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Awesome Reunion Show & Next Focus 

Up until Saturday, November 3rd (2018), my focus was on rehearsing with my band from the 1990's for a reunion show. That day came, the show was awesome, and all of us were very happy with the end result. Many folks who remained fans all these years were in the audience as well as some folks who heard us for the first time and let us know how much they enjoyed the music.

Now I'm going to shift my focus to putting together some songs, enough for an EP, in the Rock genre that I've had "on-the-shelf" for a few years; they're bits-n-pieces left over from the Strong Horse album I did with Steve Rushingwind back in 2013. One fun aspect of this project is my grandson Ethan will be the drummer. He started playing at age 3, while the band was together, and is now 22. My son-in-law Eric may also join me, and perhaps my guitar mentor from the high school days.

My next project is Medicine Sunn. Two guitars, bass, drums and vocals; simple straight-ahead rock.

Current Focus Update 

My former band from the 90s, Purple Mountain Matinee, has indeed gotten together and we've been rehearsing for a performance on November 3rd at the Joshua Tree Saloon (in JT of course!). 

Since it seems that I cannot focus on more than one music project at a time, PMM is my current focus at least until after our performance.  Yes, this means that my planned album for this year, 'First', is not going to happen - 2019 is now the intended year for that recording to be released.

Again, thank you for your patience with me, while I have some fun with my former bandmates. If you'd like to know more about what is occupying my musical time right now please visit the Purple Mountain Matinee website.

Current Focus 

I said back in January (2018) that "First" would be my next album and it would probably be released by mid year.  Well, if you're reading this then you know that album is yet to be released.  My focus has been so broken this year with things other than music.  My wife and I moved to (what we'd like to be) our final home, which hopefully will not change again.  This move has kept me busy with projects and such that I've not been able to find enough uninterrupted time to finish recording "First".

Now, another activity gaining my attention is a possible reunion gig with my former band from the 1990's, Purple Mountain Matinee.  If this is going to happen, and it does look promising, then my music time needs to go toward relearning about 24 songs, enough for us to perform two sets.  I am looking forward to this happening but I know it pushes back the release date for "First" possibly into next year (2019); we'll see.

Thank you for your patience with me. :)

Purple Mountain Matinee 

In the last few weeks I have played a few open mic nights.

The first couple of times was with my son-in-law and grandson as "3Gs" - three generations. 

More recently the lead singer of the band my son-and-law and I were in back in the 1990's, Purple Mountain Matinee, performed with us. 

In both line-ups we played three or four PMM songs, most allowed during open mics. In every performance we were received very warmly by the audience, their applause showing us that our music still has life. It was a bunch of fun!

We may plan to do a band reunion sometime later this year.

Visit the Purple Mountain Matinee website to hear the music.

Here's a picture of me in the 90's playing a gig while in PMM...

Albums or Singles? 

I read an article recently about the album format being dead. I partially agree with this, with the exception being that I still like to buy music in album format, and I think (can't say I know) that many of you - fans of my music style - also like to buy albums rather than singles. 

Am I correct? Do you prefer albums over singles?

Before reading the article I had sort of started thinking about putting out songs as singles. Part of this reasoning is so I can get music out to you sooner than the 1 to 3 years it usually takes me to release the next album. But then I think about my personal view of an album being a moment in time; my songs (in album format) typically are cohesive and can be heard at one sitting without there being a "disruption" of mood. Whereas a bunch of song singles could wind up being non-cohesive and jog the listener around in mood once compiled into a playlist on their favorite streaming medium.

Ah, streaming. It is now how much of the population listens to music. This also has been part of my thinking process with regard to releasing singles rather than albums. [I'm honored that] a lot of folks pick particular songs [from an album] of mine to add to their multi-artist streaming playlists. Hmm. Maybe putting out song singles is okay since folks are not, due to streaming playlists, hearing my songs in the context of an album.

On one hand I would love for you to hear my newest songs as soon as they're recorded. On the other hand my head is kind of stuck in the old-school album format.

I would honestly appreciate your thoughts.

Bold Move - No More CDs (sort of) 

I am making a bold decision that has actually taken me several years to finalize.

A friend of mine suggested, based on his own experience, that rather than get my CDs manufactured in the typical way - packaged in a jewel case with all the usual fixin's - to just get the disc made and then package that in a clear vinyl slipcover.

For a long time I have opposed that idea because I felt that someone buying a CD would want more than just the disc; they'd want the pretty pictures and liner notes too. I do think this is still the way folks who buy CDs like to get them.

But now my decision is being made on the declining CD sales over the past few years. Honestly, I sell about 10 CDs per year. Whoa! Yeah, I stayed with my belief that folks who enjoy my music would more likely buy a CD than listen to my music via streaming services. However that has not been true for at least five years.

So I am finally deciding that my albums, in CD format, will be self-packaged in a recycled cardboard jacket like shown below. I will include liner notes too, printed at home and cut into size, on recycled paper. On the front side of the disc jacket I will write my name and album title. The CD will still be professionally manufactured.

I hope no one wanting to purchase a CD will be turned off by this new way of packaging. It kind of makes it more unique. :)

Currently there is a special offer on my website to get my first two albums, Clearly and The View From Here, in their original packaging for only $5 with free shipping. Of my other albums, there are a few copies of each available in their original (jewel case) packaging too. Once these are sold I will be switching over to the new packaging.

"First" will be my next album.  

My "first love" of guitar tone is the nylon strings of a classical guitar. For the first time I will record using only a nylon string guitar; something I have wanted to do for many years. I thought I might not find that "voice" again, but it's been stirring within me for so long I now need to do this. There are already enough compositions written to fill the album. I may also include piano and strings if a song benefits from it. It's going to be quite a mellow album. My goal is for an mid 2018 release date. Recording will begin soon!

No, I'm Not on Social Media... 

...and I'm happy. :)

I tried Facebook for a while, that was several years ago. Although my page received a good response I just never felt right about it because it was being used only to promote my music, something I had read that indie musicians should do. Doing all those "buy this now" or "free for your email address" posts wasn't my heart, I didn't like the pushy promotional aspect. I much more enjoy getting emails from folks or conversing with them at a performance than anticipating purchase responses to my dumb posts.

I never tried Twitter; though I thought about it for a few minutes. It seems like it's too much to keep up with. And that's the thing about social media - it would require so much time to stay continually visible. Heck, I don't even send out a newsletter but once or maybe twice a year. How could I come up with enough content to tweet every day or several times a day!?

Could it be that I'm just lazy? Nah! I would rather get an email from you, or talk with you in person at one of my performance (though that's only possible if you're in SoCal [for now]). I'm happy not being on social media. :)

When It Began 

Recently I was remembering when music first started becoming something of interest in my life. It actually began with a tape recorder, not an instrument. I don't remember if it was my mom or myself that bought the Radio Shack cassette recorder I once had; one with a built-in speaker and little hand-held mic, an early 70's model. I used to sit in front of our TV, point the mic toward the speaker on the television and record the theme songs of shows. Yeah, I was weird. Somehow though this little activity provided the impetus for becoming the one to handle the production and mixing processes on my music projects. 

I have, at different times over the years, had a blog on my website. Somewhere along the way I stop posting because I think there's just not enough to say on a continuous basis to keep one going. But I also don't seem to issue a newsletter often enough to keep folks regularly informed of what is going on with my music. So let's try this again...a blog; maybe I will keep it going this time.