The Bleu Note

Friday  

Good afternoon! It's about one o'clock here in Xanadu. This is normally a morning activity, but I actually had other activities to get out of the way. Monday is Colonoscopy Day, so I had to get all the "fixins" for Sunday's prep. This is my second one, so I know what I'm in for. Sunday will be a little grim, but not awful. Had to take a COVID test today as well. I was expecting great discomfort, if not actual pain, but there was nothing to it.  If there's any news, I'll get it on Sunday. Worst case scenario, in case I test positive, is just staying home for another 14 days. Always good to look at the worst possible outcome. Whatever happens after that is usually a great relief..

Music news. One new post on YouTube, with more to come. I'm on "house arrest" for the rest of the weekend(per instructions from Springfield Clinic), so more music will be made--out of necessity as much as anything...Up to 96 subscribers now, getting closer to that 'magic' number. This has been a great way to share what I do. I hope, once things get back to some semblance of normal, that I can bring other folks in on these posts. There's a bass player who has jammed with me here in the Lab, and I have a small file on my page marked Sam and Raj where you can hear our duo stuff. 

Otherwise, still plugging along. Not much in the home studio at the moment, but I imagine that will resume next week. CD Baby, the place I sell from, will probably reinstate their catalogues before long. This of course includes pretty much all the CDs I've made(and will still own up to..). I hope we can re-open without being foolish about it. But the process has started.

Over the past couple months, like everyone else, I've lost money(not that I had that much to start with), and dreaded seeing the monthly reports, which showed everything plummeting. They came in the mail yesterday- and, after steeling myself, opened the envelopes, and found the numbers coming back up. Pleasantly surprised, to say the least. 

And that'l do it for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Friday to you! I'm outa here for now. More later. 

Thursday  

Good morning! It's 9:52 on this cloudy Thursday. Not sure how to start this, so I'll just start somewhere in the middle. Watching places as they cautiously re-open. I visited Penny Lane yesterday for the first time in months. You have to wear a mask but they're open. And as far as the other stores,  you can now get all the toilet paper your little heart(or butt)desires, as well as other items. If they're still hoarding, they're at least buying up stuff nobody else wants 

All well and good. But grocery stores are not getting the supplies they need from the vendors,. My last couple of  Hy-vee online orders  have had some pretty good-sized  holes in them.. I had missing stuff, which they acknowledged in their email to me,but also stuff I didn't order.. Chicken tenders. Not something I'd order but quite edible all the same. I could take them back to the store and demand my money back or put my old George Foreman Grill back to work and enjoy them. I've decided to take the second option. Sometimes you have to look at the lesson...

Music news. I was asked, by someone who enjoys some of my YouTube posts, to learn the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire". It was made popular by the Ink Spots, I'm figuring in the 40s. Pretty tune.  I'm on it. In the meantime, I did post something yesterday, an old tune called I'm Old Fashioned. Probably something today as well. i'm up to 96 subscribers now. Exciting getting these new subscribers, but also makes me that much more conscientious about what I post. The main criterion for me as far as what I post is the feel. If it feels good, then we're halfway there. By feeling good, I'm talking about the groove. The time. 

As far as anything else from me, it's still in the works. The last CD I released was a couple months ago--a thing called New Day, which was intended as a kind of feel-good album. Smoother sounds, but still quirky and a little weird(I've gotta be me!)--and still  plenty of guitar hijinx. So far it's made $.06 in streams. I love getting streams, seeing what people choose to listen to. Quite often, they'll like one particular tune from an album. Fulsome Prism Blues is one. Cybertraash is another. Just as long as you're listening out there...

And that should do it for today. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Thursday to you! I'm outa here for now. More later. 

Wednesday  

Good morning! It's about 10, another hot sunny day on tap. For a brief second there I was missing my days as a beer drinker. But I don't miss the spare tire I'd gotten from it, or the struggle to get rid of it. Still, a cold beer on a hot day really hits the spot. A cold beer after a hectic stressful day is downright soul-satisfying- but it almost always led to more cold beers. Your vantage point seems to change with every beer guzzled, so the idea of more beer makes increasing 'sense'..

These days my elixir is in those morning cups of coffee. One pot makes about three and change. Enough to fuel me for the day. And there is soul-satisfaction in that first cup, just like that first beer after a day of having my ass chewed off by clients in the office. I remember the end of one of those Mondays, asking a female co-worker, "do I have any ass left?" Don't remember her response, if there was one. So coffee replaces beer as my feel-good fluid. . I guess you'd call that a paradigm shift. .

Music news. One new selection up on YouTube, with more to come. I've found that after recording that stuff, it's best to leave it alone for a day or two. Sometimes it's better than you thought, and other times you're aghast- 'what was I thinking?!" But you get a clearer picture that way. So I've got a few more to post, if they pass muster. Always on it. 

I'm always working on new recordings as in CDs(well, downloads these days). And as usual, have more material than I know what to do with. I might just end up with two new CDs. One is gonna be more straight-ahead jazz, and the other more eclectic. Puttering around in my Music Lab is often very soul-satisfying, akin to that first beer or first cup of coffee. After a day of this kind of work, I'm usually pleasantly spent. Another analogy comes to mind here, but I'll hold off...

So that's what's shakin' at the moment. I've got my Colonoscopy on Monday. Gotta buy the prep stuff from the pharmacy between now and Sunday, which will be prep day. Looking forward to having this all over and done with of course. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Hump Day to you! Stay safe, stay healthy. With that, I'm outa here. More later.

Tuesday Welding  

Good morning! It's about 20 of ten(or twenty of 10)on this beautiful Tuesday. Yesterday was kind of a bust. Had some people honking their horns and shouting late Sunday night, so it took a bit longer to get to sleep. Got up Monday morning still relatively bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and there's a voicemail from Springfield Clinic, where I have to be next Monday for my 3- year Colonoscopy. They want me to take a drive-through COVID test on Friday, and then stay home the rest of the weekend.

All doable, but I was pissed at first that it cut into my week. Instead of a day and a half, it's now three and a half days. I was gonna wrap everything up on Friday anyway, getting the stuff from the pharmacy for my prep day, and whatever groceries are needed. The only real grim day is gonna be Sunday, and I've done it before. This too shall pass....

When I first retired, I was worried about what I was gonna do to fill the time. At this point, I thoroughly enjoy having all this 'spare' time, weeks you could shoot a cannon through. And I'm pretty protective of it.  Hopefully things will be back to nermal this coming Tuesday, a week from today. 

Music news. You were probably wondering when I was gonna get to this. Unfortunately, nada..Still plugging away at the guitar, and might have something from yesterday's efforts to share. In the meantime, plenty of music on the site(on either the Music or My Wares pages)and on YouTube. More to come. 

And that pretty much says it for today. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through all this. Happy Tuesday to you! Stay safe and healthy in these crazy times. For now, I'm outa here. More later. 

un-manic Monday  

Good morning! About 10 after ten(or ten after 10)on this slightly cloudy Monday. Got a bit noisy last night around midnight. Cars honking, people yelling, all from a couple blocks away(figuring the State Capital building on 2nd st), but close enough. Fortunately, all this subsided after awhile. It did cut into my wind-down time, and made it harder to drift off into slumber, but I got there, and somehow got in my 7 hours. Then this morning there was a call from Springfield Clinic, where I have to be next  Monday. I have to go there on Friday for a COVID test, and then quarantine for the rest of the weekend, which cuts into my week a little bit. Still, I've got today through Thursday. Four relatively carefree days. 

Life is really trying to harsh my mellow, and I'm really trying not to let it. Hypertension runs down both sides of the family tree, so "mellow" takes some work- but it can be achieved. Trying to hang on to that this morning..

Music news. One solo guitar piece on YouTube. Trying to mix up the content. so people don't get bored with the same old stuff. I got in a fair amount of practicing yesterday, and taped a few things. We'll see what passes muster. I hope to have more to share with you. 

Skimpy as it may be, that's my news for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Monday to you!  I'm outa here. More later. 

 

Sunday  

Good morning! It's 9:20 here in the small city. The sun is shining, a bird is serenading us- all the earmarks of  a great day. I've got my first cup of coffee, and my cat is dozing in her chair. All's well here in Samville.. My brother came up with a cool name for his 'domain' playing a computer game with his son. Joshton. Hope all's well in Joshton today as well. We talk every week or so, and used to get together once a month or so for breakfast. Looking forward to reinstating our monthly meals, as Illinois re-opens. 

Music news. I've been posting more tunes  here at samcrain.com. They're all on the Music page, in one place or another. It's a DIY website, which is great in that you can do it yourself, but  not-so-great in other ways. There are some kinks. . You delete stuff you didn't mean to delete, with no way to retrieve it(see kinks)and then fish around until you find another way of working things.But I like to think I prevailed in the end. Lotsa tunes on the Music page. 

I'm always working on new recordings. Got a number of originals down, and working from there. Soon enough, I'l hatch another one. CD Baby, the place I sell through, has been on hiatus due to the COVID situation. They're still operational, but the 'warehouse' is closed. One thing they offer, through another company, is one-page websites for your CDs. These have all the main digital companies on there: like Spotify and iTunes. This could get expensive, at $24 per CD. We'll see..

YouTube is pretty current. Up to 94 subscribers. Edging closer to that 3-digit mark.  I'll probably have something to post today, for your listening pleasure.  

And that's all I've got for right now. A week from today, I'll be doing the prep for a Colonoscopy. Did it back in 2017, and the prep day was grim but not awful. Literally slept through the procedure the following day, and was good to go from there. Can't say as that I'm looking forward to this, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. It's about a day and a half out of my life. And I have another week before it happens. Looking forward to having it over and done with for the next couple years. 

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

 

Saturday  

Good morning! It's about 9:45 in the a.m, a nice sunny day out there. The world is a crazy place right now. Instead of an earworm, I have Spike Lee's movie Do the Right Thing running through my head. What happened to George Floyd happens to one of the main characters near the end of the film. If you haven't seen it, you should. But despite all the feelings this engenders, my little corner of the world is fairly peaceful. And for that, I'm grateful. 

Music news. Same old same old. For what it's worth,  I miscounted the number of guitars I have. It's actually 10, not 8. Two of them were in their cases. One is a Takamine, something you don't see much of, as they're better-known for their acoustics.  It looks like a Ventures guitar. with those fins. The Ventures officially played Mosrite guitars, which are actually pieces of kindling. I know because I've played a few Mosrite guitars. When it came down to it, they played Gibson and Fender guitars.

I've had this guitar since the 80s. It was just laying around Walko Music Co, where I spent many years taking and giving lessons. In 1986, I took a couple two lessons at SIU Edwardsville with Rick Haydon. My friend Frank Huston had been studying with him, and invited me along. Haydon was a good guy, but brutally honest. He told me I had "wimpy technique". I used to anchor my pinky of my right hand on the guitar-which greatly inhibits movement unless you've got great big hands. So he broke me of that bad habit, for which I'm grateful. Took about a year for it to feel normal though..

So playing this guitar now, I remember those times. My "wimpy technique" guitar...

In other news, I have some new music to share. I was going through my digital recorder(the rectangular gray thing behind the keyboard in the picture)and found nine pieces I'd forgotten about. So I'll be sharing to the Music page today. There are a few new pictures up as well. 

And that'll do it for today. Time for that second cup o' Joe, and my other morning ritual Lumosity. Calisthenics for the mind. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

Friday  

Good morning! It's 10 o'clock on this beautiful Friday. The world may be going to hell in a handbasket, but it's nice and peaceful here at Casa de Sam. My cat has had her breakfast and is dozing in the chair to my left. And my first cup of coffee is to my right. Everything in its place.

Music news. Still plugging along, spending some time every day with one of my gitboxes. Counting an Ibanez 5-string bass I got from Kevin Ellis years ago, I have eight: the B. Cook archtop; arctic white Fender Telecaster(my R & B guitar); Ibanez Strat copy, Ibanez classical electric; burgundy Gretsch ES-style; cherry-red Epiphone Casino(also an ES style and my main guitar); homemade Jim Hughes solidbody. This last guitar has a most unique shape, which is why I wanted it. Pictured below. 

ES refers to the Gibson ES-335 model, almost as popular as the Fender Stratocaster(made popular by Jimi Hendrix, et al). Gibson ES's cost a small fortune, but that same model in a Gretsch or Epiphone(which is actually a branch of Gibson)is very affordable. I know because I have those instruments.  Guitar gentrification. Overpriced just like Manhattan(and apparently, much of Brooklyn). Manhattan is great, but I'll save my money and live in Queens or Jersey- or Podunk, Illinois.

My collection is actually skimpy compared to many guitarists out there, who own dozens or more. Maybe with a bigger room..

In other news, there's new stuff up on YouTube. One is a great old standard, I Remember You, only with just guitar and drums. The challenge here is carrying the tune without the support of bass or piano. To my ears, it works. Feels good. It's on my page on Facebook. I'm up to a whopping 93 subscribers now. Might just make it to 100 after all. Planning on doing something to commemorate that minor milestone, when it happens. Don't know what just yet, but something.

Well this is probably enough to wade through for one day. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading- and to the individuals who checked out the site yesterday. Happy Friday to you! I'm outa here. More later. .

 

Thursday  

Good morning! Just this side of 10. A dark,cloudy day out there, but who cares? Yesterday was my get-things-done day. So today is a well-earned day of sloth. When purpose is used to attain purposelessness, the thing has been grasped. Sounds like something from Lao Tzu. I read it as a High Schooler, probably from one of my folks' books(we were the only family I knew to have the Bhagavad Gita  laying around), and used to amuse my friends with it. I think I had them fooled into thinking I was "deep"..

Music news. CD Baby, the place I sell my wares from, has been closed since March . But they still send your stuff to all kinds of digital companies out there, and notify you as to the results.So I get a buck and change every couple days and a list of my tunes that were streamed. These things keep my morale up by showing me that people out there are listening. Maybe not too many of them, but people nonetheless. And they show me what goes over and what doesn't. 

My most popular items are the straight-ahead jazz things, and usually those with the least imaginative titles. Solo Jazz Guitar, Jazz Guitar(vol 1), and The Sam Crain Trio are my top three. My catalog of CDs pretty much runs the gamut as far as style: from straight-ahead jazz to weirdo electronic music. And there is a small contingent that goes for the weirdo stuff.

Got a recent CD from the beginning of the year: Garden of Sonic Delights. Weirdo electronics and a sort of punk-jazz. There's a tune on there called Cybertraash that got all kinds of streams this time. It's the best seller of my most recent stuff, accruing a whopping 46 cents in streams! No, you're not going to get rich with streams, but you will learn- again, what goes over and what doesn't. Priceless information. 

And I have more stuff on the way. Today's streams were a nice reminder that people like the "weird" stuff too, so more to come in both the 'normal' and 'abnormal'  varieties. This should about do it for today. Certainly enough verbiage to wade through. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Thursday to you! The dark skies when I started writing are gone now, and a beautiful sunny day remains. If you don't like the weather in central Illinois, just give it fifteen minutes or so. I'm outa here. More later. 

Wednesday  

Good morning! It's just coming on 7:30 on this overcast Wednesday. Up a little earlier than usual. Kept waking up, and finally just decided to make a go of it. 7.5 hrs is my ideal, but  I'm sufficiently fueled with the six or so hours I got. And coffee is helping me get the rest of the way there.

Music news. Still playing the arctic white guitar, and have been uploading a few things to YouTube. Got more to put up today. I seem to alternate between working on the guitar and working on new tunes in the "music lab'. It's a nice existence. Still striving to get better on the guitar, and get my music out where people can hear it, but no longer busting my ass to Make It. I see someone I know- a vocalist, my age(!)- out there busting her tail across the country, playing on every venue she can get. I'm rooting for her, but at the same time am thinking, "wow, that's a lot of work at this age!" She's always been a dynamo, but still...

Interesting to see how the re-opening will play out. I don't have anything on the calendar until November, when I'm back at Robbie's. My gigs were either there, or Pease's on the west side, or the assisted living centers. It will be a good while before the nursing/assisted living facilities will be back to having visitors though. So slim pickins for awhile..

Before all this happened, I was getting a slightly better social life.It was all one-on-one: either visit someone at their house or meet them for dinner, which should be easy enough to revive. I was already avoiding crowds, so not much of an adjustment there. It's the extroverts--the 'normal', well-adjusted folks--who really suffer in times like these. 

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

 

 

Tuesday  

Good morning! It's just shy of 10 on this bright and sunny Tuesday. If you work for the State, you had yesterday off, and are paying out the nose for it today, with all those people that couldn't get through on Monday. I know this because I was a State employee, and bit the bullet on many of these days. One co-worker used to call  today Muesday: a combination of Monday and Tuesday. My heart goes out to you guys, especially on Muesday.

Music news. With a room full of guitars, I've  decided to use a different one for awhile. My usual-and-customary cherry-red Epiphone has some string buzzes, and it's also nice just to change things around every so often. So I'm using an "arctic white' Fender Telecaster. The Tele is a most adaptable instrument. You can play rock or blues or country or jazz on it without missing a beat.. With jazz you don't have the deep resonance of one of those bigass archtops,but you can still get a nice full tone.

I have one of those "bigass archtops" as well. Beautiful instrument, but a lot of guitar. The guy who built it is about my height and weight, so it'd look big on him too. All a matter of personal taste. For instance, some smaller guys out there love big women. Not me. For what it's worth, I like them petite, but still with some shape.  So. I love this  instrument, but eventually gravitated back toward guitars that look better on me(but still sound good).. All is vanity, right?

So I have a few new things for YouTube with the white guitar, which I'll be posting today. Probably something new as well. It feels like a good day for making music. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading my current whatever. Happy Tuesday to you! I'm outa here. More later. 

 

un-manic Monday 

Good morning! Just after 9, and another beautiful sunny day out there! In bed at 12:30 last night, up at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30. A night full of dreams I hardly remember, except that I was back at work. I have a couple different dream scenarios and  a popular one is my old workplace- the unemployment office on 9th st in Springfield. Only without the stress..

Music news. Still chuggin' along here in the Music Lab. I'm in a pretty good groove with the practicing, getting it done pretty much every day. Trying to keep the YouTube page current. I have a whopping 92 subscribers at this point. Makes me think I could hit 100-at some future point. Still thinking about what special thing I could do to commemorate the occasion. Took awhile to get to where it is though.. I think if you have 1000 subscribers or better, you start getting paid for your posts. True or not, that's a looong climb. I'll be a doddering old fool by then if I'm even still around..

When I was on the road, from December 1984 to March of 1986, I wrote a lot of tunes. One thing, called 'Anything for Money', used to get played on our first set. We'd do a short set of all instrumentals before the "show' started. I thought my tune might make a nice introduction to the band. "Hi, we're Scoundrel, and we'll do--anything for money". I kept them all in a notebook, which I thought I'd lost forever but found it just recently here in the cluttered-but-comfortable music room. So one of my goals now is to record as many of them as possible- and especially the ones that have never been played. Those are the things I've been sharing to Facebook. More to come...

Another goal, once the restrictions are lifted, is to get other people on board with my recordings. Group recordings are rough because of the scheduling, but it's nice to have other energies in there besides your own. The last group recording I made was in 2015, so I'm due again.

Looking forward to playing with other musicians as well. The group I used to play with, Ocean State, is planning a Post-COVID get-together with food and merriment. That's gonna be fun. I'm sure there will be something at Robbie's coming up. Got a gig there under my name in November. The other places I still play besides Robbie's, are the assisted living centers--but those may be out of commission for a long time..

This is probably more than enough to read. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through all this verbiage. Happy Monday to you, if that's possible! I'm outa here. More later. 

Sunday, new post  

Well this site is screwy at times, as far as the admin functions. When you delete something, such as a post, it deletes a whole bunch of posts with it. Not a big deal to save my bon mots every day or anything, but still..It also happened on my Music page, but all the deleted cuts are still in the system(Bandzoogle's)and thus are retrievable. Certainly not the end of the world...

So much for my kvetching. I'm enjoying this beautiful day. Got in a little time on the gitbox, and even taped a few things. We'll see if any of it passes muster. 

A couple new things on YouTube you might enjoy. Likewise a couple new pictures up here at samcrain.com. I posted a blog this morning, and kept editing it, finally to just chuck it. Start over. 

Looking forward to things re-opening, but am on the side of caution. There is a get-together planned for that future point with Ocean State, a band I used to play in. I can and do work as a 'solo act', but I miss making music with other musicians. I really look forward to recording with other musicians, and having other folks besides just me playing on these CDs I can't seem to stop making. 

Gonna enjoy more of this day. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you! I'm gone. 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.