The Bleu Note

Czar of the Universe 

Good morning!  Just a bit after 10 on this bright sunny day. The sun is so bright I have to close the blinds to be able to see anything but glare. That's an inconvenience I can live with. If it was up to me- if I were Czar of the Universe- every day would be like this. 

Czar of the Universe. Yeesh. Yes, I'm still waking up. Working on that first cup of coffee and bringing the world into focus. 

This feels like a Sunday. I played Thursday night and last night, which felt like my weekend. Once you've been retired for awhile, the whole concept of week and weekend becomes more modular. More adjustable. Both gigs were much fun. Last night was particularly relaxed. I was able to incorporate some things from the practice room onto the bandstand. For instance, I took my time with the solos, as opposed to just jumping in. Really enjoyed the blend last night of Ada Lou's voice and John's keyboard(I started to say 'organ', but that would've come out funny). But the rich organ sonorities and that Alto voice was very enjoyable. 

I love to play, but I think I have bass-ackwards instincts as far as the playing environment. It's more enjoyable to me if the place isn't packed. Both Pease's and Robbie's were sparsely attended(a lot of folks were probably at the Alamo listening to Mary Jo Curry and her most excellent band), which made for a much more relaxed setting both nights.

One of my favorite gigs was a recurring one with the Dan Rivero Trio at a restaurant called III Tommasso's, where they had us set up in a corner. We were away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant, but there were a few tables to accommodate a small gathering. So we'd occasionally have three or four people in our area, never more than that.. As far as I was concerned, this was great! The one night the place was packed was probably pleasing to the owner, but miserable for me. We had to play dance music, since the dance floor was filled up. Success for them, failure for me...

My next gig isn't until April 25th. It's with the Samba Llamas, destination unknown, some kind of fund-raiser. And after that I have a Robbie's gig of my own(!)on May 1st. In the meantime I plan on continuing what I've been doing: practicing guitar and coming up with new music here in the Lab. There are jam sessions going on downtown on the 3rd Monday of every month, and I'm going to try and make those. Otherwise, I'll be coming to you from the cloistered confines of my music room. For now, that is. 

Okay, I guess that covers it. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

 

 

Friday 

Good morning! It's 8:16 this side of noon on this chilly Friday. But it's at least a sunny cold day. A job tonight at Robbie's, 5:30-7:30, with Dan Rivero.. Should be a nice time. Noisier than Pease's Gourmet, which is where I was last night. but never a cacophony. Just enough to stir you up a little bit.  The usual crash-bang ending at 7:30, collect my $, pack my stuff, say my goodbyes and head home to relative peace and tranquility.. You can tell I've done a few of these...

Last night I had a thing with the Samba Llamas. Been working with them off and on for a couple years now, usually every few months. They play Brazillian music, for the most part, with the authentic percussion. Lively music. Happy music- but with a touch of wistfulness. Saudade is their word to describe this. I like cool words in any language. 

You see the Danish word hygge a lot these days. Pronounced hoo-ga, it means a feeling of well-being, a coziness. There is a guitarist from over there I became music-friends with online, swapping a few CDs across the pond. I bought a Danish Dictionary and Language Book just for the hell of it( being a Germanic language it has a lot of common words), and got through about half of it before moving on to something else. Consequently, I have all kinds of their words still between my ears, even now. My favorite Danish word is endetarmsåbning- pronounced(I think) enna-tahms-OH-bning. It means rectum. I think it's medical. But if you want to insult someone, there is their slang word røjhul(roy-hul). It means asshole. I learned it from a Netflix Series set over there, about a schoolteacher. Very entertaining show. It's called Rita, after the title character. Learn something new every day..

Anyway, that's my gigging musical news for now. My next job isn't until April 25th, again with the Sambas. This one is a fund-raiser. That's all I know, except that it's out of town and Buzz is driving. Then I have a trio gig at Robbie's on May 1st. Really hope to see you at that one!

In the meantime, I'll be working away here in the Lab, practicing and coming up with new stuff. I think most of my work from here on in will be at home or in someone else's more-high-tech studio, but there will be these breaks in the action where I get out and play someplace. So there will always be something or other I can invite you to besides the web stuff. 

Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Friday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

Thursday 

Good morning! About 9:40 on this sunny-but-cold Thursday. We haven't had any prolonged cold weather this Winter, just an isolated day or two. And it's just my luck to have it on the day I'm scheduled to play. Well hopefully my vehicle will behave itself on the way there and back. Last time, the heater decided not to work, but at least returned to functionality for the drive home.  The actual playing, once you get there, is just as much fun as it ever was. It's the "getting there" that's changed. Along with a few other things.....

Music news. Today and tomorrow are work days. I'll be at Pease's tonight and Robbie's tomorrow night. Tonight is with the Samba Llamas and tomorrow is with Dan Rivero and assorted characters. 6:30-8:30 tonight; and 5;30-7:30 on Friday. These will both be good shows, and probably enjoyable to you the listener. Hope to see you at one of these events!

I've been working more on my own original music these days, something that fell by the wayside when I was busy doing lots of gigs. Was able to take care of a lot of 'backlog', and released three new CDs last month. And coming up with all kindsa new material. It's been great reconnecting with that side of myself..Much more to share in the way of CDs, but I'm waiting for the 3 i just released to get 'in the mix". CD Baby, the company from whence I peddle my wares, sends your stuff to all manner of digital companies, and when it's in the bloodstream(so to speak)I start getting streams. At that point , I'll release more. Much fun..

The only problem with this is that eventually you get lonesome. You want different energy, different input than your own in there. Back in 2015, I visited a musician friend and his wife down in beautiful southern Florida- St Pete Beach, which is the Tampa/St Petersburg area. Every week he'd have a bass player and drummer come over and play tunes. I got to do two sessions with them. Everybody got a chance to call a tune they wanted to do, so everyone had input. Getting home, I thought "what a great Idea!"-and tried to get it going here. 

And the only problem here(there seems to always be one!)is that my bass player is allergic to cats. We did have a session here last Fall though, and with no ill effects, which gave me some hope. So I'm going to persevere with this. Little two-hour sessions around the lunch hour would probably work. We don't play all that loud anyway. I don't think we'd get any cop cars in the driveway..

When you get older, you sometimes have to find new ways of doing the old stuff. I'm getting ready for bed at 10pm, so late nights are out. Noise and crowds are more oppressive, so bars and clubs don't work as well. Which leaves the mid-afternoon Nursing Home/Assisted Living gigs and Happy Hour. And whatever sessions I can hustle here at the house. Where there's a will, there's a way...

So much for news. As ever, thanks for stopping in and reading. Happy Thursday to you!  I'm outa here. More later. 

 

later Mittwoch 

 Buenos Noches! Just a little bit past Nueve. Felt like writing more in here. I can tell as I get more comfortable with this new website that my natural long-windedness is starting to kick in. My Dad was also a pontificator on occasion, so maybe it's genetic. 

First off, there's new material here on the site. I've been adding to the Music page over the past couple days. Some of the tunes are free and some are free to subscribers. I thought I'd throw in a little incentive for everyone as far as listening. Jenius-boy here stumbled onto how to change the order of the tunes(it's really quite easy!), so I've been putting the newest stuff at the top of the page. All part of making the site here a fun place to visit. 

Another thing that kicked back in is my penchant for home recording. Since the beginning of the year, I've been back hot and heavy finishing up old songs and creating new ones. I had enough material to release 3 CDs, all of which are on CD Baby(operators are standing by!)It seems to happen in waves, a binge of several days to a week. I've had two thus far in 2020, both of which produced a lot of new stuff. The first one gave me a litter of 9; and the second yielded a litter of 12. It's very soul-satisfying. I'm usually pleasantly spent after each session, and a little worn out after each binge. 

Being able to record different sounds and blend them together is a huge rush. I remember my first experience with what was then fairly high-tech stuff: a Roland Juno 106 synthesizer and a Teac 144 4-track cassette recorder. It was 5:30 in the evening when I hooked up the equipment and put on the headphones. Next thing I knew, it was 2:30 in the morning! I'd spent nine hours futzing with this business! So home recording is kinda like my Heroin. Or my Kryptonite..

Since then I've upgraded my gear with the times of course. My recording unit now is a Fostex VF-160 16-track digital recorder; and my synth is still a Roland, but now a Fantom model. And I have a Line 6 POD guitar processor, something I don't know how I lived without. And more guitars. I suppose I could invest in different microphones and so forth; but for home use, I don't really need them. 

Having recording equipment here at home gives me some autonomy. I can make my own fun,as it were. But eventually you get to missing others' input- just by virtue of being something other than your own. You get a little tired of your own lines. So I'm going to have to enlist some folks, maybe to record but at least to play. 

A couple years ago, I visited a musician friend down in Florida. Stayed about a week and did a lot of playing. He is a piano player, and would have a bassist and drummer come over every week for a session. Everybody would take turns calling the tunes, so everyone got to play what they wanted. It was a lot of fun. Got to play two sessions with the full group, and a million guitar/piano duos. 

This was back in 2015. I came home wanting to establish the same thing in my own house. The bass player I wanted to use had a bad allergy to cats, although he did survive an hour session fairly recently. So five years later, I'm still wanting to do that. Maybe I should resume working on it. Playing out has become more like work, with a very few exceptions. So what do you do when you still love to play but no longer want the noise and hubbub of playing at some bar or club? The only solution I've got is to play in. I'm playing tomorrow and Friday, so along with the noise I'll get my people fix- but am still going to fight to bring jazz home. My home if possible. 

Thanks for stopping in and reading, whoever-reads-this. I feel better now. More later..

 

Mittwoch 

Good morning! It's 9:30 on the dot, this side of noon. A bit nippier at 25 degrees, but the sun is shining. That's a trade-off I can live with.  I'll take a cold sunny day over a warmer, darker one anytime. Working on that first cup of coffee, bringing the world into focus. Off and running..

Music news. Tomorrow and Friday are workdays. i'll be at Pease's Gourmet on Thursday, 6:30-8:30; and Robbie's on Friday, from 5;30-7:30. Hope to see you at one of these events!

Nothing on tap for today. I've taken care of the things that 'must' be done, like exercise and grocery shopping, so this day's all mine. I love a day you could shoot a cannon through.. The guitar will probably get a workout, and if I tape and something works, I'll be glad to share it. Working more on this new website, adding music and so forth, but I'm still trying to keep the YouTube page up to date and all.

Still working away in the studio here, and have got a lot of new material. I've found that you have to let your creations 'air out' for a day or two before really assessing them. Sometimes you've got more than you thought, other times you might ask yourself, "what the hell was I thinking?!" But I do have some things that worked very well. I released three new recordings at the beginning of the year, and am waiting for them to get 'in the mix' before adding anything new.

By 'in the mix', I mean that the stuff is being at least streamed. CD Baby sends your productions to a wide variety of digital companies out there, and after awhile you start getting streams. Nothing yet on these new releases, but it should be soon. In the words of Mr T, "I got lotta mo'!". 

When I have to be up in front of people, as is the case tomorrow and Friday, I tend to conserve my energy. Lay low. It's not even a conscious decision. I just know myself well enough,I guess, to have that kind of automatic defense mechanism kick in. So I'll probably have fun these next two days visiting with various folks, getting caught up on news. And then spend Saturday wallowing in solitude..

Not much else to report, just my quotidian old-guy routines. I just learned the word quotidian- it means everyday, commonplace. Next up is more coffee and then trying my hand at today's Lumosity games. Keep the mind alive...

Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Sorry it was on the skimpy side today. Happy Hump Day to you, however you choose to celebrate it. Ich bin outa here. More later. 

Tuesday Welding 

Good morning! It's about 8:45 here in Paradise.Actually, this would be a pluviophile's Paradise. A pluviophile is someone who is energized by dark, cloudy days. Personally I find them enervating. They wear my ass out with their negativity. So as far as Paradise, I think I must've taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. The astute reader will note the Bugs Bunny allusion here. The premise of many a Bugs cartoon was his attempted trip to Pizmo Beach, and his wrong turn at New Mexico's most populous city. There's also an episode of The Twilight Zone, one of the hour-long' shows, where someone makes a wrong turn, and the map shows a wrong turn at Albuquerque. I'm pretty sure Charles Beaumont wrote that one. That was his kind of touch. 

Music news. I have two bandjobs this week- one on Thursday and one on Friday. Thursday is at Pease's, with the Samba Llamas, and is 6:30 to 8:30. Friday is downtown at Robbie's with Dan Rivero and assorted characters. I don't have much after this-- another one with the Sambas in late April- a fund-raiser of some sort; and then a gig of my own on May 1st at Robbie's..And we'll take it from there.. So, hope to see you at one of these events!

I'm still working on my music here in the Music Lab. Practicing guitar, keeping new stuff on my YouTube page, recording new things in my makeshift home studio. This is working for me. I'm not, as Roger Ebert once described himself, a "natural extrovert". I like to socialize and all, but get burned out after awhile on people and noise.(Natural ambivert, maybe). Working behind the scenes seems to be more my style. Still, it's necessary to get out of your room every so often. So these things coming up will be a nice break. Even us ambiverts need a dose of socializing here and there..

Anyway. In other news, I got an email today from a lady in Germany who's been my online friend for many years now. Her name is Claudia. Strangely enough, I was just thinking about her. We've had some nice conversations in here. She thinks it's hilarious when I try to speak German. I find that funny in itself.

Well that should do it. Gotta get going today on a few things. Still coming down from this last burst of activity in the home studio- a litter of 12. Posting them as I come up with names. This most recent one I titled El Kabong. I was watching a Basketball game at the time. Don't know if there's any correlation there, but somehow the Quick Draw McGraw character came to mind. As ever, thanks for stopping in and reading. Happy Tuesday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

Another Fucking Monday 

Good morning! It's just after nine on this dark, rainy day. In my working days, Monday was the worst day of the week- filled with disgruntled clients, either on the phone or populating our lobby.  Surviving Monday was like getting through a Minnesota Winter, But then after Monday, you'd usually seen the worst of it. Writing these posts during my working years, I was usually frazzled and a little bit defeated on Monday evening, and enjoying a Corona or several. The posts were often titled Another Fucking Monday, which I changed after retirement to Another Peaceful Monday.  

Music news. Yesterday was a very productive day here in the Music Lab. I've been doing a lot of home recording these days, and have enjoyed a couple of creative binges. This last one produced 12 new tunes. So I spent the day remixing, and adding guitar and keyboard parts where needed. Pretty frazzled at the end of it, but a different kind of frazzle. A good frazzle. What I like to call pleasantly spent. 

So I have 12 new pieces,and they all work! Five of them are pretty mainstream, with lots of guitar shenanigans. The rest are my "weirdo" electronic stuff. Got the whole shootin' match on the computer and will be uploading them for your listening pleasure. 

In other music news, I've got a couple bandjobs this week. Thursday from 6:30-8:30 at Pease's Gourmet with the Samba Llamas; Friday at Robbie's with Dan Rivero & Co. Ada Lou, John Crisp and Frank Parker will be on this gig with me. Hope to see you at one of these events!

The next thing I have is late in April, again with the Sambas. Some kind of fund-raiser. Buzz(the bandleader)is driving, so I haven't concerned myself with those details. And then I have a trio gig on May 1st at Robbie's. Really hope to see you at this event!

And that's my musical news for the moment. Yesterday was a workday, so I'm taking it easy today. All kindsa new music on the horizon though. I used to make the joke that my dayjob was ballast as far as turning out new music- and that, freed from the constraints of work, I'd hit an insane level of productivity. Might be some truth there.. 

Anyway! Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading all this self-indulgent pap. Happy Monday to you, if that's possible! I'm outa here. More later. 

Sunday 

Good morning! It's just after nine on this "uncharacteristically sunny" Sunday. It's a balmy 27 degrees--and I realize that  that's relative. To someone from North Dakota or  Minnesota, this is probably 'sauna weather'. The sun is shining, and there's one bird singing outside my window. There have been far worse days than this one..

Music news. I just made $50.67 from CD Baby! Been working with them for many years now. I get paid for CD sales and downloads, and also streams. Actually the streams constitute most of my 'earnings'. It moves about as slow as Geologic Time, but those miniscule payments(sometimes a fraction of a penny!)add up- eventually. When it reaches 50 bucks, they deposit it into my checking account., where it's quickly wiped out by one bill or another. Well, it's the principle...

Way back in 2013, when I left the world of work, I was on my own financially. not being quite old enough to draw retirement. . And I played a lot of gigs to make up the difference. So there were all kinds of $50 and $100 deposits, which were immediately swallowed up by the bills. This was a little disheartening at first, but I realized it was just the nature of the beast. Playing gigs provides a nice second income, but it's a tough way to make a living- something you're much more aware of at 60 than you were at 25. 

I have two bandjobs this week, on Thursday and Friday. Thursday is at Pease's Gourmet with the Samba Llamas, from 6:30 to 8:30. Friday is with Dan Rivero & Co, at Robbie's, from 5:30 to 7:30. Hope to see you at one of these events!

This past month or so I've been working more on writing and recording, and have had a couple of  good creative binges. It's been pretty much all keyboard(Roland Fantom), but I'm getting ready to add some guitar tracks. I've got a nice processor I picked up some years back from the Rock Shop. Hundreds of sounds. Not all usable--wayy more death metal than I think I'd ever use in this lifetime--but many are. So- new music on the horizon.

These jobs later in the week will be a nice break. Get out of the house, play some music, visit with a few folks.Then it's back to the studio to work on more stuff and recharge those introvert batteries. I've often thought I'd be more in the middle of that scale- an ambivert- but I get drained by people and noise and general hubbub, so maybe not. Still, I try to make it all fun, whether I'm going out or staying in. 

Not much on YouTube lately. I'm still putting in some practice time though, and will get another 'winner'  sooner or later. Tough to keep up on everything. Something's always gotta give.. 

And that's my news for now. As ever, thanks for stopping in and reading this hoohah. Almost forgot to mention, I'm also working on a new blog. I've got a bit of a writing bug, and have several blogsites. I'll share when I get it done. Anyway! Happy Sunday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

Saturday 

Good morning! It's 10:07 on this cloudy Saturday. Got my usual-and-customary cup of coffee on hand helping me bring the world into focus. Off we go...

I've been working away in the 'recording studio' here at home, coming up with some new stuff. Had a couple of creative binges this month, which each lasted a couple days. I'm coming to the end of one of those periods now. I can always tell because things seem to dry up. My last binge produced a nice suite of nine pieces. This one should have about that many pieces, but they're all different. On a couple of things, I left room for some guitar work. That may be today's agenda. 

For the guitar, I have a rig I picked up at the Rock Shop way back when. I was going to use it in live situations, but it seems to work better for recording. . Too distracting on a gig to be constantly adjusting your sound. I used to have all kinds of pedals, for chorus or overdrive or God knows what else, and just stopped using them at one point. These days I'm notoriously "no frills"- just plug the guitar into the amp. But at home, I'll experiment more- although they have wayy more death metal sounds than I think I could ever use...

I have two bandjobs this coming week, on the 20th and 21st. All that stuff is on the Shows page of my new site. More as we get closer to those dates. 

And that's my music news for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

Frigid Friday 

Good morning! It's about 9:40 on this coldass Friday. It's now up from -1 to a balmy 4 degrees. I have one errand to run today, and am mixed between waiting until temperatures rise a little bit more and just getting it over with. This involves scraping ice off the windshield(the bane of my existence as far as Winter chores--being short, it's sometimes tough to reach everything), but I might just let the vehicle defrost- the lazy man's solution..The impetuous choice to just go for it is winning, mainly because otherwise I'll just have it on the brain. 

Music news. It's been a nice productive week. Got one(1)exercise session in, hopefully with one more tomorrow. The guitar got plenty of attention, and even taped a few things to possibly post on YouTube..And I wrote a number of new things, nine or ten new things. Some of them are waiting for a guitar track or two, and others are complete in themselves.

These productive periods of mine are a little bit like an animal giving birth. The tunes that come of it are like a litter(cats, dogs, what-have-you), and of course the size of the litter varies. Last was a litter of ten. This one looks similar. So I will soon have another litter to work with. and share with you the listener. 

A line from the book Baja Oklahoma, regarding cold weather. "It's as cold as the other side of your bed!" Just occurred to me, figured maybe someone besides me might find that funny. I think that was one of my Dad's books. 

2 bandjobs next week, on Thursday and Friday. Thursday is with the Samba Llamas, at Pease's, from 6:30-8:30. Friday is downtown at Robbie's with Dan Rivero and Co, and is 5:30-7:30. They're listed on the Shows page of my new website, along with a few other things I've got on the books.  Hope to see you at one of these events!

Otherwise, I've just been working on this new website, continuing to add music and pictures. The music files are mostly from my own library of stuff, things you may not hear on a CD. You can download most of the tunes in the Music section free of charge. And there are all kindsa pictures in there, from live gigs to band pictures to whatever. Some of it is just things I thought were cool. My favorite building in Manhattan, for instance. The Lipstick Building(because it's shaped like a tube of lipstick)at 53rd St and 3rd Avenue. 

Bernie Madoff was supposed to have had an office in the Lipstick Building. In Manhattan, particularly midtown, you see a lot of dedications. Leonard Bernstien, George Gershwin, and Senor Wences all have a stretch of streets named after them. Just imagining that stretch of 53rd being called Bernie Madoff Way. With this current administration, it wouldn't surprise me. 

That's all I've got for you on this frigid Friday. As ever, thanks for stopping in and reading. Happy Friday to you! Stay warm. I'm outa here. More later. 

 

Monday, Take 2 

Good morning! 11:45 at the moment on this improving Monday. Started off like something out of Hammer Films with stark white skies and the gnarly leafless branches of trees. Now Good Ol' Mr Sun is out, making everything better. I already wrote one of these, and somehow didn't get it saved, so here goes nothing. Well, hopefully something this time..

Music News. Well, mainly working on this new site. Adding music and pictures and an occasional bon mot like I'm trying to do here. In the music section, I have a number of free downloads. Some of the things from my CDs, or ones I'm strongly considering putting on one, I've gotta charge something- and I hope my prices are reasonable. 

YouTube is alive and well with 82 subscribers. I try and post something most every day or two. They're mainly from my practice sessions, but I try to spice things up with a few live cuts when I can get them. Seems like I either forget to bring the camera or I can't find anyone fool enough to hold it while we play. Really, I think I often play better here in the Music Lab. I remember in High School our Band Director telling us that when we play out we're at 80%- nerves and other factors take that 20% off the top. It's true! C'est vrai! Thank you for that one, Mr Garretson.

Two bandjobs this coming week, on Thursday and Friday. They're both early and both local- my criteria for playing gigs anymore. And they're both listed on the My Shows page. More on this as we get closer. Hope to see you at one(or both)of these events!

And that's pretty much my music news for the moment. Nothing going on this week, musical or domestic, so I'm hoping to get some trouble on the other side of this room, where I have my makeshift home recording studio. I've probably said this before(and as an old guy, will repeat myself again..)but it's as much fun as you can have with your clothes still on. I had a nice run like this last week, and felt pleasantly spent after each session- like I'd just gotten my ashes hauled..

Otherwise, things are pretty even keel. Been watching a fair amount of College Basketball lately. It's about the only team sport I like to watch. I like the fluidity-things are always moving. And it's cool to see the interplay between team members in sinking a basket, how many steps are taken. Aside from Jeopardy and the news, it's about the only thing I've found that's fit to watch. 

And that's my news for today. Hope this one takes. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Monday to you, if that's possible! Jeg er outa here. More later.

Sunday 

Good morning! Just a shade after nine on this rainyass Sunday. In the words of Jimi Hendrix, let it groove its own way. Hendrix was a Taoist and didn't even know it. At least that's the wisdom I got from the statement. Usually song lyrics are lost on my unless they're by Frank Zappa. I guess that's an instrumentalist's private prejudice. There are a few singers out there whom I love. When I listen to a singer though, I tend to listen more to the sound of their voice. Weird, eh?

Well, the main news item for me is this site. I've been doing a lot of work on it, much as someone would do in a house they just acquired. A lot more pictures, many of which I had to scan(the one new thing I learned yesterday), and better organized. I have band shots, live shots, and some that are just plain weird, plus a new section on gear: what kind of guitars I've got,  and so on.  In the band pictures, there are a lot of folks represented-and I hope they get to see themselves in here. After all, being "fallible human beings"(as Albert Ellis might put it), they're much more interested in themselves than they are in me. Only natural..

Also music. I've added in a few recent albums in the last couple days. My current stuff is all download, as I got tired of boxes of CDs. The advantage to you the listener is that you get your product right away, as opposed to having to wait for the mail. And the advantage to me is no more damn boxes of CDs! Speaking of boxes though, I do have plenty of physical CDs, and will get to them soon enough. I'm also adding a lot of individual cuts, and trying to make as many of these free as I can. So there are a goodly number of tracks you can take with you. 

I'm still practicing most every day, and recording a few things along the way. So YouTube should have a new post or two. I've got a couple from yesterday to listen to. Trying to stay regular with it even on busy days like I've had working on the site. Or times when I just don't feel like it. I've forced myself to sit down on these occasions, and sometimes get going better than I thought I would. The whole thing behind practicing regularly is that you have your instrument in your hands, thereby strengthening the connection between head and hands.

Outside the world of music, there' s nothing special going on right now. Just my regular 'old guy' routines. I meditate every morning for about 20 minutes, try to exercise at least twice a week(Cardio and weights), do Neuroscience games on the computer every day(Lumosity)and revel in being retired. There are things that flare up in my life- I've replaced my furnace/air conditioner, the muffler in my automobile, and a bad tooth with an implant all late in this past year. And had to put down a cat I'd had for 10 years. So I have my stuff to deal with. But once it's dealt with, life goes back to being nice and boring 

That's all I've got for you for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Sunday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

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Saturday 

Good morning! It's just shy of nine o'clock on this Wintry Saturday. Not much snow, maybe a dusting- far from being enough to get stuck in. That used to define Winter for me: the first time your vehicle gets stuck in the show- often when trying to get out of my driveway. So far so good. Just get me to Spring relatively unscathed..

I missed seeing the Vibe Tribe at Robbie's last night. Tried to get there, but couldn't find a parking place and got exasperated with the falling snow and the rush hour traffic. Well, there's always next time. They're from Bloomington and Peoria so I don't see them all that often. One thing I was going to impart was that our new Cannabis Shop is a block away from Robbie's. If they got paid cash, they made enough apiece to each buy a joint to smoke on the way home. With the tax though, it would probably take all their gig money. 

This being a brand new site, I've been working away at getting lots of pictures and music in here. Those gig pictures really took me back. Kinda reliving all the places I'd been, people I'd worked with. Pretty much all over the US, one month in Canada(July '85 in Alberta- cities of Calgary and Edmonton)a week in Japan(Ashikaga, on the 'big' island of Honshu)and. a day in Mexico(Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville TX). That's the extent of my travels, at least so far.

At this point in life, I'm not doing much travelling. Never was very good at it(I like being there far more than getting there), but am glad circumstances forced my agoraphobic ass to get out there a bit. Gigs are fewer--down from 6-10 in a month to maybe one--and earlier. And almost always local. But I still practice most every day, and do a lot of writing/recording here in the Music 'Laboratory'.Turning into more of an "internet musician". Still a musician though..

Okay! This is probably enough to read for now. Thanks for stopping in and reading. Gotta get to my other morning rituals: more coffee, Lumosity games. I do Lumosity every morning. 5 different games(which I can change)designed to work on different cognitive areas like memory, problem-solving. Fun and sometimes exasperating- these old fingers don't move quite as fast as they did.. So, happy Saturday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

Friday 

Greetings! It's about 7:30 on this snowy Friday evening. Tried to make it downtown tonight to catch the group playing at Robbie's(Kevin Hart and the Vibe Tribe), but couldn't find a good parking spot. Frustrated with the traffic and the snow, I bailed and headed home. Would've been nice to hear them. At least I made an effort, so I can't kick my ass too much here. Hope they had a good gig. Sometimes you end up packing the house when the weather's bad like this, and other times it wipes out your whole audience.  You never know until you get there. 

Music news. Mainly working on getting this site going, adding pictures and music and whatnot. I had a website through Hostbaby since 2004, and lost it all in the changeover--everything but my web address and domain name. I'd packed a lot of stuff in there over the years, some individualized pages having more to do with my sense of humor than music-but that's what makes it personal. So as well as the music and pictures, I hope to put some of my own quirky personality into this one as well. On the Bio section, I didn't feel like writing my whole life story over again, so I cut to the chase. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll add some other touches. 

I have 33 CDs , all available through CD Baby at the moment, but may take a stab at selling them here as well. They vary in style, from straight-ahead jazz to modern classical music. You can buy physical CDs or downloads, and also purchase individual tracks. 

Most all of the music tracks are things I just had in my own collection, and usually aren't on a CD. I might stick to this policy, as it's stuff you won't hear anywhere else. Hopefully that will serve as an incentive for checking out the site here. 

Anyway. That's my news for right now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Friday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

Wednesday  

 Good morning! It's just shy of noon, only eight minutes left. Another dark Winter day. I usually do these posts earlier in the morning, around 8 or 9. Early morning is 8 or 9. Becoming more diurnal in my retirement(partly attributable to my giving up my beloved Corona), but still not a true morning person. My Dentist works out at 5:30am, before going in to put in a full day of patients. That's hardcore. At 5:30, I'm either sound asleep or up taking a leak-soon to return to the Land of Nod. 

  Music news. 2020 has been a creative year for me, and the year's just getting started!. Three new CDs added to CD Baby(much backlog I finally got 'off my desk'), and some brand new music. It's either feast or famine with me, and I'm currently chowing down. Hopefully this wave will continue. I'll try and get some of this new music onto the Music page here. 

I also have a page on YouTube. The link is somewhere on the site here. Still learning my way around. But my page has lots of guitar work, some with groups and some either solo or with a playalong. You Tube  There you go. Like I said, still learning...

Hope you enjoy your visit to samcrain.com  Happy Hump Day to you, however you choose to celebrate it. I'm outa here. More later. 

Tuesday 

Good morning! It's just shy of nine this side of noon on a cloudyass Tuesday. Nice and rested though, which helps buffer the depressing day outside. Life is a shit sandwich and every day is another bite, but the more bread you have, the less shit you taste. I'm not quite that cynical, but it does make me laugh. However, in the second part of that statement, I think "bread" is actually a good night's sleep. It does mask the taste, when necessary...

Music news. Last week was spent almost entirely doing home recording, and I have one unusual piece to show for it. It's a suite of nine short pieces. The music is all mixed and uploaded to the computer, but I haven't added it anyplace yet. Hope to post it in here in the very near future.

This week, I've been getting back to the guitar. It took a back seat while I was being a 'mad scientist' in my makeshift home studio. A little rust in the fingers at first, but I feel like I'm back on track. Hopefully some more new posts on YouTube. I have a few things now, but they're tunes I already played on there within the month. One of my few rules is that I try not to repeat myself too much as far as material. Variety is, after all, the 'spice of life'. 

I'm slowly turning into an "internet musician", doing more and more in the cloistered confines of my music room--which I often refer to as the Music Laboratory.  But I still play out every now and then, and  have two band jobs this month, on the 20th and 21st. If you're interested, more information is available on my Shows page. Hope to see you at one of these events!

And that's my music news for today. On the domestic front, I have a Dentist's appointment in about an hour. I've had the same Dentist for at least 25 years. It's about as pleasant a time as you can have at the Dentist's office. There is some brief physical pain, but usually a nice discussion about whatever. 

Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Tuesday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

un-manic Monday 

Good morning! It's straight-up nine o'clock on this halfway sunny Monday. I just saw a meme on Facebook from my old supervisor at the State."What do you call a person who's happy on Monday? Retired." She was supposed to go about the same time as me, but hung in there for a few more years. Glad she was finally able to bail.  
 

 Music news. Still working on my new website, getting things in order. I've got a bunch of pictures up, and am adding music as well. It's still samcrain.com(I kept my 'domain'), just under new management. Naturally, I encourage whoever is reading this to stop in and check out my new 'place'. Like they say in front of the strip clubs in Baltimore,"don't cost nothin' to check it out". 
 

 Been working away in my makeshift home studio this past week, and have a new composition. It's a Suite of nine short pieces. Not sure whether to make this as an album in itself or part of another album. Decisions, decisions. But the stuff works, and therefore needs to be shared. 
 

Yesterday I took a break from recording, and dusted off the guitar. It'd been a couple days, so there was just a little rust. I'll have some new jams for YouTube sooner or later.Tough keeping everything together. Something always has to take a back seat.  
 

And on top of all this, I'm still trying to maintain an exercise regimen. This also took a back seat this past week, so yesterday I got back on track. I've got a nice compact workout with 3 different leg exercises, several sets of pushups, dips(for triceps)and finally a couple sets of leg-lifts. Takes about half an hour. I'm pretty whipped afterwards, so I know it's doing its stuff.. 
 

Two bandjobs later this month, on the 20th and 21st. I'll be at Pease's Gourmet on the 20th with the Samba Llamas; and at Robbie's on the 21st with Dan Rivero and Co. This stuff is now on the Shows link on my new website.  
 

And that's the major headlines for now. I'm not a football fan- college basketball is much more my style-, so I missed Superbowl Sunday- but am glad that the great state of Kansas was so well-represented.. 
 Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Monday to you! I'm outa here. More later.   
     
   

Sunday 

Good morning! It's about 8:45 on Sunday, this side of noon. The first sunny day we've had all week- or at least the first day that started off sunny. My home state of Illinois has not only the largest number of incarcerated Governors(4), but it also has the most mercurial weather going.  
   Music news. First off, I'm in the process of building another website. Hostbaby, the company I had mine through, sold out to another company called Bandzoogle. The good news is that I administer pretty much all the pages myself, so I can add music and photos on my own(I used to have to rely on a webmaster for that stuff). Lotsa pix up already, and a few tunes. It's still samcrain.com, just a different location.  
   In other news, I've spent the past week recording new stuff. What I have to show for it is a Suite of nine pieces.They're short- maybe 2 or 3 minutes apiece-but fairly intense. And entertaining, easy to listen to(but NOT "easy listening"). My music may be weird at times, but it's never esoteric. It's meant- ideally- for everybody.. 
   The guitar has taken a back seat these past couple days. Hope to get back on the stick today with practicing, and maybe have something to share with you on YouTube. As far as my home-recordings, I've got a couple things in need of guitar, so I'll be incorporating it into the mix. More to come. 
    A few bandjobs later this month,on the 20th and 21st. The 20th is at Pease's with the Samba Llamas; and the 21st is at Robbie's with the Dan Rivero Group. Hope to see you at one of these events! 
    My new site has a blog page, so I can continue to pontificate with my morning coffee and share these 'bon mots' with you the reader. So, more to come! 
    And that's about everything I can think of for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Sunday to you! Ich bin outa here. More later.  
    

Welcome! 

   Welcome to my new site! Just getting started here on Bandzoogle(finally getting the name right!), getting everything assembled. Stay tuned, much more to come!