Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 2016

Well if I am going to get a January newsletter out, it is now or never.   I have been packing and moving out of my place in El Cerrito.  Ugh!!  One more trip to haul stuff and I am done, and I can focus on discovering the Sonoma County music scene from my perch in Graton.

I attended two songwriting workshops the first half of January, and I have a lot of music to tell you about. The first was the Listening Room International Songwriter Retreat, held in the Santa Cruz mountains.   Brett Perkins runs these retreats, no songwriting slouch himself; and he has a new partnership, Michaut/Perkins with some fine new songs.  Here is one. 

This was my second year at the retreat, and it was again excellent.  There were sixteen of us, about a third from Europe.  My writing partner on the second day was Lisen Elwin and we wrote two songs together.  I don't have recordings of them yet to share, but here is a video of Lisen with her Stockholm band -- rock on!!   Other folks I wrote with include Dennis Russell, Midyne Spear and
Nina Engstrom, and on Friday, I wrote with Mette Halling.  Mette's website has some nice pictures of the retreat to give you an idea of the group.  What a pleasure to share time and music with these talented folks !!   

After the retreat, Brett had arranged a mini-tour and I tagged along and played on a couple of the dates, Kiki Wow's show in Monterey and at Steve Key's Songwriters At Play in Paso Robles.  I had the pleasure of playing the song I co-wrote with Steve at the retreat last year.

The second gathering I attended, Wintersong, was quite different.  It was much larger, about sixty five folks, and had workshops on voice, writing, and creativity.  Penny Nichols runs the camp and teaches, and I got some great input on vocal technique from her.   And of course, I heard a lot of fine music.   I wish I could put up links to everyone, but here are a very few to tantalize:   Susan Reeves, Ed Tree, Tom Kimmel, Nina Jo Smith & Penny Nichols, Rachel Garlin, and Dale LaDuke.

Coming up in February, I am looking forward to playing in SF at the Bazaar Cafe on Friday the 6th with Valerie Jay and Michael Hanna.   Born Lucky (Michael and I) will be at the Kensington Farmers Market on Sunday the 21st.   At the end of the month, I will be at the Old Western Saloon in Pt. Reyes Station, opening for and then playing fiddle with Trevor McSpadden and his band.   Trevor is real deal country singer (watch) and a road veteran, and I am honored to be part of his show.   More into and dates on my website -- -- of course.

Hope your 2016 is off to a great start too.   Always love to hear what you are up to.

Roy Zat