The Bleu Note

Thursday  

Good morning! 8:47 and 26 degrees at the moment. A sunny Winter day. I'll take it- just as long as I don't have to get out in it. 

Music news. I have a gig on Friday, March 31st, at Boone's. Ben Taylor on bass and Jaro Howse on drums.

I'm using some different players this time, which is no reflection on the guys who've been doing these trio dates with me over the past couple years. Rob and Dave have done a great job. I just wanted some different energy.

Actually, my first attempt at filling this was going to be a drummerless trio with Rob and myself and Buddy Rogers. Rob works with me under duress, but he loves working with Buddy. (Me too, for that matter). We've done it before.  Buddy was up for it, but is already working on that date, so I had to start over. 

When I hire people, I tend to think in terms of how they're going to get along with one another--especially bass players and drummers. Ben and Jaro have worked together on several occasions, and there's good chemistry between them. So I think we'll have us some fun..

Domestic/Old Guy news. I have an appointment on the 23rd with a Plastic Surgeon, to have an early Melanoma taken off the top of my noggin. Something they found when I went in on the 16th of last month. Might see if he can do something with the nose and jawline while I'm there. Not worried about this, but looking forward to having it in the rear-view mirror...

Otherwise, just continuing to enjoy my retired life. Speaking of which, it's about time for that second cup of coffee, so I'll ring off here. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Thursday to you! Ich bin outa this place. More later. 

 

un-manic Monday  

Good morning! 11:07 and a bone-crushing 16 degrees. Well maybe not bone-crushing---that would be 16 below--but still colder than I might like. Heading into the second half of Winter. So far so good. 

Music news.  Easing into 2023. An almost-gig back on the 8th- which consisted of waiting around for the employer  for about an hour. I did get paid for my trouble, which was cool but not necessary. It was a bandleader I hadn't worked with in quite some time.

Some nice catching up in that hour, but also a reminder that they have a snarky side to them--one I'd do well to avoid. And so it goes with people you've known for several decades. In all that time, they've probably said and done some very nice things on your behalf. But they've probably also pissed you off on more than a few occasions. So you don't condemn them, but just lower your dosage..

As I get older, and have to take more medications,  I tend to view people in that way.. Some make you feel better, some make you feel worse. So you try and keep the nutrients, but get rid of the toxins. And so it goes...

On a more positive note, I have a gig coming up. Friday, March 31st, at Boone's. 5:30- 7:30. Me and a bass player and drummer. Jazz standards and maybe an original or two. And I'll have CDs on hand, which I always sell for half-price at gigs. Hope to see you there!

Still continuing to practice, and make videos. Working from home is not the same as playing with other musicians. Obviously, you don't have the interaction. But you can still work on things like time, and sound, and phrasing. I'm thinking about all those things when I make videos. I suppose they're like Test Missions. 

Anyway, that's my story for now. On the 23rd of this coming month, I go see a Plastic Surgeon about an early melanoma on top of my noggin. Might see if they can make me better-looking while they're at it. The Dermatologist I saw back on the 16th of this month is too busy, so they're farming me out. At least it's right here in town. It's just one of those things we oldsters have to go through...

Okay. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Monday to you, if that's possible. Ich bin outa here. More later. PS today's tune is from my album Jazz Guitar. It's called Autumn Gets Up and Leaves. Hope you like it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! About 9:10 in the pm, starting to wind down for the night. It's been a week since I've written anything in here, so we're overdue. 

Music news. I have a gig on Friday, March 31st, at Boone's. Two other people will be joining me on bass and drums. Just got the contracts in the mail today, so this is hot off the presses. We'll be playing some of that jazz music, and I'll have CDs on hand, which I always sell at half-price--still an inflation-busting $5 apiece. Hope to see you there!

Still keeping the YouTube page alive. The videos come from my practice sessions, so it all depends. Sometimes I've got a winner or two, other times it all goes in the cyber-trash. And there are still other days when I don't self-record at all, but just go to work with my brutally honest friend Mr. Metronome. But it's still going, and I even put up a new one here on the homepage.  

Domestic/Old Guy News. This is my year for repairs. The front porch got a much-needed facelift, and the roof is getting an even more sorely needed replacement this Spring. I've also gone from one back  to two working johns here in the house, Still feels like a luxury. 

On the old guy front, my visit to the Dermatologist last week revealed an Atypical Conjunctive something or other, which translates in Layman's terms as an early Melanoma.  I go see someone  in about four weeks--right here in town-- and arrange to have it removed. Then there are follow-up visits every 6 months for at least awhile into the year. Another old guy rite of passage...

So with this news, things are settling back down.  I've been waiting over a week for those medical results, so it's been tough to really get going on anything. Back to the guitar, and more musicmaking. 

And that's what I've got in the way of news. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Thursday to you, or whenever you read this! Ich bin outa here. More later. 

 

Thursday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! A cloudy Winter day out there. Cloudy days are my Kryptonite. Trying to make it a nicer day in here. So here's some news:

On Monday I had an appointment with a Dermatologist. My regular Doctor wanted them to look at a lesion on my forehead. No problem there, but they did find something on the tip of my nose, which they zapped off. I now have a red spot on my nose. Maybe they can zap that off as well.

They also found something on the top of my head from which they took a sample.. Waiting on those results, which they should have sometime next week.

"What if you find something?" "We'll cut it out. " That was encouraging...

So 2023 is off and running. On the musical end of things, an almost-gig back on the 8th of this month. The employer never showed up to let us in. Otherwise, still hanging in there from here in the Music Lab. 

There are some musicians here in town I haven't worked with in ages. I'm not really on the scene, but have subbed here and there, and am seeing more of these stab-from-the-past folks. Most of the time,  it's a joyous reunion.

On a few occasions, though, I'm reminded why I haven't worked with them in ages. And I swear--and probably not for the first time--never again. I try to do this peaceably.

As I get older, I tend to view people as medications. So if I have a problem with somebody, I Just lower my dosage . Sometimes a full-on ThatPerson-ectomy is necessary, but usually just lowering their amperage works..

Anyway! I just had to sound off there.. Most of my encounters with other musicians are good ones. And with that, thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy gloomyass Winter Thursday to you! Ich bin outa here. More later. 

 

Monday Monday  

Good morning! 10:45 and 46 degrees on this wet n' unwild Monday. Happy Martin Luther King Day!

I had a medical appointment this morning with Springfield Clinic. Dermatology. They took a look at a couple places on my head, and biopsied one of them. I'll know something in about a week. Ahh, the joys of getting older...But if there is something amiss, at least it's fixable. I went through all that with them, as far as my options..

As far as music news, I'm just getting back to it. Had to get through today's adventure first. Still amazed at how little time all this actually took. . Half an hour later, I'm back home- with some pamphlets and some stuff to put on the top of my head where they did the cutting. So we'll see what gives. 

7:11 and 50 degrees. A nice low-key day, after the brief morning excitement. Not much else to say, but we'll just try it all again tomorrow. And maybe later tonight, if I get ambitious enough. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Ich bin outa here. More later. 

 

 

 

Friday the 13th  

Good morning! 10:03 and 27 degrees at the moment. Who the $%$ ordered the goddamned snow, anyway?! Mother Nature has been toying with us this Winter. The snow will be gone in a couple days. February may be a different story, but that's aways down the road. 

RIP Jeff Beck. He was an artist.

Always liked his playing- through the Yardbirds, and his various groups. Beck, Bogart and Appice was a favorite. And of course his most recent group with Tal Wilkenfeld on bass.  I don't remember where Tim Bogart came from, but Carmine Appice was in the band Vanilla Fudge. You Keep Me Hangin' On was one of their hits.  Testing my memory a bit here.

Another favorite album of his was Wired. Jan Hammer has some nice moments on there as well. I remember having the King Crimson album Discipline, which I traded for it. "I'll trade you Wired for Discipline". A short pause, as we both realized that was a great name for something or other..

Wired for Discipline.. Actually, that would make a great band name. Probably for a Thrash Metal band..

Back to my own thrilling life. Heading into the new year in a good way. I don't have any gigs to share at the moment--I do have one in the works for Boone's, but no date yet--but I'm still doing a lot of playing here at Crain Manor. 

YouTube is still alive and well. Still getting new subscribers, and some wonderful comments. With the guitar, I always feel like I'm just starting to get it. Even after all this time. In July, it'll be 57 years. I think the beauty of it is that you're always in the process of mastering it. 

So that's what I've got for you for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading Happy Friday the 13th, for what that's worth! Ich bin outa here. More later. 

PS today's pic was taken at The Alamo in 2013 or 2014. Mark McKnight, Rob Killam and me.

un-manic Monday  

Good morning! It's 9:03 and 28 degrees on this Winter Monday. Back in working days, a Winter Monday was a double whammy. Monday by itself in the Unemployment Office was already like a Minnesota Winter, regardless of the actual Season. . No, scratch that. A North Dakota Winter. But once you got Monday out of the way, the rest of the week was usually downhill from there..

I don't think much about those days anymore. In June it'll be ten years. But I do think about it on Monday morning. Well, for a minute or two...

Musical news. An almost gig yesterday, at Indigo. Flute/saxophones, guitar and Vibraphone. Our employer never showed up to let us in. Just a tad bit too cold to stand around outside, so we waited in our cars. Still, I didn't begrudge the time.

Except for the cold, it was at least a nice hang. The flute/saxophone guy and I have known each other for over 40 years. Hadn't seen him in ages, so there was some catching up to do. And I got to meet a new musician, Matthew something-or-other. Nice guy.

As I've said before, gigs are social events. So the nice conversation yesterday was at least half the battle..

I ended up having a great day on the guitar back here in the Lab. Recorded a bunch of things with my digital camera, of which a few survived. So there should be some new stuff on the YouTube page. Continuing to get new subscribers, which is still a huge kick. 

Overnight success after 56 years of trying!

Well this is probably more than enough to read. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through it. Happy Monday to you, if that's possible! For now, I'm outa this place. More later. 

PS today's pic was taken at Lime Street. Kevin Hart, me, Kevin Ellis, and Don Cochran. Or at least Don's drums. Virgil Rhodes was also sitting in. I was trying to find a pic with him in it. He is the flute/saxophone guy from yesterday's almost-gig. 

Wednesday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! It's been awhile since I've written one of these.  So here's some news.

Music-type news. I have a gig this coming Sunday at Indigo, which is a fancy restaurant in the Parkway Pointe area. 12:30 to 1:30, and some good players. Should be a fun hour. Even if it isn't, it's just an hour. Can't lose either way..

And I submitted a couple dates to the Arts Council as far as something at Boone's for their Friday Night Jazz. So sooner or later, I'll have a gig of my own to invite you to. 

The YouTube page is still alive and well. I try and post something every couple of days. Still practicing, trying to get better. Sometimes my practice routine just involves me and my brutally honest friend Mr. Metronome. Most of the time, though, I use playalongs, which is where the material for my page comes from. 

As far as the domestic front, just moving further into Geezerhood. I'll be 69 this year.

This has been a good day. Happiness is getting your lab results the day after your 6 month checkup, and having those critical numbers going down instead of up. Having given up burgers and pizza and beer and all things high-carb, I'm glad there's something to show for it!  What I'm doing, in all this abstinence, is working. At least somewhat...

So that's my story for right now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Wednesday to you! With that, ich bin outa here. More later. 

Happy New Year!  

This is the only calendar I could find at Walgreen's today, as we proceed into the new year. Good thing they had one in my sign!

We're just about two hours from the Blessed Event, and the fireworks have already started. We'll get another blast at midnight. 

I played last night at Boone's, for their last Friday night of the year. Wasn't sure who all would be there, but was pleasantly surprised.

We had a full house on stage. Trumpet, saxophone, two guitars, bass and drums- and some folks sitting in. When musicians are in attendance at someone else's gig, they're usually there to play. With a few folks I know, it's almost an unwritten Law. 

I had a great time socializing with a few people on our break, and after the gig. Like I've said before, gigs are largely social events to me. I'm there to talk to people as well as play for them. 

And the following day, I usually hole up, recharging my batteries. Today has been spent exercising, practicing and watching episodes of The Sopranos. And not talking to anyone. 

As far as any gigs for 2023, I've put in my bid for a date at Boone's. Made three selections, and will get one of them. It'll be in the Spring. Unfortunately, the Friday night things and Artist-on-the-Plaza gigs are mutually exclusive. You can only do one or the other. So I'll see you at Boone's. And probably someplace else. 

And always online. Keeping the YouTube page well-stocked, as best I can. Like many folks, I'm my own worst critic as far as listening back to my own performances. So there's a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor, but something or other usually survives..

So here we are 90 minutes until midnight. Time to wrap this up. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Wishing the best 2023 for my family and friends out there. To quote one of my favorite blues singers, much love. For now, ich bin outa here. See ya next year.

 

Charley-horse Wednesday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! Just a shade after noon here in the middle of the week. Still nursing the morning coffee, as well as a charley-horse. Just below my back on the right side. Yes, I know- a charley-horse is most often associated with the legs. But it still applies here..

I get it in that same location every time. Happened yesterday, just from bending the "wrong" way. It was giving me some real backtalk as I woke up this morning, but has subsided. Advil, time, and perspective..

One saving grace in getting older is that much of the stuff that happens to you has already made an appearance- and thus a disappearance. Still a pain in the ass--or hip, as the case may be--but one you've been through before. This too shall pass...

There's a drummer I work with here and there who's a great one to talk to about anything health-related. He's a veteran of  just about every medical procedure you can think of, and then some! And he has put me at ease on at least one occasion I can recall. No names, but he actually reads my blogs once in a while and would certainly recognize himself here.  Plus, he keeps a pretty good beat..

Well I think I've segued back into music here. I'm working this Friday at Boone's, 5:30 to 7:30, with my old buddy Rob Killam and a few other folks. It should be a pretty varied setlist, with some R & B as well as jazz. Hope to see you there!

And that's my news for the moment. Old guy news mixed with music. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Wednesday to you! For now, ich bin outa here. More later.