Entry No.62;October 2014
A Taste of Summer Slideshow
It was a great summer for live music. Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival was subdued by the absence of its founders Pete and Toshi Seeger. Everywhere you went you heard stories about them and it was obvious they left everyone huge gifts including this amazing festival. I dedicated my set to Pete and Toshi, as many did, and Fred Gillen Jr. and Ilana Donna joined me. It was a great experience for us and there was a lot of tenderness and wonderful memories filled with heart. I remember just a few years ago, Pete singing along with us in that very place!
Just about a week later I got the gig as the roving troubadour at Caramoor's Roots Festival. Folks who found me and heard me were psyched, while others wondered, where is he now? That was the mystery and fun of it. I got to set up in places in between stages and pick a little mandolin, banjo and guitar, sing some of my tunes as well as play whatever fit the mood. I got to sit in with Spuyten Duyvil. During the Social Music Hour, Kim and Reggie Harris led us all in a powerful a cappella version of "We Shall Overcome" honoring Pete and Toshi. I also got to sit in with Michael Daves and Bruce Molsky for a solo. That was something! I ran into a bunch of friends including Joe Crookston. Nice to see him doing so well! And I got to hang a delightful bit with the ever lovely and down to earth Rosanne Cash.
Take Me to The River was a blast. Adam Roberts, Ilana Donna and Deni Bonet joined me for the band and we played a bunch of new stuff from Cold Revival on an absolutely beautiful day. I got to meet a couple of my heroes Tony Trischka and Duke Robillard. Both of these guys are super nice and killer musicians. It was great running into Tom Staudter. Check out his writing in Downbeat sometime.
Part of the reason for serving as President of Tribes Hill was to make room for others and embolden progress. The Tribes Hill Music Festival was exactly what needed to grow. At the beginning of September at John Jay Homestead in Katonah, a few hundred folks gathered to make music, listen to the likes of Red Molly on a gorgeous day. I joined in a set of the Presidents of Tribes Hill. I'm proud to have served and now witness the progress under the current administration!
I'm really looking forward to October 30th's Cold Revival CD Release party at The Bitter End in NYC at 8pm. Come hang!
Entry No.61;July 2014
G&T DownEasTour Slideshow
Fred Gillen Jr. is an artist's artist. He's also a great friend. I am grateful to have him as a friend and band mate. Our duo is a special little thing that keeps on ticking along with everything else we do. We just spent a couple of weeks touring together in Maine for the G&T Down EasTour. In our organic collaboration, we get together only when it feels right and is relevant for us. Fortunate to receive support from Angus Webster and Unearthed Productions, and drawing tunes from an expansive repertoire, we played 3 sets a night in Portland, Booth Bay Harbor, Woolwich, Sabattus and Jackson, New Hampshire.
There were so many highlights of the tour, including meeting Yummy from the History Channel's hit show "Down East Dickering" at a 4th of July shindig in rural Maine. The soiree was filled with families, farmers, veterans, and Yummy. There was even an Elvis impersonator who performed a set! Elvis is still in the building!
On our day off, we were invited to Rob Morrow's place for a lobster fest. Rob is a great actor (Northern Exposure, Numb3rs) who is also quite taken with the craft of songwriting and performing and has a music career as well. Touring with our buddy Carlos Calvo and working with Angus, ten of us connoitered for music and lobster. Uncle Ralph had the biggest appetite and you had to keep your hands away from him or he might eat them too!
Ilana Donna joined us for a little singing and performing, testing her toes in the cold Maine water. She did real well. In Booth Bay, there was a delicious couple who danced to many of our tunes. Very much in love and very much alive, they really lit up the place! It's those kinds of moments that make performing precious.
Fred turned me on to Firefly, a one season sci-fi series with cult status that I started to enjoy during some free time. I read "The Real Frank Zappa" by Frank and Peter Occhiogrosso... amazing! and... Reid National Park and Sewell Pond were the gems of our free time. We discovered them during several afternoons before gigs, exploring, swimming, rope swinging and sleeping on the beach. 'Twas a fabulous time!
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