Friday, August 31, 2012

Hello September

Last day of August and where did the summer go?!    Sun and fun, I hope.   

I had some in August.   My daughter was visiting from Monrovia where she works for the UN.  (Monrovia?)  Did a little geo-caching with my friend Bill Spence.  (geo-caching?)  An oyster barbeque at Point Reyes (yum!), and a visit to the Gold Country (didn't find any).

And I even played a little music.   Had some good nights at Chester's as usual, and my house concert with Dorcas Moulton and Sonic Boomerang was sure a treat.   Last Sunday at the Kensington Farmers Market the weather was gorgeous, and it was a pleasure playing with Patty Hammond on bass and with Dorcas on accordion.   We had a lot of families and a wonderful time with "Down By The Bay," "Wheels On The Bus" and other kids songs.   And we always come away with some great food in addition to some change in our pockets.   I am eating well!!

I read a very interesting book by Tom Jackson about performing and getting folks excited at your live shows.   Smoke!! Strobe lights!!  Just kidding, but Tom has some good ideas and you've been warned.    And seriously, something that really gets me excited these days is flat foot dancing and I am starting to learn some of those steps.    Check out this video.  It's a workout!!

I am working hard getting ready for the FAR West (Folk Alliance Region West) conference in October.   I would like to have a new CD ready for it and am scrambling to complete the recording now.   (Randy Rood who did such nice work on my Solo CD will be doing the mixing.)    I am volunteering at the conference, playing some, and also hosting a showcase room; and it has been fun getting my showcase slots filled up and interacting with folks who will be at the conference.

Coming up in September, I'll be playing on the 1st (why, that's tomorrow night!)  at Chester's in Berkeley with Laura Lind, Dorcas Moulton and Searle Whitney.  We'll be doing old time, folk and originals.  The Kookie Uke Lady will open.   On Sunday, September 9th, I'll be at the Kensington Farmers Market;  on Thursday, the 20th,  I'll be back at Chester's;  and on Sunday the 23rd, I'll be at the Cole Valley Street Fair with Don't Look Back.    You can always see where I am playing at my website

Next Friday I am going to see Ray Bonneville perform.   I saw him a couple of years ago at the Kate Wolf Festival and he got me started on the foot accompaniment.   A fine guitar player and songwriter too.  Here is an example.   He has such a great sound!!

Hope you are all doing well and looking forward to a good Fall season.       All the best,   John

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Here comes August

Here comes August and for us in the SF Bay Area, the ending of fog season and the beginning of true summer.  Ahhhh . . .
My July was sure busy.   It started with The Kate Wolf Festival, which was fantastic -- inspiring and humbling to hear how good the stars really are.   K.D. Lang was the Saturday headliner and was absolutely mesmerizing.   She's not someone who's music I follow, but wow !!   

The weekend before last, I played in Inverness with "Who's On Top" and then attended  the 40th year reunion of the Camp Meeker Players.  Such a treat to see people I hadn't crossed paths with in years; and my, haven't we all gotten older (but not old) !!  We got some good music making in of course, reprising old songs from bands we were in back then, and from some of the shows.   Last Friday, I saw Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys at the local Zydeco dance.  (Absolutely my favorite cajun/zydeco band --highly recommended !!)  Then on Sunday,  I played at the Napa Porchfest with  Laura Lind, Searle Whitney and Dorcas Moulton.  A very fun event -- 50 bands on the porches of lovely Victorian houses in old town Napa.   July whizzed by and I hope yours was filled with fun too.

Coming up in August, I will be playing at Chester's in Berkeley on the first Saturday and third Thursday as usual.   This Saturday I will be playing with Randy Rood and Dorcas Moulton, and Sonic Boomerang will open.   Not sure yet about how we'll have fun on the 16th, but I expect some will be had.

On Saturday the 18th, I will be playing a house concert in El Cerrito , sharing the bill with Allene Rohrer and some of her musical friends.   I am really looking forward to this !!   Playing at restaurants and bars is always fun of course, but it is such a pleasure to play in a quiet setting when people have come to listen and enjoy more of a concert presentation.    If you are free that evening, it will be a particularly nice event at a beautiful home in the El Cerrito hills.   It will start at 7:30, with music from 8 to 10 pm .   Reservations are required and you can get more details by emailing Allene Rohrer:

I'll be playing a fund raiser for North County Community Services at the Hoot Owl Vineyards in Healdsburg on the 25th.  And, then to finish out the month, I will be at the Kensington Farmers Market on Sunday, August 26th.  This is a small, boutique farmers market with highest quality organic produce and edibles.   There are chairs for listening when you want a break from shopping.  It is a lot of fun.

Other news:   I just got a pair of clogging shoes to improve the sound of my foot accompaniment.  Boy, are they fun!!  Tap, tap, clatter, clatter.  You can really stomp in them, and aren't you glad you're not living at my house !! 

Wishing you all a great August with sunshine, barbeques and of course good music !!