The Bleu Note

Sunday  

Good morning! 10:58 and 68 degrees are our current stats.

  It's that time of year again. Time to break out the thermal dermis aka Long Johns, and the extra blankets. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night freezing, and couldn't get back to sleep. It was probably quite a show. Tonight I've got those extra layers handy if I need them. 

Getting older is a bitch. Even without the chronic stuff many seniors come down with, you still have days where you just don't feel quite right. Days when you're just plain old. But along the way, you learn how to take care of yourself. 

Music news. Well I had two engagements for this past week but neither of them worked out. The first one would've involved sitting around for more than an hour, so I'm taking a raincheck. With the second one, there was never any clear communication. It was for a friend from Robbie's days, one of the folks I'd play Jeopardy with before my gigs there. I didn't hear back, so I thought I must've pissed him off. 

Fortunately that was not the case. I've been nursing a toothache since Thursday and wasn't in the greatest shape, so I wasn't able to make it. My friend was very understanding. About getting older, he said "more than you know". So I was greatly relieved. And there's always a next time, however far down the road..

In other music news, the YouTube page is still growing as far as subscribers. Up to 178 at the moment. I have a lot of fun with the page, and have a few more things to add. It's also cool hearing from some of these people out there. 

Last but not least, I have a new album that just released today. It's called  Isosceles Macaroni, and as the title might suggest, is some of my wackier stuff. The title is from a dream I had back in 1979 or so.

I was 24-25 years old. In the dream, I'm having dinner at Ralph Nader's house. As dinner is cooking, he's giving a lecture. "We must view reality without bias" he was saying, and he then drew a 9-point star on the blackboard, and was solving various philosophical problems within the star. All this is going on, and the phone rings, I answer it. 'Hello?""What's for dinner? "Isosceles Macaroni' was my reply. 

Pretty weird, eh? Anyway, the link is above. Hope folks will stop in and give a listen. 

So that's what's up for the moment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through it. Happy Sunday to you! For now, ich bin outa here. More later. 

PS today's pic is the cover of my new album. It's supposed to be an Isosceles Triangle made out of macaroni shells. Today's tune is also from the album. Hope you like it. 

 

 

Thursday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Just getting ready to get into some kinda trouble here. 

Well I had two engagements scheduled for this week. The first one had a sudden change in plans that would've had me waiting around for over an hour. I politely declined. Had a nice time playing for them before. Maybe we can do another one, where we don't have the waiting period. 

The second one is at an unfamiliar location out by the Lake, and I expressed a few misgivings about getting in and out of there plus sustaining interest on solo guitar for a couple hours. Never heard back. As the song goes, if the phone don't ring, you'll know it's me.

Yes, I've become a grumpy old man. I don't think I'd hire me either..

But that's become a consideration as I've gotten older. There have been more occasions than I'd like to admit,  coming home from gigs--even local ones if they're way on the West side or some other unfamiliar spot-- where I've gotten myself turned around and had to re-group. 

That's one reason I don't do much evening stuff. The other being that I go to bed earlier. Again, old person stuff. 

So there will be other things that will work out, down the road. In the meantime, I'm still workin' it here in the Lab. The YouTube page is doing well, and continuing to get new subscribers. And I hear from some of them too. So far they've been kind. 

And as far as my getting lost, I know there's GPS. Even got it on this new-fangled phone of mine. Incidentally, I do have it figgered out, as far as the basics: receiving and transmitting, plus checking my voicemail. Just had to sit down for a second and goof with it. 

So that's my latest stuff. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through it. Happy Thursday to you! For now, I'm outa here,. More later. 

 

 

Wednesday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! It's a dismal day out there, but at least Jeopardy has been showing new episodes. You've gotta find your light wherever you can find it...

Music-type news. Still workin' it here in the Lab. And still making videos. That's one thing that seems to be working out. I'm continuing to get new subscribers on my YouTube page, and a little bit of interaction with them as far as comments and so forth. I'm still playing for an audience, and like having a rapport with them. Haven't lost sight of that.

One other thing I've been doing here in the Lab is learning new tunes. Well, new to me at any rate. Airegin, Voyage, Anthropology, Along Came Betty.  Currently working on the song Laura. Usually done as a ballad, but also works nicely as a medium swing. Bill Evans does it this way on his album A Simple Matter of Conviction(w/ Eddie Gomez and Shelly Manne). So that's my model. Coming soon!

Eventually, there will be another Boone's gig, at which time I'll be playing these new tunes. Good to change up your repertoire every so often. Actually, it's best to do that continuously. But I'll take what I can get..

In other news, I'm figuring out my new Android phone. Now able to both transmit and receive.. Not much to figure out really, more a matter of just sitting and messing with it. As you get older, learning new stuff is more daunting, or at least feels that way. But like anything, it becomes more fun as you get better at it. 

There's a math game on Lumosity that's getting that way. An increasing Fun Factor.. It's called Raindrops, and is basically Space Invaders only with arithmetic equations. I actually broke one of the Enter keys on my keyboard doing this one. 

Skimpy stuff today. Thanks as ever for stopping in and wading through it. Happy Wednesday to you! For now, I'm points elsewhere. Later for now. 

PS today's tune is called Boot Scoot. It's based on the old standard Lover Come Back to Me. From my album Tele-ology. Jazz on a Fender Telecaster. 

 

 

 

Tuesday  

Good morning! 9:41 and 77 degrees. A perfect day out there. It's been awhile since I've written one of these, so here goes. 

I was supposed to have a job tomorrow, on solo guitar.  Even got a long-overdue haircut, so I'd look spiffier.  .  But they wanted me to show up at 10:45 to load in, and then wait around until about noon to play. This was something I just sort of glossed over at the time, but it  came back to haunt me at the very end of the day. "Now wait just a blasted minute.."

So I got up today, a bit earlier than I'd have liked, but with the courage of my convictions. Respectfully declined, and explained why. I have been a damn people-pleaser on more than a few occasions in my life, keeping other people happy at my own expense. Not anymore...

It feels good to hold your ground. I almost feel like it's a new skill I'm just now learning. Had to do it earlier in the year, with a friend I'd always argue with. Life-after-death. A favorite old person topic, along with medications and medical treatments. I believe it exists, he doesn't.  So we now agree to disagree- and have a great time discussing everything else!

Not much actual news at the moment. Still playing pretty much every day here in the Lab, and continuing to make tapes when I'm practicing. I always feel like I'm just starting to get it as far as improvements- even after 56 years of messing with it.

Anyway, this is all I've got for you for the moment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Tuesday to you! For now, I'm outa here. More later. 

PS Today's pic was taken at a Luncheon I did for the same group I was going to play for tomorrow. Hopefully we can do it again down the road. PPS today's tune is from my newest album Souvenirs. Hope you like it. 

 

Saturday  

Good morning! 9:34 and 73 degrees. Can't beat it  Got that first cup of coffee going, ready to take on the world. 

Domestic news. Well, to quote Sylvester Stallone, I feel like a Kentucky Fried Idiot. Problems with my new cell phone. The place I bought it from- the Verizon dealer in Parkway Pointe is useless(don't go there!), so I go instead to the Verizon dealer way the hell on the north side of town. Russell Cellular. Much nicer to deal with. They supplied me with a charger, something the original store neglected to do. 

I was having a lot of trouble answering my phone. Finally had enough of it, and made the 20-minute drive to Russell Cellular. It's on Dirksen Parkway a couple blocks north of Sangamon. There was only one staff person there, and I had two people ahead of me. It was about a 25-minute wait. 

When I finally got to talk to the staff person, it was a much simpler fix than I'd thought. This person had told me over the phone that my problem was a common one, but fixing it involved a couple steps on their part. As it turned out, all I needed to do was swipe the phone icon rather than pressing it. 

Most everything else on this damn new phone is self-explanatory. But this one threw me. I think a few people have given up on trying to call me- even though I call them right back- so now I can at least take your calls. 

Music news. A couple solo guitar things this coming week, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. My YouTube page is continuing to get new subscribers, and is getting a bit more interactive, with some nice comments from a few folks. I'm sharing something I love doing. All good. 

And that's my news for this installment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! Lumosity and Wordle and more coffee are all beckoning me. Later for now. 

PS today's pic was taken at The Alamo. Playing with Dan Rivero and Wayne Carter. My time with these guys was a nice patch. Enjoyed it. And thanks, Yolanda, for the picture. 

Friday  

Good morning! 9:48 and 69 degrees at the moment. A nice slothful week comes to an end. Stuff to do today. And two engagements next week. Wednesday and Saturday, both solo guitar. They're both private affairs, so unfortunately I can't invite you. 

The Man, the Music. I just made 87 cents from what people have streamed on Spotify. I've got a sort of Chump Change Account on CD Baby was far as this goes. When it reaches 50 bucks, they pay me. Not getting rich from these dividends, but it's nice to see what people are listening to--and the fact that they are listening. 

I've hit a nice plateau with the guitar, where most everything I'm trying is working. This encourages me to play more, and to make more jam tapes to put up on YouTube. Still picking up new subscribers, and am now up to a whopping 169 folks!

It's getting more interactive as well, with some nice comments. This is a good thing. I always write back, maybe with a comment of my own. Even though I don't get out all that much these days. I'm still playing for an audience.

This will take you to another YouTube page of mine, with many of my albums. Some are solo projects, and some have a variety of folks on them. Styles vary, from straight-ahead jazz to fusion to more eclectic weirdo stuff. 

Well that's all I've got for you for now. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Friday to you! For now, I'm outa here. Lumosity and Wordle are beckoning. Later for now. 

PS today's pic was taken in Michael Taylor's studio in Pawnee, year unknown. He's helped me with all sorts of recording projects, over the years and even did two of my albums: Solo Jazz Guitar, and Spring into Swing 

 

Thursday  

Love is the answer! Well, it's the answer I'll take. Never met the guy, but we were Facebook friends. I'd hoped to meet him sometime or other, but it just didn't happen. But I did get to hear something on his YouTube page. Beautiful singing voice! 

Strangely enough, it was a song I don't ordinarily like. Roy Orbison's Crying. But Sam won me over. Happy trails, pal. Maybe I'll get to meet you down the road..*

Not much for news today. I just posted something on my You Tube page. Like Someone in Love. Great old Jimmy Van Heusen tune. He also gave us But Beautiful and Darn that Dream. It's up on Facebook as well. 

This is still the place to go to hear some of my stuff. A variety of albums. Always working on new stuff in that area. Especially these past couple years. 

I do believe this is the skimpiest post I've written. But sometimes no news is good news. I did learn a new word though. Spiegel. Pronounced SHPEE-gel. It's  a German word, and means mirror. It was a song title. Spiegel im Spiegel, which would mean mirrors within mirrors. The infinite mirror. 

Anyway! Time to wrap this up. Lumosity and Wordle await. So thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Donnerstag to you! For now, ich bin outa here. More later. 

PS today's pic was taken at the Alamo in I think 2016. Mark McKnight, Rob Killam and me. Frank Parker and Buddy Rogers were also on this gig. 

*I don't have it in writing, but I'm pretty sure that life continues. That's all I know, and I've said too much already...

 

Wednesday  

Greetings, whoever-reads-this! It's the middle of the day in the middle of the week. I don't know if that signifies anything, but it's where I'm at for the moment.

I just finished the first of what hopes to be two exercise sessions for the week. Standard stuff like push-ups and leg lifts. Takes about 40-45 minutes, with about an hour of fatigue and self-pity to follow. Not a lot of fun, but necessary- especially as you start to get some miles on you.

Music stuff. Still at it .Here  is where you can listen to a variety of albums, some of them even with other folks on there. And styles from straight-ahead jazz to fusion to even some weirdo classical music. 

Elsewhere in Cyberland, my YouTube page is still growing, and is now up to a whopping 166 subscribers. Woo hoo! I doubt that it'll ever get up to a thousand(at which point, I believe, they start paying you), but I enjoy every increase, no matter how modest. And I get some nice comments from time to time. 

Originally, I wanted to put up videos from gigs, but it's worked out more as practice sessions with playalongs. There are a few gig videos, and a few guitar/bass duos, but it's mostly just me and a virtual rhythm section. Then again, as far as rectifying the situation, there's always that next gig...

Remembering something from High School Jazz Band that applies here. Mr Garretson told us that ÿou can play your ass off here in the Band Room, but when you end up playing in front of an audience, you're gonna be at 80% of your capacity." That remaining 20% is sown up in nerves and uncertainty. 

As you get some experience as a musician, that 20% whittles down to nothing. You end up conquering the nerves and uncertainty--at least for the most part. But I gotta say, there's still some truth there. Maybe that's why my jam tapes seem to work here, at least the ones that survive. No pressure here in the Music Lab..

Anyway. A few random thoughts. And that's about all I can come up with to share at the moment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Wednesday to you! I'm outa here. Later. PS today's pic was taken at Sebastian's on 5th st in Springfield, year unknown. Jeff Magby, me, Tim Green. What a gig!

PPS I didn't know Sam Draper, but we were Facebook friends, and he seemed to be a great guy. To those who did know him, sorry for your loss. 

 

 

 

Tuesday Welding  

Good morning! 9:27 and 60 degrees at the moment. Looks like a beautiful day.

I'm welcoming the Fall. Cooler temps make it easier to work here in the Music Lab. We've had months of muggy weather, where I couldn't do much. It's always about 20 degrees warmer up here , heat rising and all that. 

Music news. Well, the top story is still my new album. Souvenirs. The link here will take you to a YouTube page CD Baby set up for me. They used to give you a website for each of your albums, but now they send all your stuff to YouTube. So you can stream all the songs from there.

In other news, I've got a couple solo guitar things coming up next week, on Wednesday and Saturday. They're both short gigs, just enough to get me out of the house. A modicum of structure in a blissfully unstructured life. And I might just have some fun in the bargain..

I've got a whole 'nother album more or less ready to go. Some remixing and re-arranging remain, as well as what the hell to call it. This will make 50 albums that I've done through CD Baby. The only positive thing to come out of the Pandemic was all these albums..

After this, I want to do another solo guitar album. And this time, I'll be working with someone else. Another guitar player, who apparently has a pretty nice home studio- much more high-tech than mine. And it's someone I've been friends with since High School, so it's about time we did this. 

And that's my news for the moment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Tuesday to you! And with that, ich bin outa here. More later. 

PS today's pic was taken at Sebastian's on 5th. Working with Tim Green on piano and Jeff Magby on drums. I think this was back in the 90s. 

Saturday  

Good morning! 9:44 and 70 degrees. A perfect day on tap. Got that extra hour of sleep this morning.. Luxury winks. I've been going on seven or a little under that for the past week. Enough to fuel me, but not enough to feel fully rested. So this is a good start to the day. 

Domestic news. This is an exercise day. I should be getting more than I get, but I try for at least two workouts in a week. Got one in on Wednesday, so this is my last day to redeem myself. These sessions take about 40 minutes, and work the legs, upper body and gut. And then it's about an hour recuperating...

Musician news. Working on the guitar a bit more these days. I like to alternate between playing and writing. And I always seem to have one in the fire as far as writing/studio projects. I'll get back to it sooner or later. But some things are starting to come together on the guitar---after 56 years of trying! So that's where the energy is going at the moment. 

I have a couple solo guitar things coming up, both of them the week after next. . They're both private affairs, so unfortunately, I can't invite you. But they're my trips out of the house for the month. 

The sporadic Ocean State gigs--in January, April and August of this year--have worked out real well. I'm not in the band anymore, but  seem to be their de facto 4th member. I'm there playing the gigs. So I'll probably be back with them again before the end of the year. 

And eventually I'll have another gig of my own back at Boone's, when it comes around in the rotation. So there's more to come. Still in there, just not as often. 

Anyway! Some new posts, at least one of which will go up on YouTube, for your listening pleasure. So thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! For now, ich bin outa this place. More later.  PS today's pic was taken at a local bar on Carpenter Street, year unknown. Steve Adleman on drums and Gene Haas on bass.