!!

Click on the Title to go to their youtube page....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


That was me
I was lacking in time to post to my blog for the whole two months....and what a two months it was....maybe when i am bored out of my mind, i will write about those two months.
Part of what I am doing is writing songs
I am taking a class with David Hodge and it is really really cool...I like to write, I like the process and then I like how the song seems to shape itself. Of course, as a Neil Young fan, I am petrified of repeating myself....so i need to keep doing other kinds of sounds...but after I expore this one for a while....kind of a folk rock country punk, perhaps....funny, I would tell you I like rock and folk music, and don't really care for punk or country....LOL

Neil Young Day In The Life Bridge School 2008

I was there. In the 8th row. Sunday, Bridge School Benefit. My 55th Neil Young show.

He was in a really good mood, as he often is on Sunday....

My favorite part of this was when he opens his arms to the audience singing the "oh--oh"s....as if he knows that he is just a small part of some greater force...watch for it...

The thing i like best about the BSB is the love of the music that is just so evident in every performance....Neil and Pegi create a great creative space during this show...

Enjoy this little bit of BSB.....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Dance

One of the things that I have always noticed about Neil Young is his movement. When Neil plays guitar, he plays always with his whole body. If he is seated, he looks like he is going to leave the chair any second....both legs are moving constantly, he's shifting back and forth in the chair, arms moving, head bobbing....When he plays electric, he jumps and runs and bends and strangles the guitar....I had always assumed that the constant movement was because he is actually hyperactive and 'can't sit still'.....and I understand that!!!!

A number of years ago, I came across an interview, where Neil talks about letting your whole body feel the music as a listener. He spoke of knowing the music in your body, letting it move you, giving into the power of the music. So, I started to pay attention to that when I listened, especially at shows, and noticed how very much more enjoyment I have when I take Neil's advice and listen with my body as well as my mind....

I have talked here a bit about my struggle to make the music real during performance. Seems that no matter where I put my mind when I am on stage, or how good the technical aspect of playing is, I KNOW that I 'can do better than' what I just did.....it almost always seems like there is something missing....a piece of soul or heart....

I don't have that problem at home. I can get deep into the music and it is soooo satisfying inside to strap on my guitar and walk around the house and sing and move....When I move my body and dance with the guitar, my hands find new ways of hitting the strings, more interesting ways to tell the story of the song. The guitar music becomes not a background for the story, but the vehicle where the emotion lives and breathes.

That is where the magic is....and I can reach it with my body, in movement, in moving with the pulse of the song.

I keep a copy of Zen Guitar out most of the time. In it, Philip Toshio Sudo reminds us that 'you cannot feel rhythm with your mind; you must feel it in your body' and goes on to say that there is rhythm in everything and we must learn to feel it with our bodies and put it in our music. A bit later he states, 'More than knowing and playing the correct notes, the sound must have a feel -- a human pulse that resonates to all within earshot'.

Shortly after rereading that in Zen Guitar, I picked up a copy of William Westney's "The Perfect Wrong Note", and he immediately starts his book with observations on how very young toddlers respond to music....by dancing with their entire bodies. Seems this idea of knowing the music with your whole body is not just a Rock'n'Roll idea....

So, I have been paying attention to this idea while practicing. I like to play standing up, even during practice. First of all, I realized quite a while ago that the fretboard is in a different enough position standing from sitting to make a difference in number of mistakes.....so if I am going to play for others standing, I had best practice that way. When my back started to hurt and I found that standing with a guitar strapped on helps, that cinched it....I stand to play!

So you will find me with my guitar on, walking and dancing my house, playing my heart out. When I really let it go and dance and move and sing and play, I can feel the energy and expression surrounding me and coming from me and into me. There is a connection I can perceive to some larger energy, as if I am tapping into a source. Then there is magic.

Can I connect with that on stage? It feels soooo personal, I feel very open and vulnerable when that happens. My first response to vulnerable is shut down.

And it LOOKS funny to dance with a guitar. Doesn't one have to be a Neil Young to get away with that? And, I am often reminded to STAY ON THE MIC....bouncing around doesn't go much with keeping that exact distance from the mic....

So, the other day, I had the opportunity to play for my friends. I invited folks to my house for a cookout and campfire, and the time came when it seemed to me that people would appreciate some sing along....I just had some problems figuring what songs this group would know that I know!!! So, several times, the song turned solo, as my helpers didn't know the words. It was a warm night, bright fire, good friends, the beer was flowing and so was the laughter.....and I closed my eyes and started my dance....when i looked up at my tiny audience, they were with me and that didn't scare me as it sometimes does. I felt connected with the music in a way that didn't get shaken by people talking over me or even being commented on "you need to lose the motion". I felt satisfied about the music, about my connection, about my ability to tell the story with my voice, guitar and heart....

That connection to the music, and sharing it with others (someone once told me, if you have a gift like playing guitar, and you don't share it out, you are being very selfish) feeds my mind, body and soul....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Open Mike

Click on the title of this post to take you to my friend Karen's blog....she wrote about me at open mike!!! (and i like that my joy in playing is so evident.....)

Friday, August 15, 2008


This is what I see every night on my walks.....click the title to go to my Picasa page for more....I live in such a beautiful place

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Click on the TITLE to see more pictures of the ARF 08!!....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gig at 20Main

Thursday night i get a call from the hospital....shoot, i forgot to go to a dinner set up for me by one of the reps....i feel real bad, so i quickly get ready and go to meet them....and drink fine wine and eat good food and have good conversation....some of it even about Neil!

It was a great way to start my weekend...and i got some good advice...(just go for it!!!). I was talking (as always) about my stage fright, and how this time out, i was going to be on stage in a small bar with a bunch of other folks i haven't played with before, with no practice.

But i have already messed up on that stage before...last year i did a solo set that was perfectly dreadful, on the spot, messy, drunk. (note...drinking and performing do not go together very well unless you are eddie vedder)

I spent a lot of time practicing and wondering how to 'fit in' to the band...how to make what i was practicing flow with what others would do, without practicing WITH them....i hadn't wondered too much until that rehearsal in ithica, figuring that if i could play it with neil, we would do fine....but that didn't happen. Everyone's interpretation of songs is very different from everyone elses....there is never just one way....and sometimes, the 'ways' are very divergent....

And, when your skill level is low, it is harder to flow....much easier to just follow a set idea....

So, it was with these thoughts that i prepared for the journey on friday.....i stayed relaxed, knowing that anxiety is my enemy when it comes to 'flow'.......took my time loading (though i DID hurt my neck....), drove without pressure, and arrived at about the same time as hgs and carol....but there was no one else!!!!--including our hosts, dave and jean!!!

After a while, we thought that perhaps we had all gotten the date wrong, as no one showed for a few hours, but then they started to trickle in........bob, nan, paul, meleya, bugs, eileen and family, mark and of course, dave and jean.....We hugged and laughed and got reaquainted with each other.....and more people came until we were all accounted for!

I remember having a conversation with wendy about being nervous before performing and how it gets in my way. I remember being concerned with time and whether we would be late setting up and waiting for people to arrive so that we could head to the venue......when those people did come and i confirmed plans with bugs, i took off....and had much of my car (i had the PA) unpacked by time bugs came with the rest of the gear....and we had most of THAT hooked up by time the rest of players came....we started 1/2 hour after we should have, but i think i was the only one who noticed!!!!!

still, overall, i was calm....concerned, but that terrible fear about performing was overshadowed by getting physically ready for the gig....and that worked for me!!! Distraction and scatter-ability is my friend!!!!

We opened with Rockin in the Free World, a good choice...easy to play, everyone knows it and it is quick....tom sang it and did a good job at it! Scattered was next, with mark playing the riff and bugs singing. I sang Big Time, but i do not remember it at all (so much for not being nervous!!) and The Losing End....i felt pretty good about doing the solo at the end when bugs threw it to me, but the vocals could have been better.

They were apparently better, though, than the harmony i tried on Over and Over, which nan sang next.....i tried the riff on that and got the right notes in the right place only sometimes......

Now, i want to say that i spent quite a bit of time watching people watch us (a strange situation when you think of it....). When i do open mic, i am up and down before i even start to settle in....but when i did a whole evening, i settled in after the first few songs, and stopped thinking so much about PERFORMING and started to think more about the MUSIC and getting it out there.....touching people with it....connecting to it like i do when i am playing just for the pleasure of making the music.

People sang along with us, they watched us, they moved with us, they smiled and nodded when you caught their eye or looked away or just stared as if they didn't think it was you they were looking at. It LOOKED like they were having a good time.....

I started to relax and just have a good time....'settle in' is exactly how it felt

Now, i have some friends, and some patients, and some kids of friends who have cocaine problems, and i have recently been involved in bad situations which i brought into my mind when singing Cocaine Eyes. It felt cathartic to do that song, in that place, with all those faces in my mind and all those faces listening and looking......all those people i love. I am glad i had the opportunity to do that....i think it is one of my all-time favorite moments on a stage....

Nan did Love to Burn and mark did Come on Baby, Let's Go Downtown.....and we took a break!!!

So far, the gig was going well, the audience having a good time, the musicians having a good time....and now we had friends of our hosts who got up and played.....doing a wonderful job, i might add!!! Eileen and jean sang Wrecking Ball and Too Far Gone and that was GREAT! (next year, you guys need to do more than two songs!)

The rest of the evening is a blur (could have been that good dark beer they were feeding me), but the set list is below.....we then broke down and went back to camp and had a nice time socializing around the camp fire....which, i agree with someone who said, is the best time of day at Cripple Creek!!!!!

Remainder of set list:

I’ve been waiting for you (nan)

No Hidden Path (bugs)

Rapid Transit (bugs....this was GREAT!!)

Truth Be Known (mark)

Barstool blues (me)

Hurricane (tom)

Down by the River (tom)

Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze (bugs)

Going Home (me)

Dirty Old Man (tom)

Cowgirl in the Sand(tom)

Spirit Road (me)
Throw your hatred down (mark)

Are you Passionate (me)

Fucking up (??forget??)

Tonight’s the Night (tom)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chaos is Good

Neil Says So.....he says his creativity comes from that place in him....read more by clicking on the title....great pics there too....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Willie Mae Women's Rock Camp Experience!

I am back!! And I am tired, very very tired.....and it feels very very good.....

I hope my friend and partner in crime (her words, actually.... and her words play a big part of this story, and well as her banging!!) finds a moment to settle back in her very busy life and reflect on the past weekend....it all happened so quickly and my head is still spinning...

The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls was founded in Portland Oregon to be a summer camp for young girls to learn about making rock music in a supportive, female environment. Now, you may wonder why that is important.....but it is.

I guess that women wanted the experience too, so they started the weekend camp, twice a summer, for women over 19....it is a very intense three days, and a certain portion of the tuition is a fund raiser for the girls camp....and the Showcase at the end is also a fund raiser....

So, all last week, work was very difficult and stressful and way too plentiful!!! I finished, very tired and somewhat late, on Thursday evening....and decided NOT to meet Karen at her daughters' (yeah, both of them!!!!....may be she will post a bit of that to her blog???....see my blog list...) play, The Music Man. I was just sooooo tired.....

So, i drove to Hudson and went for a walk on Warren Street (a neat place!) and got some ice cream and moseyed down to Karen's house.....getting there about 10pm....greeting her dog (who i swear remembers me!!!), playing some guitar, thinking about the next day.....finally going inside and (i believe) falling asleep until the dog noses me and wakes me and karen and girls are home!!!!

So starts my Week End!!!!!


So there i was. At karen's home, looking forward to going to Rock Camp, and not really having the slightest idea what that might mean....i was so nervous i couldn't sleep very well (see post below!). When i went downstairs, karen was getting ready to leave her house, and in general, rushing around her kitchen while i wondered what i could do to help without getting in her way (i suspect that most women, when in hyperdrive, prefer that you don't interrupt them or slow them down til it is DONE and i wanted to respect that!) Well, i don't think i did very much, if anything, and we hit the road...stopping for coffee....(if you have traveled with me, you know how important a point that is in my life....lol)

When we get to Brooklyn, we of course, have no trouble finding Flatbush Ave, but the camp was at a certain address on Flatbush Ave Ext that didn't seem to exist.....i don't know how many times we crossed the Manhattan Bridge before we just decided to park and walk to FIND the place.....which was in a building that did not have the name of the place listed in the directions, instead being a high school.....and didn't have a building number in sight....well, we finally figured it out.....lol

We had to show ID and met some nice workmen who spoke no English including, NO....lol.....(get your minds out of the gutter, they really were NICE .........and they really didn't understand NO!!!)

We entered, way late, into a wholly different world, which we would gladly come back to for the next three days.....a group of women from all walks of life (teachers and nurses and healers and homemakers and students and administrators and......married and divorced and single and gay and bi and young and older and middle aged and.....), who were here for one reason this weekend.....to learn or improve some musical skill....AND it was ok to have never touched the instrument you were going to PERFORM with on Sunday night....

yeah, perform-
in two days-
at the Knitting Factory-
in TWO days-

....with an instrument you may never have touched until that Friday.....

They assured us that it would all be ok and we would put on a MORE than adequate performance. I am sure that I am not the only person who had been onstage in the past that thought , 'ah, yeah, sure.....this is gonna be interesting'....

So, we played some of those get -to -know -you type touchy -feely kind of new -agey get -in -sync games, and then had to quickly go around and meet some folks until you could get some names of some people (we are talking maybe two or three questions each person) that you would like to 1) Write a song with 2) Practice intensely with 3) Get on a Fucking Stage with......

Karen and I agreed, put each other on our lists....lol....and we went in search of some compatible folks....with no time to compare lists we handed them in and went off to instrument instruction.

Karen went for drums so you will have to ask her about that....and i went off to vocal class. First, we had to introduce ourselves and i was second. I basically commented about a recent experience i had with listening to a tape i had made...how very different i sounded in my head from what you all heard outside of my head....and how terrible it was, and how i wanted to fix it....

They weren't impressed to say the least (two teachers.....Beth and Evelyn) and i was basically told that no one likes how they sound on tape and reminded that i need to sing for myself instead of worrying about what others thought....kind of a real hard thing to do, don't you think???..but i have been told that before.....

Well, first thing they did was teach us a song and we started singing together....as they called out our names, we were to sing the thing solo. Of course, I had forgotten during my intro to say that i don't remember words so well, and i was chosen long before i got the words learned and straight....lol.....so i made up some.....shortly after that we had to sing a verse or so of a song we think we do well, so i picked angel from montgomery......

unfortunately, i am really dependent on my guitar.....and didn't know what to do with myself without it and really sucked

oh, sorry....i ROCKED!!!

at rock camp you weren't allowed to suck, YOU ROCK got shouted at you all the time PARTICULARLY when you sucked and knew it....for me, it started to be an insult, i didn't know if people were trying to cheer me up for a shitty performance or really liked it.....lol!!!!

well, even if i rocked, evelyn got up right to me and said, you weren't in that at all, i don't believe you......and i hesitated and admitted, no i wasn't, i wasn't ready to open up, i was too nervous....and at that moment, i was too flustered to absorb what she said after that, but it had to do with finding your own real voice and singing for yourself.......

i got to tell you guys, what really flustered me was that she saw that so clearly, because although i knew i sucked, *I* had no idea that i wasn't present in the music until she said so....


first lesson, something that a lot of my mentors have said to me, particularly about performing....be present, be real, take what you have in the moment and offer it out there...yeah, i remember just now, evelyn said to me that music is a gift that i can give out but i can't control how another person takes it, all i can do it put it out there and make it be real....

well, my moment was over and i listened in amazement at all my peers singing their songs....and every single woman had an amazing voice and some had experience and took lessons and all kinds of things......there was only one other person who hadn't had some training besides a workshop or two and she was a drummer who was actually just sitting in to our class.....

hmmmmm......i know i shouldn't compare myself to others, either, but it sure was hard, sitting there with those women with angels' voices while i quaver and go off key....lol.....

(Hey, look at my hero.....!)

After lunch we got our band assignments.....Karen on drums, me on vocals, Aurora on bass, Harriet on guitar

You all know how i feel about my singing, and karen, aurora and harriet have never played their instruments.

at all-
as in, never.....

so we get some instruments and plug in and set up the mic and talk a bit about what we know and where we are from and stuff like that....and Aurora starts a bass line....if she ever comes here, i hope she will comment on where it came from, because i never asked while we were there.

(also, if any of my band mates remember differently from me, please pipe in!!!! it is not like i am known for my wonderful memory...but this is how it plays out to my recollection!!!)

Anyway, we are trying to chat over this, but Aurora keeps it going. She likes it, and you know, it did sound good.....had a good groove, and she was movin' to it.......so i picked up a tele sitting there and said, here are the chords that go to that bass line and started to play it, stopping to show Harriet how to make the shapes on the fretboard, and some where in all that karen found a beat on the drums that set the pace and laid down the groove.....and we played that for a while, over and over......and then i started to sing a tune, just la la la so that we could get some ideas on how a melody could go, and it wasn't too long before i found some lines that sounded good and my partners looked happy with.....

I left for some reason and came back and they had words written on the blackboard that with only a little tweaking, fit the melody i had been singing.....when we left that day, we had a riff, a chorus, and a cool chord progression with promises all around that we would work on some stuff this evening....

Well, karen and i went shopping and we ate at a really fine restaurant and while she did her at home stuff, i played some neil young on guitar and then she came outside with me to work...it must have been late already...... i played her what we had already written and then worked out some more chord progressions while she wrote lyrics and picked up the guitar and sang them for me to the chords i had worked out.....but it wasn't long before i HAD to go to sleep....it was after 1pm AGAIN!!!!


I was still dosing when karen opened my bedroom door and told me it was a quarter to nine....i JUMPED out of bed, showered and came down to tim, karen's husband, making me breakfast and lunch and coffee.....(ah.....lol!....I had broken their coffee pot at some point in the past.....) and we quickly got out on the road...only to cross the Manhattan Bridge AGAIN at least twice before settingly down in a lot.....

luckily we late and missed some of the warmup get to know you type stuff.....but we were there for vocal lesson!!! i didn't sing, but some did and we spent the bulk of the time working on a few peoples songs before going off to band practice.......we worked out our song and started practicing in ernest.....working on dynamics and chord changes and builds and ebbs ....and teachers and roadies and techs came in and out and made comments (i didn't know at that time what 'YOU ROCK' meant....lol) that all sounded really positive....and i was absolutely amazed at how easily that song came.....how easy it was for me to sing and get into, how easy to write it (ok karen did the writing and i can't say if that was hard.....) but the music was easy, it just wrote itself, we found it in the chord progression....at one point, a teacher came in and corrected us for some things and we all kind of felt it...our confidence leave, taking that joy with it.....until Harriet, bless her, brought it up and in the end, we just said....just LISTEN to it first....and they did, and they were pretty pleased....i noticed the roadies who came into our rooms kind of grooving to us and singing the chorus right along with me, and i thought....i am not the only one who find this song kind of catchy.....

we did other things at rock camp too, like learn to silk screen tee shirts (designed our own logo!!!) and talk about being a women in the usa and how to write songs and stuff like that.....but the main thing, for me, was writing that song, creating that sound with those three other people, none of whom had played their instruments before that day......Aurora, who never made another bass lesson after the first one when she choose the pink heart bass and claimed it as her own......Harriet, who sat and worked on that guitar riff she had until it was integral to the song.....and Karen, who played those drums like she was on a mission from god!!!!....(ok, ok,, ok, rusties know who KAREN says that about...lol.....but she really amazed me with what she did in just a very short time on drums).....the drums really carry this song....

that night, karen took me to another fine dining experience in greenwich village....thank you once again!!!...then home and not too long at all before BED!!!!


ok, i admit it
i was nervous
and i took it out on others

they may not have even noticed, or maybe they did, but i was upset that people weren't as prepared as i had hoped they would have been a couple hours before a show.....in the final rehearsals we sucked.... we really did...... but we had sounded better the day before, so i think that we had it....worried though about if we could pull it off that night

remember, this woman right here (ME!) couldn't remember Needle and the Damage Done, a song she has played for many years, because she had stage fright so bad.....so i was frightened i would do something really assholey like...forget the words.....prompting a lesson from me to my bandmates on what to do if somebody forgets something or messes up in some big way (to be translated 'how to cover my fuck ups'...lol)

at vocal lesson, it seemed that my song and vocal performance went over well.....i like the feel of the song, although i don't think i would ever be that sort of woman!!!! The song (i just realized i didn't tell you!!!) was named 'Sugar Daddy' and meant just what you think.....after all, i growl out 'PLANT ME A MONEY TREE!!!' repeatedly throughout the song......and we, naming ourselves after the pink heart bass, were called 'Candy Hearts' (i even played karen's pink strat in the show!!!!)

We get to the club (of course, circling around until we honed in on the place.......) and it is pretty cool, down a flight, there is a bar and a stage and a sound board.....and we are going to play in just a short time with a bunch of folks who also don't know anything about their instruments...but they do.....lol!!! they are going to perform!!!!

And perform we did.....to houseful of folks cheering each band onto and off of the stage....it was so cool.....WE REALLY DID ROCK!!!!!.....Eleven bands of women who creatively took the task at hand and did their best....it was SO COOL!!!! i hope to have some audio (if not video) at some point to show you!!!

For all my fear, we got up there and we rocked the house.....Karen keeping the beat so well on those drums, Aurora with her pink bass, rocking out, Harriet playing that cool guitar line she had worked out, me trying to be the rock singer.....but i think it worked. I think we did it.

This was such a great experience! It helped bring up my confidence, i am inspired to keep writing and working and playing and looking for opportunities to put it out there....

Thanks to karen for being such a good friend, support, and drummer (karen, you are a DRUMMER!). Thanks to Aurora for her coolness and for making sure those shirts got made!!! Thanks to Harriet for her steadiness and care and honesty and courage....Thanks AGAIN to karen for putting me up (and putting up with me) for three full days....

This was the first camp of this year....if you have ANY interest at all in creating music and wonder what it would be like to be onstage and rocking out to a houseful of cheering fans, the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Ladies (the 'ladies' was chosen with the sarcasm it implies, btw) is the place to get the experience in a safe, supportive environment. Not everyones experience was as wonderful as mine, and some women were very frustrated and challenged.....but overall, your chances of a great time are pretty darn good....and all at a really good price for this sort of thing.....and they will help you find cheap (or free) accomodations....there are openings at camp in august....i fully intend on doing this again.....great time!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I know this is long, but read it if you can...there are some really cool things in here, i think.....

This is Neil Young, talking about the things he has learned in life....

A best moment in music? Sometimes when I'm playing my guitar, I get to a point where it gets very cold and icy inside me. It's very refreshing. Every breath is like you're at the North Pole. Your head starts to freeze. Your inhalations are big -- more air than you ever thought there is starts pouring in. There's something magical about it. Sometimes when it happens, you wonder if you're gonna be okay. Can you handle it?

Yes, there was something good that came out of having polio as a kid. Walking.

The sound of a harmonica hits you directly. There's no language barrier.

The wisest person I ever met had to be my companion in the hospital a few months ago. I was recovering from complications after an operation to remove an aneurism in my brain. She was about eighty-five years old and maybe five feet tall. An old black lady from South Carolina. This young nurse wasn't really in touch with what she was doing, and the old lady would tell her how to do what she needed to do without telling her. She never talked down to her, just gave examples. I felt that this old woman must be deeply religious, but there was nothing forceful about her. I woke up one morning at a quarter to six and looked out the window. Fog was on the bridge outside the room, and I said, "Well, that's just beautiful." And she said: "Yes, it is." She turned toward me with this eighty-five-year-old face that didn't have a line on it, no strain, nothing, and she said: "So the master's not taking you. It's not your turn."

Courage is a mindless thing. People say, "Wow! How could you do that?" And you say, "How could I not do that?"

It's like having two eyes. You either look through one eye or you look through the other. Or you look through both of them. Sex is sex. Love is love. Love and sex is clear vision.

There's something peaceful about boxing. If you beat the hell out of a bag or go against a competitor, you and your reflexes will be so at one that you won't have time to think about anything else. You have to be totally yourself to box.

When I was six, I really didn't know what God was. But I did know about Sunday school. I was reading a lot about God, but I was bored. I couldn't wait to get out of Sunday school. God was secondary to the whole thing. But as time went by, I got more and more angry, to the point where I didn't like religion. Hate is a strong word. But I just kept getting angrier and angrier...until finally I wasn't angry anymore. I was just peaceful, because I thought: This is not fruitful for me. I rejected the whole thing and found peace in paganism. Jesus didn't go to church. I went way back before Jesus. Back to the forest, to the wheat fields, to the river, to the ocean. I go where the wind is. That's my church.

Epilepsy taught me that we're not in control of ourselves.

Most people think it's the other way around: that time is going faster and we're doing less. But really time seems to be going faster because we're cramming so much into it.

Our education system basically strives for normal -- which is too bad. Sometimes the exceptional is classified as abnormal and pushed aside.

One thing that has come out of having children with cerebral palsy is strength. At first it made me very angry. I was almost looking for a fight. I was always looking for someone to criticize my son in my presence. I would envision different scenarios in which I would become violent reacting to people's reactions to my children -- especially to my severely handicapped child. Eventually, he taught me that was not necessary. Just by being himself. By being a gift to us. He showed us how to have faith and belief and inner strength and to never give up. I look around and see people hurting themselves for no reason. Drinking too much. Taking drugs. Beating themselves up in some psychological way. That really bothers me, knowing that these people got everything they needed to succeed. All they have to do is believe in themselves and in the gifts they're wasting. And yet there are all these other people on the planet who have none of the gifts that are apparent. The gifts are all locked up inside, yet their spirits are so strong that they just keep on going. And I think: This person who has this spirit, why can't he have some of the outward gifts?

Maybe this is a little too thoughtful, but we're all just passengers in a way.

The best is approaching. I have everything -- well, not everything, but a lot of things that I've accumulated through my life experiences. It's easier to communicate through music than it ever has been before. It's easier to play. It's easier to sing. It's easier to write. Nothing is forced.

When my doctor discovered the aneurism in my brain, he said I'd had it for about a hundred years. He told me I'd had it for such a long time that I shouldn't worry about it...but that we'd have to get rid of it immediately. Yeah, that's Zen medicine. He's very wise. I trusted him completely. All the people who took care of me were absolutely the best at what they do -- even though there was a complication, a complication that has a one-in-twenty-seven-hundred chance of happening in my type of operation. They go into your brain through an artery in your thigh. Later, when I was out of the hospital, my leg exploded. I was out on the street and it just popped. My shoe was full of blood. I was in some serious trouble. I was about fifty yards from the hotel and I just made it. The ambulance came about ten minutes later. I don't know if I need to go into this. I don't know if the event is important. But the result was. That's what led me to that lady. The wisest person I've ever met.

--------neil young, in Esquire, 'What I've Learned'

Friday, July 18, 2008

Willie Mae Women's Rock Camp

I am sitting now in my friends Karen's house, unable to sleep because of excitement over going to this Rock Camp (in NYC).....I hope to have fun!!! Karen hopes to play drums, I want more instruction in singing, and the other offers were bass and guitar.....as Karen wondered...how will she learn drums in three days??? We will see....watch here for more....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Crave Flowers

I crave flowers.
Don't get me wrong, I don't care for flowers on my clothing, jewelry, walls....I do like cut flowers, especially in the middle of winter.....but nothing, no nothing, beats having flowers growing and living and changing and being right in front of you in the summer time.
Those are the flowers I crave.
And today, I planted some, bought from an old, tired woman who was friendly at least, in my new planters. I looked at my work today and kind of laughed at it's smallness....but perhaps that is enough.
There used to be two other trees in this view....but they are gone now and the open space and sunshine is welcome....it means I can have flowers.
I crave flowers.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Neil Young - Time Fades Away - Oberhausen 2008

HERE IT IS! Time Fades Away...and it does...

James Taylor

James Taylor was amazing....he is promoting is upcoming album of covers (interesting that it seems to be the big thing these days to do albums of covers...). The band is tight, his energy is high, the show is definitely a feel good one....

Recommended, if he comes your way

Monday, June 30, 2008


I saw Melissa Etheridge on Saturday with Deb....she really was great. She has a really fine electric guitar player who gets a lot of interesting sounds from his guitar....and her energy level is right up there!!!!...she plays and sings and dances around the stage....if you like her stuff, I recommend catching this show....

Friday night I will see James Taylor. I have always loved his music, though I haven't kept up with things he has done recently and I have never seen him live. I look forward to this show....seventh row, dead center......

While I am at it, I also have tickets to see Dylan, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Clear Eyes, Levon and a couple others at the Fest at Saratoga in August....the show is Sunday and I would like to Fest at my place on Saturday....email if interested....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sultans of Swing

Ok, I took Alison down in favor of this one. If you really want to check out Alison, please ask, and i will post a link....but this one highlights my friend Glen and his guitar playing....

More Tree

Ok, so yesterday I was moaning that they were just now taking down those two white pine right next to my house.They are doing so well that I asked them to take down another three....a cherry also on that side of the house that you who have been here may not know it at all, it was hidden....and the two other pines in the back of the house, to the left as you look at my back yard....there is another tree there that will likely also have to come down after getting rid of all the others, but that one kenny could take down for me.....(are you reading this, kenny?)
The maple, of course, is staying.....

AND, they have been hired by two of my neighbors on the spot (now that the two pines have been brought down without a problem...(knock on wood, the bulk of one trunk is still standing, but the guy was like, this is the easy part)

of course, my lawn is a complete mess and all the bushes on that side of the house are also gone, and GOSH the neighbors are CLOSER than EVER now.....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pine Trees

Right now the tree guys are here, taking down the two trees next to my house...you who have been here, know the two....
Those big pines right next to that back 'porch' area.....
I just realized, i don't even think i have a picture of them
And i hate the thought of destroying them (though i had to....if lightening or snow or wind or ice conditions were right, and one or both came down, either me and my house are gone, or the neighbors and their house are gone...really, they are that tall and that large and that close....and SOFT wood)

But, it is a pity, they are just going to be saw dust now....and they were living and breathing just this morning
I need some sort of way to honor them.... The truth is, they never did hurt me....Maybe a song....

I wonder, these men who do this for a living...they are nice guys, are they ever sad that they took down a tree?

They seem to understand their business, they must have some appreciation for the trees....but yet, they do this every day

I am sad for my trees.....

My guitars are made of out trees, pine trees as a matter of fact......

Most of them, anyway.

Monday, June 23, 2008


It is amazing to me that he just played this show yesterday and it is on YouTube. Enjoy...i hope i have that kind of energy at sixty some years old!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

David's B-D Party Gig!

Wow! What a great weekend!

It started on Wednesday, actually. I went to my guitar lesson at David's house and had dinner....another great meal!!!! My friend and guitar playing buddy, Glen from Canada had arrived earlier in the day after a grueling trip across NYS from Toronto to the wild Berkshires!!!

We played some pieces....Glen worked out the solo from Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah on electric guitar, and with my vocals and acoustic rhythm, we figured we had something worth playing to an audience....and Karen and David agreed....if I get a copy of the tape and Glen agrees, I may just post it, or a link to it, here.....

We also tried on The Losing End (I REALLY like Glens electric guitar playing on that...but that was not recorded), The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down, Big Yellow Taxi and Folsom Prison Blues....again, Glen's feel for creating texture over the guitar and around the vocals is excellent and he is a joy to create music with (as well as just being a good friend and fun companion!), so I was looking very forward to the rest of the weekend...which didn't disappoint!!!

Like always, I worked on Thursday and planned to go to Open Mic at Card Lake Inn. This week was different, though.....Glen was going to be accompanying me!...his first open Open Mic...LOL. Karen also came along, as well as many of Linda's family members (sister, mom and etc) to see Linda and her daughter Cory sing, and Jen and Ed from the office.....

Cory and Sammy played two songs and Cory did her best job ever!!!! Fantastic voice and wonderful expression.....Jen from work also did some pieces and she sure sounds great!!! Glen and I did three songs.....with a 'quiz' (let's see if you can figure out what these songs have in commom...)....Big Yellow Taxi (with Karen on Piano), Hallelujah and The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down (with Linda doing an excellent job on vocals!!). We ended with Folsom Prison Blues and Karen on Piano, which, for bonus points, also has some tie in with the other three songs!! We had a really nice time and Karen, Glen and I sat and drank and talked until we got kicked out!!

Again, work interferes with fun!! ...but eventually I get to the Uncommon Grounds in time to hear the last student play the recital, and then it was time for the adults....but I was eating!!!! Glen and I had sandwiches and watched the adult students play together. Of note was Lisa, who played and sang two lovely songs she had written....I hope she continues the path...those songs are great! It was also real nice to again see Nick and Greg, David's friends and partners in crime...lol

After the common ground, Glen and I were getting a little nervous about playing on Saturday and having enough time to get our shit together, so while David and company went out to dinner, we went back to their place to practice. Working out an arrangement of a musical piece can take time and experimentation....in the end, I really liked what we came up with, and I hope (if I find a way to post it) that you do too....

Oh, joy! I don't have to work, but I do have to run some errands, including taking lots of yucky stuff to the dump...which I did before heading off once again to MA. We worked out our pieces, practiced, got nervous, took showers, forgot to eat, did a lot of laughing, took a walk, some took a nap.....

and then it is time to go to the Monterey General Store and set up. My friend Sammy is working the store that night, I find that Nan and Robin have come to support us (thanks guys, i REALLY appreciate it!), other people start to come up, we do a sound check and the show starts!!!

I am still laughing over Glens introduction......
'Here is our friend Glen Polsen from...what town are you from?'
'Canada...it is a little north of here'

well, maybe you had to be there....

Some highlights for me from David's gig include Alison, Babylon and Wish You Were Here. Nick did a lot of singing, Greg actually sang one too (and sang well!), but his main contribution, as always, is his guitar playing....Glen laid down those textures, Karen supported on piano and David led the show with his guitar playing and singing and great enthusiam.

As things were winding down, I was called up for a solo piece and did Barstool Blues, followed by Hallelujah with Glen doing his great guitar thing (I hope you guys get a chance to hear that!)and David on bongos... and the band helping me with Angel from Montgomery.....then my moments were finished and I got to escape for a while.....

Thank you David for allowing me a piece of your gig to do some music, thanks to Glen for great guitar playing and David, Karen, Nick and Greg for support of many kinds (OH YEAH, and Greg for fixing my string buzz, Nick for his vocal coaching, and David and Karen for just being great friends in between everything else!!! ) I had a great time, guys!!!

I also want to thank Nan for coming all that way to support her friends...what a very nice thing to do!!!....and Robin for also coming out....we are gonna get you on that Open Mic stage one of these days for SURE...

Well, i have to get to work now, I am sure I have forgotten to mention something, likely someone or something important....please forgive me and remember, that is why they call me scattered!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting ready

I am listening right now to the David Hodge and Friends, in David's livingroom, getting ready for their gig tonight. They sound really good....if you are in the Berkshire Mountains tonight, you might want to drop by the Monterey General Store (in Monterey, MA, of course)7-9pm for the show.
I will be playing with them for a few songs, even....
(Click on the title for more info on the venue)
Babylon sounds real fine....

Sunday, June 15, 2008


So many things have happened since I was last blogging! I never finished the HGS housewarming...but it was a lot of fun as you can see in the pictures i posted. Last weekend, i saw Robert Plant and Allison Krauss in Canandaigua, NY. It was an excellent show, much better than i had anticipated. Went with my friend, Bugs....met his very nice friends Bill and Charlotte, had a wonderful meal.....drove home through a hail storm....but it was a nice weekend.

My air conditioner is broke, so yesterday i cleaned house while waiting for the repair person to show up. My air conditioner is still broke, and Sears is trying to get some money out of me for it, anyway (it is less than two years old, and i paid a premium price for it...you'd think that 'buying a brand' should mean that it should last longer than two years, don't you think??? NOT SO....the a/c is made out of cheap parts and designed to break down...and you HAVE to buy that warranty service, don't you know???....tried to tell me that since the compressor is broke (and is warrantied for five years) that is free, but i have to pay all other parts and labor.....well, no, the warranty reads "fixed free of charge"

Ok, enough complaining about a/c....but that, as you can imagine, means i don't sit here and type very much...the coolest place i know is my car.....LOL

The new thing i did this week is go to a Folk Song Circle at Spencertown Academy....what a nice group of people!!! I will certainly be returning there.....

Please note the new feature on my side bar...the quotes.....

I like this one a lot......
Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Friday Prefest

You have read about Silver Fiddles and Thrashing Sticks, right?
NO? Then go down and read from the bottom up, ok?

Now, I think we were on our way to Mexican Radio, taking some breaks for the beautiful New York sunset. We had to wait to get in, so we went for a short walk around Warren Street.....I love Hudson, and understand why folks want to move here....the buildings are great, the shops interesting, the people ...well, be careful who you corrrect on the street, they may not take it well, eh? jilly???

Paul finally found us in the restaurant....he had eaten, but that didn't stop us from loading up his plate with samples from our meals. We also shared our pitcher of margaritas with him...

After lots of good food and tequila, we went back to my place for a campfire and toasted Silver Fiddle. Nan and I played some Neil tunes until she got tired and went off to bed. I soon followed, though I really did mean to come back....but that couch looked soooooo comfy and I was so tired, and you know????....well, it WAS comfy and i WAS tired......lol. Paul woke me up to move off his bed to send me upstairs to mine.....

Saturday morning was a bit rough around the edges, what with all that tequila consumed the night before. Jeanne had gone to her friends house and was missing....couldn't get her on the phone, didn't know where the friend lived....but that was fine, she arrived just as we finished up decorating the cars for the 'caravan' and packing up.....

On the road to Utica......

Karen's Blog

Karen has posted a few pictures on her Blog (click the title) from her visit this weekend with me. We gathered at my place and decided to have a cocktail (karen's famous margaritas....) before going to dinner at Mexican Radio. We had several rusted women....karen, kathyB, nan, jill, jeanne, me.....and we all have problems with verbal expression (we wanna talk NOW)....so we had to pass around a Talking Stick. Now, the first 'stick' i came across was my Walking Stick, which then became a Talking Stick and was soon being used as a Thrashing Stick in order to keep others a little quieter.....

On the way to the meal, we stopped several times so that karen could take the pictures she has posted to her blog....go and read there a bit to see some of Columbia County's beauty. One of the great things about having out of town company is always to see things anew out of another's eyes.... you again can see the beauty of what is around you everyday....

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Silver Fiddles

Although I named my house in my mind last year, it never got formally christened--
So, we raised some of Karen's margaritas around the fire in honor of The Silver Fiddles on Friday night....

Thanks to Jilly for the picture......

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I just had this thought.....you know, people have been concerned with the anxiety i have expressed here, as if that meant those feelings were somehow more permanent and meaningful than the feelings (for instance) that i had over the beautiful sunset i experienced yesterday while chatting on the phone with my good friend from NC. Just because i say something here in this blog does not give it more (or less) weight than any other communication i may (or may not) have. What ends up here, ends up here.....
Usually, i would guess that i have a bigger need to communicate feelings causing discomfort rather than those more pleasant (at least right now).......like you may go home and bitch to your mate regarding some rude comment that you overheard, but you won't tell her how pleased you were with the way your assistant FINALLY got IT right......lol......even though the level of emotion is similar. When a person lives alone, like i do, perhaps my blog is my mate...the one i bitch to when i get home at night......

Click here for more pics of Garbage

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Garbage Trail Walk 2008

This is the church that starts the Arlo story.....just a nice, ordinary New England type church, which now holds the Guthrie Center....a place of good music and good works....

This is just one of the stops along the way (every mile there is snacks, water and entertainment for the walkers!!!) This happens to be the Dump Divas.....this dump was closed on Thanksgiving Day in the story......

At the end of the walk, you are taken back to your car by a vintage VW bus (of course!!!)...this was my ride on the way back.....don't worry, these buses go forever.....LOL

Monday, May 19, 2008

Birthdays and Walks

I had a birthday last Wednesday (May 14), so I considered this entire week my birthday week....lol. Last weekend, I spend with B-I-L Mike....we took a long walk, we had lots of good conversation, we visited my mother for mothers day and brought her dinner.....we had another meal out....thanks for starting off my birthday!!!!

During the week, I did my usual.....guitar lesson on the day itself, open mic on thursday (some great music by sammy this week....he is really rippin' on that piano these days!!!!)...

Friday, I had dinner and conversation with Todd and Michelle....great meal, wonderful visit!!!....sorry Todd, for tiring you out so soon!!!....and you are younger than ME!!!!

Saturday, I did nothing.....played some guitar, caught up on email, moved a pile of branches out of the yard....and then a campfire with Paul and MaryAnne....another relaxing, good time....

Sunday was the Garbage Trail Walk.....Every year, Paul and I walk in honor of our friends Karen, Paul, Carolyn and John....who suffer with Huntingtons Disease....a progressive neurological disorder that runs in families. The day was cool, but most everyone completed the 6.6 miles before the showers started.....good to see everyone again!!!!! I will post some pictures when i get home tonight....

The Garbage Trail Walk is named such because we start the walk at the famed Guthrie Center...the church that was pivotal in Arlo Guthries story 'Alice's Restaurant'. We actually walk from the church to the dump (which was closed that fateful thanksgiving day) to the po-lice station where Arlo spent some quality time, to the former Alice's Restaurant in Stockbridge MA....(we leave out the actual scene of the crime....makes the walk too long...lol).

After that, I got to go out and eat a divine Italian meal with my other B-I-L Kenny.....we had a lot of good laughs and talks.....Kenny's house is coming along.....and that meal was FAN-Fing-TASTIC.......

Click on the title of my post for more info on the walk and HD.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh, NO!

I have been neglecting my blog.

Funny how when I am doing a lot of things, I have no time to record them!!!...and then, when I do, it is so past....

Some friends of mine who know me in person have commented that I don't sound 'all right' on my blog...full of anxiety!!! Don't worry about it....the way you guys go home and review your day and what is happening in your head with the folks around you at home...that is what I was doing with this blog....commenting and exploring ideas around playing in public so that I can put it all in perspective.....I have done that and it has helped....if you guys don't mind, I will continue to do that....lol....but you don't have to worry about 'how i am'.....but I sure do appreciate your comments and your checking in with me to make sure!!!

I have been doing quite a bit and have quite a bit planned. I am going to post this note and try to catch up with what has been going on in a later entry......Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I don't need to do it
If I know that i can.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jamming at my house

Paul came to visit me Thursday night and we played at the Card Lake Inn Open Mic....it was real good to get up and play with Paul....we played Dead Flowers, Pocahontas, Rocking in the Free World, Star of Bethlehem and The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down (not in that order, thought!!!) One of my friends who comes each week to the OM brought her daughters, who each individually sang a song, backed up by Sammy Brown, the leader of the evening. It is really neat to see these young people discover how cool it is to sing...

After a couple hours at work the next day, i returned home and Paul and I went out to breakfast at a French cafe type place in Hudson, before visiting the local music store and heading back to my place to play some tunes outside, accompanied not only by the birds and bees (yeah, LOTS of bees....) but also the neighbor, backhoeing his lot....LOL

Before long, we were hungry again (i am not much of a cook) and headed out to the local pizza place for a bite to eat. Ended the night with hours more of playing songs and singing....it was really cool. I appreciate Paul's contribution to Open Mic and I really enjoyed playing with him all day....Paul also sang quite a bit and I really liked hearing that!

I am still hoping that Robin will make a rapid recovery (she had planned to come today, but feels ill...) and end up getting together with me today and play some more!!!!!....if anyone is wondering what to do with their day, i would surely love to feed this addiction to guitar playing that i have and hook up with you!

There is nothing that i do that feels quite as good as playing guitar for hours....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Perfect Car

The Values of 'LincVolt'......'We want to build a zero emissions automobile that eliminates roadside re-fueling entirely, a safe powerful automobile that is comfortable and economic on both long trips and the commute to work, an automobile that can generate power to the home when it is parked, potentially creating an income stream for the owner.'

It may come to pass that Neil Young won't be remembered much for the music, but for his contributions to the environment. His plan for a car sounds to me impossible, but....what if he CAN do it....he sure does sound like he thinks he can.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Definining Art...by Karen Barry

Meet my friend, Karen.
She introduced me to this idea of blogging....and so far...i am having a good time. This link will bring you to her blog, and her comments on art...well, those inspired my comments on art last week..but i didn't credit her...so here she is...enjoy...
(and thank you karen)

Call out the magic

I found this piece that I wrote last summer, while trying to find peace....feeling that what I doing musically was not worthy of shit, but having some real kindness shown to me by some very talented people on one hand and on the other, being looked up to by some other folks as their inspiration to make music. So this is what I wrote....

It is good to 'know my place'- to recognize those before me in honor and help along those behind me in joy. It is a journey we are all on, us musicians.... and where we meet and mingle and create, we call out the magic together.

Together, and each in our place. There is honor and no shame in every station on the road. This is the miracle of creating music.


I had a hard time at the open mic this past week. I couldn't find the connection to the music or to the audience or to myself. It wasn't coming together at home, either, before I left. Just couldn't connect. So, I stopped playing and got down. Couldn't remember chords or words to songs I can play in my sleep...what is UP with that??? How can the fear just take it all away from me? And why can't I judge what I am doing, and see it the way the audience sees it? How come there are times that I think my vocal tone and my guitar playing are spot on, but I get all the favorable comments about the song I felt was a throw away?

Performing is just such an odd experience....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Neil at Hammersmith 2008

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This is a picture taken by Chris (meadowdust_22@yahoo.co.uk)

His suit is way more painted up than it was in the states here!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Neil Young - Spirit Road - Amsterdam 20-02-2008

This is my favorite of Neil Young's new songs...'get back home to peace again....where you belong my love lost friend'....

Keep Making Art

"Keep Making Art,
and when you get tired; eat,
and/ or watch movies, every kind
make tea and then Keep Making Art."

Ryan Adams says this on his blog, Froggy. I haven't read through his stuff there, but his sidebar certainly caught my eye. I find him very inspiring...i have read a bunch of articles on him, and he is very devoted to his art.

This quote makes me think that perhaps much is art that is not considered art. For instance, I spend a lot of time arranging my house....and the fact that folks comment on how pleasant it is to be here makes me think that that, too, is art. Of course music is art. Making it and creating it. They say medicine is an art, and as a practitioner, I have to say that yes, that comes from that place in me, too, although it also resides well in my logical, thinking side.

Just some musings.....now back to practicing that C Major Scale and all it's modes, all over the fretboard. It may not be art, but it prepares me for art....let me see how artfully i can play them. There is a way to touch the strings that just makes the sound so perfect.....


spirit, come back to me
give me strength
set me free
let me feel the magic in my heart”

Every Thursday, at some point, i wonder aloud if anyone from the office is going out tonight.

They all know that I mean, coming to the Open Mic. Linda will tell me who she expects that night. If there is time, we may tell a story or two….Sammy giving her daughter his cd, Linda singing ‘Me and Bobby McGee’, Dr. I showing up!!!…..

So, if they are going, that means i HAVE to go. Which is bad and good. Good, cause it means i HAVE to go. Bad, cause it means i HAVE to go.

I don’t like HAVING to do much of anything. I do like getting up there and singing for folks. But…

Every thursday night, i go home and check my email and putz about and get my guitar in her case and maybe play it a little before i do that…..and contemplate NOT going. But i have to. They expect me to be there. What do I say in the morning if I don’t go?

So, always later than i planned, i get into my car and drive east….that is when the mind starts working…..something along the line of….

I am such a fool for doing this. People are laughing. Why the FUCK would someone my age be heading out on a thursday night, thinking ANYONE would want to spend precious moments of their day listening to me singing some neil young song. Shit. People are so kind, putting up with that. Really. They must be laughing at me. I am such a fool.

I go on that way for most of the half hour drive, trying to figure out why these folks from my office go to this thing. Must be to see Sammy or Fred, they are soooooo good. Yep.

So i sit out in the parking lot for minutes, deciding to go in or not. Now, i notice, they wait in the parking lot for me……lol.


I still don’t know why they come, but i do know that i am soooo appreciative that they do. Cause i do love to get up there and sing for people and bang that guitar, and i don’t think i would get myself there if i didn’t have that ‘They are there, i GOT to go’ thing.

There are really not many things in this world that equal creating music…..the spirit that music brings into a space is so special. The high is so very high. To be a part of helping that spirit get out there is a real privilege.