Saturday 

Good morning! About 9:30 in the a.m. on this soon-to-be-rainy Saturday. A big ol' raincloud sits portentously in the sky, just waiting to drench our asses. There was a song by Chicago called Approaching Storm. I think it was one of their earlier hits, along with 25 or 6 to 4. As far as "jazz rock", I was more partial to BS & T, but still a Chicago fan. There was also a band around at that time called Dreams, which featured the likes of Michael Brecker and John Abercrombie.

Music news. Well the top story is still my new album Near-Miracle on 33rd Street. Not yet online as far as iTunes or Amazon or any of them, but I do have the CDs. A hundred of them. And at least for now, I'm selling them right from here. $12.50 if I mail it to you and $10 if you stop by to pick up your copy. It's supposed to go up on Spotify on November 1st.

Last year about this time I released a CD, so this is becoming a tradition. Download-only recordings for most of the year, and then a CD at the end. The one last year was also straight-ahead jazz, and is called Jazz Guitar Vol 4. My song and CD titles are either somewhat off-the-wall or very boring and functional. But I figure if people like what they hear on Vol 4, they'll be that much more inclined to check out the other three volumes. I know-shrewd marketing strategy here. 

I let the guitar practice slip a bit making this new recording. Not too rusty, but I can feel it. Since retiring, I've been able to get in a lot more time on the instrument and have made some real progress. Better execution, ,better phrasing,  much better time-feel. All well and good. The thing is, you have to keep practicing to maintain what you've built or you lose it. Much like building up your physique with weights. A lapse in workouts may well make you lose your gains- or, worse, turn to flab.

So I'm back on the stick. Scales, arpeggios, playalong recordings(like I share on YouTube), and some picking exercised I devised myself I call them my '"castor oil exercises". . They're pretty gnarly and I hate doing them but they help make sure my right hand--my picking hand--is where it should be. Not only am I my own worst critic, I'm my own torturer....

That's about all the music news I can muster for now. Outside the world of music, I'm just hanging on like most everyone else. I've already voted, and am watching--again, like most everyone else--to see how it all plays out. A nation divided....

Anyway! Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Saturday to you! For now, I'm outa here. More later. 

PS Today's pic was taken at the Carriage House restaurant on 8th St near Lincoln's Home. Great food, good atmosphere. A little bit crowded on the 'bandstand', but otherwise a great evening. 

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