OK, I admit it…I have really slacked off lately! My calendar has been sadly out of date, I haven’t made a new post on my website since last July, and I have also missed sending out more than a few emails. My bad! But I do have an excuse…really! I became a new grandpa to a great kid, Tristan Parke! While I definitely have not stopped playing music (far from it!) I kind of put some things on the back burner for a while while I switched my focus temporarily to this great addition to my life! I get to see him almost every day, and I can’t even begin to describe how much I am enjoying this! But, life goes on, and now that I am pretty much settled into my new role as “DAAA-AA” (I think that means Grandpa?) I am ready once again to put energy back into my music. I just updated my calendar with several months worth of upcoming gigs, I am working on lots of new material, and also picking up where I left off on booking house concerts. A big thanks to all of you who still came out to my shows….Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, wine tastings at Archer/Rizzo winery, Westport Art Festival just to name a few, and once again my apologies to those of you that I have neglected! I’ll do better from now on. I promise!
July is usually a pretty busy month music wise, but this year it has been beyond awesome! I have been so lucky to be able to perform at some outstanding venues…Clatskanie Heritage Days, Pend Oreille Lavender Festival (with a very tasty 5 star BBQ dinner!), Rainier Days, (with the biggest fireworks display on the Lower Columbia River, 9 days after the 4th of July!) Dory days, where I got to watch special flat bottom fishing boats race full speed from the surf to the highest point they could reach on the sandy beach…one of only 3 places in the world that commonly fish this way, Allyn Days with some of the biggest and tastiest sausage dogs I have ever had, not to mention one of the most realistc Elvis impersonators I have ever seen. I also spent many days helping my good friend Scott Netling running sound at several events with his incredible sound company, Music and More. I have put over 3000 miles on my truck, gotten by with very minimal sleep, and enjoyed every minute. But the real highlight was this past weekend, when my Son Kris, married the most wonderful person I could ever hope to have for a Daughter in Law, Marikha! It was a beautiful wedding, on the beach overlooking the Columbia River. August is going to have to work very hard to top this month!
I discovered long ago that one of the reasons I love performing at festivals is because of all the wonderful people I get to meet, and the new friends that I make. The Brinnon Shrimp Festival this past weekend was a perfect example! I was planning on camping out in my truck, and cooking over my trusty propane camp stove, but it didn’t turn out that way. The Talbots, who had organized this event, invited myself and two other musicians to their home for dinner. We started off with wine and cheese, and then moved on to the main course of salmon filets, home made bread, more wine, great conversation…..quite a bit different than what I had planned for dinner that night! After dinner I was offered the use of their guest bedroom for the night, and they even fed me breakfast in the morning. I must admit that was much more comfortable than my sleeping bag, not to mention my “limited” cooking skills! A huge “thank you” to the Talbots!
The festival was great too. I can’t eat shrimp (darn it!) but oysters….oh yeah! I made several trips to the booth that was serving pan fried oysters, and even picked up a few dozen oysters on the shell to take home. This is spring time here on the coast, so no one was too surprised that it rained a bit Saturday night, but those poor folks with the beer garden were faced with quite a dilemma Sunday morning. It seemed that the rain had turned their tarp roof into a huge swimming pool! What had been an 8 foot ceiling was now hanging a few inches above the tables. Thanks to some of the food vendors loaning some hoses, the water was all siphoned out and the roof propped in time for the festival to open, so no harm done. The rain didn’t hurt any of the seating in front of the stage either…they just rolled the hay bales over to a dry side, and on with the show! Besides doing a lot of my old favorites, I also performed several songs from my new CD. A real highlight for me was when the entire audience joined in to help me sing a chorus. I stopped playing my guitar for a moment, and you could hear all their voices echoing across the festival!
I definitely want to do this festival again next year;-)
I got invited to enter a “talent contest” last night. I haven’t been in one of those since high school. I wasn’t booked for a gig anywhere last night, so I figured why not…it might be fun! And it was! I did one song by myself, and teamed up with a friend for another song, and both bits placed in the top 5. Now I get to go back on Sunday for the finals with a “winner take all” prize of $250. I’m glad this isn’t a wet t-shirt contest…I wouldn’t stand a chance!!!
Aaaaarrrrrrgh! I just spent the last 3 days in Wesport, Wa for the 10th annual Rusty Scupper Pirate Daze festival, and had a blast, as usual! It’s kind of fun to dress like a pirate, shout good natured insults to “enemy” pirates, walk around with a definite swagger, and have fun re-connecting again with pirates that I hadn’t seen since last year. The little girl that won the kids costume contest had to have been the cutest 3 year old pirate in history! I got her up on stage at one point, and she had absolutly no fear of the microphone, or the many cameras either. Her parents better get her an agent quick, and I better start writing some pirate songs for next year!
I just wanted to thank those folks at the Oregon Mensa Society for inviting me back again to entertain for their annual regional gathering. I have a lot of fun every year, and this was no exception! Dinner was great, and I really enjoyed the after dinner speaker this year. I didn’t even know what a “palindrome” was…now I do! For those of you who don’t know, a palindrome is a word, or group of words that is the same spelled backwards and forwards such as “MADAM I’M ADAM” or “Doc Note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod”. The speaker had recently won a major palindrome contest, and his talk on the subject was hilarious! And don’t ever let anyone tell you that Mensa people don’t know how to party. I played, and they danced until the wee hours of the morning, as usual!
I just got back from a very fun event at the Mason County Fairgrounds called DragonFest, and I can’t wait to go back for more events! The Mason County Fairgrounds was in danger of being torn down and the property sold, but fortunately a very dedicated group of people have stepped up and are turning the fairgrounds into a resource to be used throughout the year, instead of just for a 3 day fair each Summer. DragonFest was just one of the many events they have planned, and if the rest of the events are going to be anything like DragonFest, then Mason County is in for a real treat!
There was no shortage of things to do and see at DragonFest…..lantern building, live music on two stages, an amazing “fire breathing” show put on by a very enthusiastic group of performers called Dragon Steps (the night time show was very impressive!) They even had a pillow case making marathon to help benefit some charities, not to mention bicycle/whipped cream pie jousting, a petting zoo, great food, a beer garden….I not only got to perform for the Thursday night kickoff dinner, but also on the main stage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you live in the area, keep your eye on this venue. I see some great things happening here!
Now that’s an interesting title! Actually, it’s the name of a podcast that has been playing some of my music this past year. They are having an anniversary show featuring what they feel is the “best of the best” of all of the music they have used during their first year, and I am honored that they have chosen one of my songs, “Son of a Seaman’s Daughter” to be included in that program.
The 2 hour show will be broadcast on Saturday, April 7th at 8:00pm PST at www.musicyoudonthave.com, iTunes, Stitcher, and LearnOutLoud.com. If you want to hear a ton of great music by indie artists, be sure to check out Music You Don’t Have, But Should!
Wow, had a close call in the studio the other day! The old heater finally called it quits, and shorted out. The end result was a severely burned wall outlet and black soot part way up the wall. Needless to say, I ripped out the sheetrock to inspect and repair any damage to the wiring and make sure there was no fire inside the wall. I guess you never get over 15 years as a Volunteer Fire Chief! The good news is no equipment was damaged, so other than needing a new heater, and having to repair a good sized hole in the wall, I can get back to finishing up my new CD. I am soooo thankful that I was in the studio when it happened. I don’t even want to think about what the result might have been if I hadn’t been there!
I’m thinking that when I do the major studio remodel (new control room, vocal booth, live room) I am going to look into a more permanent type of heat source instead of a portable electric heater. A central heat source is usually something you take for granted, but my studio is built in a 1890 era barn, and they usually didn’t install heat back in those days!
You might notice something new on my website (besides the new music!) If you look to the far right side of the page, you will see something that says “Send Voicemail”. Just click on that, follow a few easy steps, and send me a voicemail using your computers built in microphone. Very easy, and I would love to hear from you! Tell me anything! Let me know if you like my new songs, or even if you don’t. If you have a favorite club or festival that you would like me to perform at, let me know. Tell me about your Aunt Matilda’s cat…..I’m all ears!
This new feature is still in the beta-test mode, so I won’t have the ability to answer you back by voice mail for another week or so, but as soon as that feature is up and running, I will definetly send you a voice mail back!