New additions

In the Boston Globe

North Shore people, I’m in Beverly this Saturday night playing ShelterFest – a fundraiser for Harborlight Community Partners. (a nonprofit organization that provides local families in need with affordable housing) in Beverly MA.

12pm-9pm (we are last -8pm start), and it’s at a church, how cool is that?

It’s always cool to be mentioned.

Where and how do we listen?

While quickly rehearsing a band in Seoul last week through a set of songs the drummer asked me why I waited so many years in-between recordings.  Thinking it was a language gap, I asked him a few different questions and finally pinpointed that he had bought my music from Apple iTunes, and so none of my recent recordings (2011 to the present) had come up (and so he thought it had been years since I had made anything).  Live Animals anyone?

Here we are in 2018.  Where and how do we listen to our music?

Spotify is certainly doing it’s job of dominating the streaming (music libraries on your phone right?) despite their inability to actually pay anyone.  Add Amazon streaming and Apple music and you’ve got music stream competition.  “Burn” is Here.

CD’s and LP’s (there’s a lot to be said for having the quality in the same room with you).
And their opposites.  LP’s in general, are expensive, CD’s cheaper now than ever.

Downloads too.
And then there’s an entire group of people who listen to everything on youtube despite the awful sonic quality and commercial adds.

I prefer “Nimbit” (now a 10 year old startup that’s still hanging on) because I can give better quality downloads for less money.

I also use it to give out my “Download” of the week.

It’s good to have your stamp everywhere but in the end everyone will have their own preference and even that is bound to change quicker in the future.

CD inserts (don’t we miss them?)

Sharing brings us together.  Above is the CD insert from “Fly” 2004, with a blurb about each track…when we make time to read them.

Track 3 “Gettup” is this weeks give away.  Get it HERE

PS – a great article on dedicated listening (thanks to James Jackson Toth for the writing)

Somewhere in Tokyo

The C-artist club in Tokyo functions as an original acoustic roots music venue (Boston people: think Club Passim).  I had the pleasure of splitting the night with 3 other singer songwriters, all Japanese, and all excited to have someone from the states on the bill.

The club was decorated with blues music items, literally, everywhere.  Little statue figure carvings of the T-Bone Walkers, black and white posters of B.B. King, walls adorned with Lightning Hopkins.

Taking the hint I launched into a “blues” set (not something I normally do) because…when in Rome drink Chianti and when in Tokyo play blues music.  Right?

The harmonica player is the club owner who upon hearing blues decided to rip his harmonicas out (while he was still in the kitchen).   I had him join me for the rest of the set.

I love blues music, always have (some might remember I won the Boston Blues Award years back) but I’m not interested in recreating it the way other musicians do.

There exist rock guitarists who call themselves blues players (some even tout highway billboard signs declaring that they’re the greatest guitar players alive) and there are other “vintage” blues bands that are literally “covering” 1960’s era blues music with nothing inspirational added.  Museum music.

But, if you have the ways and the means, and you find yourself in a foreign country where they really crave something “like that” I think it’s good to put aside any agenda, and give them what they want.

And for me personally, it always feels like coming home when I play blues.

Moving forward

2017 was an epic year for me -the United Nations concert in Boston, the gigs with African poet Marc Alexandre in NYC, the St. Barths bucket grand concert (pictured above) and so much more.

“Burn” was released.
The end of the BackPage (the club I booked 1300 shows at).
HeatherFest! (another repeat close out performance with Chris Fitz)

Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great year for me.
Moving in forward in 2018!

Give back

I give in a number of different ways but performing is the best way I know how.  I’ll be helping out the “Shelter Fest” in Beverly MA on Saturday January 27th as part of a day long fundraiser with multiple bands (12pm-9pm) to raise money for low income housing recipients on the North Shore.

Details here.


Showing up

I like to drop in and play the guitar pretty much whenever I can…

This was taken at “Slades” a few weeks back -they have a ruckus Tuesday night jam you might want to check out (and I was there again last night).

I’ve been a fan of “the jam” forever, places where strangers meet and musically interact with no preparation or prior decision making. Only your ears can save you in these places where musicians bump and collide with each other onstage in front of an audience and have to figure it out on the spot.

Sort of the antithesis of “TV singing” autocorrect pitches, programed back tracks and sometimes just straight lip synching.

The excitement is in the happening of the whole thing, and really no where else.