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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is where my grandmother's house used to be

all these new posts, I left out the afternoon I went back to where the Dolgeville house stood for the first time.
I finally uploaded a new song on my myspace page, called "hold on to that dream" it's live from Caffe Lena's.

back to New York, the mountains

So for the next 1,000 miles, we consistently over heated starting every 100 miles and gradually decreasing mileage until we only made it six miles and smoke was pouring out. Somehow through this we stopped and had a pitcher of Dos xx and a large plate of veggie nachos. Ok, back on the road. At some point toward the end we threw in the liquid copper sealing junk to roll us into home stretch. Somehow we made it to Upstate New York where I grew up and my family still resides. With the car still breaking down I borrowed my friend Jen’s V10 monster truck to go to my Albany interview with clear channel radio station pix 106, waking up with the wolf. For starters we had taken the last bit of all funds to purchase the radiator (not yet installed) for pour Otis, so needless to say we had like 10 bucks for this gas guzzler, which after taking more than 3 wrong turns seemed to be insufficient. Yikes we are going to run out of gas an I don’t where the station is and we are late and it’s a clear channel interview!! Driving like a maniac, I was shocked it didn’t happen sooner, and I heard the sirens and saw the light. Ok don’t panic, it’s been years since I’ve been pulled over. Shaking as the officer approached I could not find the registration anywhere; he took my license and wrote me a ticket with in 5 minutes. Then I saw the registration right on my visor. At least he was quick about. Unfortunately for him once we got on the air and I told them about our morning, Lovey insisted on saying his name on air. The entire experience was bizarre, going into the clear channel building, meeting the security folks, going in late and breaking a string before even getting on, and then the interview itself. I'm still trying to figure out how to stream this one.
The next day we finally put that radiator in, it can’t be that hard right? Pretty much went in with out a hitch. The following day was a gig at the waterhole in Saranac Lake! I love that place, it’s always a huge local party. This town was voted best small town in New York State. It’s smack dab in the heart of the high peaks in the Adirondack Park. It was an incredible “happy hour” where we actually played for like 5 hours or something because we love it there so much. And these people are hard-core Northerners, with some outrageous stories to share. In fact, that night there was a going away party for a couple that was selling everything they owned and heading to South America to travel around by back pack. Thank you Waterhole!

At the end of the night we decided to take Brandon

up on his offer to host us. His house was full of treasures. There was an exchange of gifts and we rested a few hours and left early. He made a very special dream catcher which made it to our car dash special things display, and has been bringing me great dreams ever since.
The ride back through the ADKs was full. The rain poured and the clouds were low and visible

So in the midst of all the fun and excitement
We were also in the studio all week, "Casey, how we gonna have time for practice?"

The next day was our big show at Caffe Lena, voted best small venue in North America twice!! Lots of video and audio from that night that we will be sharing.

My time with my family was amazing. I hadn’t seen my brother
since last year in Los Angeles, and my nephew has made leaps and bounds since the few months that I had not been with him. My little brother is now taller than me. Ah!! So many changes. This is almost too much to write about. My nephew loves the violin, he was searching through all the music cases to find his favorite instrument, just in time for his first lesson.

do we have enough water to keep this think goin

So I’ll cut this short by ending with a little preview of our special collection of dash board items: The Dream Catcher made by Brandon out of items he found in while exploring in the woods, a mini pumpkin that some how made It in our things after the waterhole gig, a bicycle eye-ball bell from the Bike Bash, a turtle made out of sticks that Casey made and we can’t remember when or where (blue berry patch?), A piece of birch bark from a park in the middle of the ADKs with a waterfall, a little tiny wine glass decanter hand blown, a hand blown glass turtle, sweet grass from Brandon, a lucky black pepper(that was once green) from my garden, a purple slice of precious rock buried from my moms junk room, and the remnants of leaves from 9 corner lake.
But wait, I can't fit everything back in this car? Where is my peanut butter?
paying attention

10 miles outside of my family’s house we overheated again, but that was it until a rest stop in Tennessee welcome center. I woke up and Casey was inside and came out and the car wouldn’t start. So, we experienced our 6th vacation spot in the lobby. It was full of beautifully covered knotty pine even and a fire place. We thought of all the ideas we could until we realized we needed some sleep. Back to the car, buried in sleeping bags and blankets we slept until light.
"Casey how we gonna get back, working for change?"

Then I just said, “the car is gonna start” and asked this kind lovable young couple for a jump, and she started right up. We made it all the way to Asheville and I brought the battery in to check it. Using the brushed I cleaned up the terminals and threw it back in. she started right up on her own!! Guess all that spattering of engine coolant can really get all over the inner parts of Otis. On our very last stop before home we went into the grocery. When we went to get back in the car the key twisted up like a ball of tin foil. What just happened? It’s a good thing Casey’s been using pliers to tune his mandolin because his key’s broke, and that he had them in his back pocket, because we used them to pound out the key back to its semi-original form and it worked!
How did we make it back again to red clay hill? Miracle after miracle.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tampa and beyond

On the way we slept for 1 hour in a massage school parking lot on the pavement. Just had to stretch out a little for a few minutes. Going into Tampa Casey was a little familiar with the territory, which made it easier for me to focus on the next performance, WMNF. We had just about the right time to get there with out any stops. Pulling into the parking lot I took a few long breaths and realized I was a few minutes early, and as always, everything will be fine. Luckily Casey helped me get in there and gather myself before the interview, and then he proceeded to go back to parking lot in the car and listen from the radio.

Alan Snell met me there to reunite and bring along a few fellow bikers. He got on air with me and helped discuss the Bike bash on the bay the following day (what I had originally come down to Florida to participate in) I met Alan outside of the Dundee library (FL.) at the beginning of the Music Bike tour. I was going there to pick up a pannier that a friend sent to me in hopes to get more weight on the bike itself. I got a flat tire that day, and Alan helped me repair it. After that we road together a little way. It was great to meet another excited cycling enthusiast that also likes to help bring communities together. He was really was the back bone behind organizing the fun and fabulous Bike Bash the following day.

Anyway, the interview and on-air performance went very well. I was a little nervous about not sleeping but once I started talking to Ed Lehmann I instantly felt at ease. He was a very easy going man with a peaceful disposition, not at all typical in radio broadcasting. He was very fluid and kind, and I look forward to going back to visit. His band was also going to be performing at the festival the next day also.

After it was over I went out to the car and poked Casey a few times, he was still breathing fine. Let’s go to the beach! So we went to Indian - beach and soaked up major rays. Dozing in and out and listening to the mild waves of the Bay we stayed for a while. As afternoon turned into evening we decided we really needed some solid sleep, and maybe to clean up a bit for the festival the next day. So, for my first time since getting sponsored in Providence Road Island, we got a hotel. Outside by the pool when the Spanish boys heard Casey playing the mandolin they wanted to sing and play and put on a show, so I brought out my guitar and there was more music! In the morning I woke up very early to start stocking away calories for getting back on the road. The folks at the hotel soon realized they shouldn’t have offered me the discount after my never ending continental breakfast (you should have seen it on the bike tour : ))

Arriving in St. Pete we pulled into the festival in a non-existing parking spot, so I could get myself ready to go on. Casey was mingling about the crowd and enjoying the festivities. As I started my first set I felt some amazing people listening. The sun grew hotter and I stood on my handkerchief for a bit. Then there was a break, and another set. That’s when they so kindly brought their tent over to shade me: )
To the right of where I was performing I felt a very strong presence appear. After the set was over I met Laura, a beautiful angelic woman of strong communicative presence and genuine expression. She was ecstatic about the music and got a CD while giving us some great tid bits about the area. That after noon we went down town took a seat in a dark cool dingy bar. It felt good, on my sun burnt skin to be in the dank atmosphere. Later on we decided to take Laura’s advice and check out the blue berry patch.
Let’s go back to Casey’s side of the story:
After along hot day at the BIKE BASH we decided to hangout in downtown St. Pete for a couple of cold ones. Somewhere between 2 PBR’S and some fancy lime drink we began to discuss playing together.
Earlier that day a woman named Laura (etc.) had told us of a place called The Blueberry Farm where there was going to be an open mic. Now the Blueberry Farm is very special! As soon as we got there we had to walk thru a Labyrinth (LINK) luckily David Bowie didn’t want to turn us into goblins. The whole place was like a magical junk museum filled with kind hearts and veggie dogs.
It’s true, Casey, It was a magical place. The people were splendid, and it seemed like a masquerade of beauty and make believe. School buses and stages and the land of many out-door living rooms. And Shane even went and got a bottle of champagne as part of the glorious Celebration. Laura was our hostess for the evening; she even took us into her home after word. I enjoyed a snooze on her cozy welcoming patio; And Casey opted for the Canopy Prince Chamber on the guest porch. Laura is a music lover and a friend, and it is so exciting to have got to spend that time with her.

The next day was the interview with listen hereWSUF. “Casey are you playing with me or what?” we went to the campus and warmed up under a Banyan tree. Trey and James were very fun to be around, and it seems they just have a good time at the station all together on their show “Grass Roots Groove” This was the first official performance Casey and I did together minus the Shooting Star Jam. Maybe sometime we’ll actually sit down and practice : )
After the show we went to showcase at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Tampa. This is a super sweet spot to see music, very intimate and Karen will take good care of you.

That night we drove back to Gainesville because I couldn’t pic up the cd order because I got lost and it was too late when I got to the post. So we slept a few hours in the parking lot of a massage school on the pavement (it felt good to stretch out) and an hour or so in the car on the side of the road in the wilderness where there were many stars out. In the early morn we picked up the Cds and had a delicious gourmet b-fast at the Jones (Casey’s own) where he insisted on treating me a meal.

Off we go, back on the road, heading back to the real south. Casey slept a lot and says he can’t remember the trip back. We arrived to Red Clay Hill in the middle of the night. Exhausted and relieved to be home, we rested a long time. Friday was a fun filled night at the Main Street Deli and Coffee House in Central, and Sat. the Pumpkintown Opry! And Sunday fly out to New York? Yikes, “Casey are you gonna play with me or what?” well then how are you gonna do that when I’m heading to New York tomorrow? No we can’t drive Otis, she’ll never make it (this was the beginning of her boiling temper)” Casey piped “That’s fine I can meet you there in your car” “Taking my Otis? With out me? I don’t think so.”

Next thing I new I was on the phone canceling my flight and believing that the car would make it to New York. That very next morning going to gas and replace the missing radiator cap, and she was all ready overheating. I knew we were in for a ride.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

are eating chocolate chips for breakfast again?

I really don’t know where to start on the update. In fact, still don’t feel caught up from the last New York trip in August. What about the Hats off Saratoga Festival? Check out the article in the Saratogian here
Yikes Thanksgiving is in a few days!

October was a complete whirlwind, starting with bike night at the Pumpkintown Opry. I had spent months in preparation, trying to tell people about how fun it would be, and convince people to camp out after the show. I even co-wrote a skit and played 3 roles in it, not to mention learning how to clog. We had the Superficials come all the way from Nashville to play, along with myself and Ray Harper. It was a blast; I’m still trying to get a hold of some of that video….soon. We had a camp fire after under a full moon.

There was only a few days left before heading down to Florida. When arriving into town I fell right into some sort of down town Farmers Market and there was music playing. Made myself a PB Honey sandwich and headed for the festivities. Grabbed my guitar out of the car and Stumbled upon Dirty Nelly’s where I sat down next to a young bearded man and ordered a pint. Upon our conversation we decided to take it outside and go song for song in the parking lot behind the Elbow Room. . Jon Gaunt is a gifted musician. He explained to me his lifestyle of touring around and his recent return from a trip with Chuck Reagan, then hooked it up for me to showcase a few songs at the Elbow Room that night. He graciously hosted me as well, where I spent my very first night sleeping under a banana tree. (It’s hard thinking of how hot it was that night as a lay buried under my sleeping bag and blankets this morning at the cabin)

The next day was more exchanging of travel stories, along with coffee, bananas, and beer. That night I played at the Pizza Palace. I Notice this pic behind me. Wow, that looks like Mike Dorsey. The artist signed “Dorsey”. Is it possible this is the work of Mike Dorsey?? The talented, the songwriting- anything-playing prodigy? Is also an artist?
(later found out that it IS his work, a portrait of his father)

The next night was the show at the shooting star, that’s where I’ll share Casey’s version of the story:
Casey says: “There seemed to be a sense of anticipation on Saturday at the Shooting Star. Was it because the night before America decided to launch a BomB at the moon or was it knowing that old friends would reunite that night and play some of the best music they had in them for like a year and a half. Wow! What a blast that night was it was like we were reading each others minds musically. As the night winded down the wind came in and no one wanted to say goodbyes. So we went for a late night and late as in 3 in the morning jam. As the smell of Sweetwater 420’s and sushi finally came out of pores the night was ending. That’s when Casey says something like “hey can I just come down south with you for the weekend?” At this point the company was well accepted for ahead was along drive to a radio station gig at in Tampa the next morning! We drove all night long and exchanged road stories and coffee till the sun came up driving down highway”

Here's what I have to say about it.
I arrived at The Shooting Star early, and the very accommodating bartender invited me to sit and have a bite and a beer. I introduced myself and asked him to hang on my keys and then went for a run. I circled around the down town area trying to half remember how to eventually get back. The hustle of a Friday night in Gainesville gave me a fresh thought, and the physical transfer was necessary for what the night had in store. I felt energized, and when I returned I sampled a salad with seared tuna (…so good). Then I reunited with Jason Hedges. It had been a long time, {LINK} remember this hoola-hooping-dobro sliding- guitar pickin music maker? He had been hosting this night of music, and came in to give me the details of what I would do that night while he was participating in another music jamboree across town for the next few hours.
We had many a great musician’s play on the stage that night, and I got to share a lot of my new material. Before long, I felt a familiar presence enter the patio. Looking around I saw a man with a small pack and a hat and a mandolin on his back. Casey Jones? No way, Casey Jones is that you? Had not seen him since I left Gainesville at the beginning of the Music Bike Tour. Really? He sat in the far back corner of the room. Did I ask him right up to the stage or did we exchange a few thoughts first. Get up here and play! And then where did Jimmy come from? Wait Jimmy, you were {LINK} on the porch that night too!
All the sudden the patio was filling and friends were all around. And on stage was full of new sounds

2 o’clock came on quick, and who ever was left ate a sushi feast. Then we headed over to Rob’s for late night jam and I had a well needed shot of espresso (Rob always has delicious coffee treats) Rob is such a graceful presence and I truly missed his smiling spirit. I really wanted to stay and connect further but I had a radio interview soon! When we were leaving I asked Casey, “you coming with me?” and he grabbed his things and we left. On the way out of town we stopped at a magical place where he had to pick up one of his instruments. There where huge banyon trees and some spanish moss too and make believe things all around. Maybe it was the espresso, but I’ve never seen anything like this, tree houses, and stages, and theatrical expressions all around, you could tell that this was the origin of creation.

Then we were off! Tampa here we come.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

1st Music Video

Here's the video

catch up

the uke at the Evening Muse
Turk is a party animal, and by the way has anyone seen him? I know he mentioned something about Mexico...

Lake Jo
Hey Tommy, it's a farther drop than it seems
The best dancers money can't buy
Global Bike

Photo taken at the Burren by Brenda 

where to begin... I guess I'll continue from where I left off. Since then i went back North, played 3 showcases in Boston and performed at the Saratoga Hats Off Festival. I used the recording from Club Possium to put together this amateur video of a new song, "where i wanna be" . Also road the bicycle 30 something miles to Paris Mountain's "Music in the Woods" a sweet solar powered summer festival that happens for a series of Saturdays through out the summer.  The rangers were incredible and hooked me up with a sweet camp spot for the night before heading back in the morning on my trek. Being back on the bike stirred freedom and serenity like no other. It took some thinking, but I did decide to come back.

I got the chance to perform in Charlotte 3 times, two where at the Evening Muse, a fabulous music venue.  One of these showcases was opening up for my friends The Superficials. It just so happen I was/am house sitting at a beautiful homestead where we all got to stay before the trip over to the Jar (the queen city).  Our hosts Ginger, Marley, and Turk, made quite the lasting  impression. You can see Turk's Hollywood debut at the end of the music video.  He has since moved out, insisting on hangin with the chickens down the road instead of around the campfire with me. I've been going to visit him daily at the neighbors but he simply won't come home. 

Last Monday I was glad to be a part of the  Global Bike event at the  Brasserie Ecosse in Spartenburg

Then there was a family visit, more entertaining from Turk, and more fresh Figs and Grapes. 

Mamma Cat had surgery, and gave me quite a scare when I went to pick her up and she tore open both sets of stitches and her insides were exposed to air.  Then this women that has done a great deal to evolve the Pet spay neuter clinic in Pickens County, reached out to help me. She took Mamma for the night and the next day bringing her for more surgery and safely back into my arms. The cat spent 5 days in the "cabin" recouping and has been set free again with a full recovery.   Now that she won't be having more kittens my new friend suggested I call her Mamma Mia, and Mia for short. 

Today I went to Asheville for the LAAFF festival. I'm excited to be getting familiar with the local musicians and artist and hopefully will be doing some shows over there in the future. It seems quite different from my experience last year. I remember Asheville was the first big hills i'd been on from Florida . I had no idea what was in store at the time, or that I would return wks later to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

A few trips to Rainbow Falls, a trek up Hospital Rock, and a swim in Lake Jocassee later...

I must bake. I'm thoroughly enjoying all these resources at the homestead. The oven is like no other.  I'd like to bake for everyone that has rescued me in the past 4wks. My mechanics are angels, not to mention the guest mechanic in town that saved the day and helped me make it to my show.  All the  friends that have come into my life... the synchronicity is thrilling, and circumstance is like a piece of art. 

Wanna know where I'm performing next?