50 Summers Of Love

To make your reservation click this image, or use the email form on the Contact page.

I know myself. In fact, I’ve conducted decades of research on myself and I know that if I don’t just set a date and work toward a thing I’ll never do it. Or maybe I’ll do it, but it’ll take a lot longer. Problem is, at my age there’s an overwhelming sense that there’s no time to fiddle-fart around. Oh, I’m not talking about how many years I have until I shuffle off my mortal coil. It’s not that esoteric. It’s about how many more years I’ll still have command of my voice. Because I didn’t really use it much from 1985 to 2015, my voice sounds almost exactly as it did when I was in my early thirties. A little fuller and lower, but basically the same. I can’t help but wonder, though, how many more years I can milk that so I’ve finally set a date for my “come back” house concert. Man, I hate using the “come back” phrase, but what can you do? The truth is, I miss performing. I miss singing for people and if this is the last concert I’ll ever perform in this life, I’m OK with that.

I wanted to wait until this concert could serve as a CD release party, but work on my album is going slowly due to ongoing health/energy, recording equipment, and guest musician issues. I’ve in fact half-decided to blow it all off and just make a stripped down CD, just me and my instruments. If I do this, it won’t be the album I envisioned, but at least it’ll be out there. The jury is still out.

So here are the facts concerning my concert, in case you’re in the area and would like to attend.

  • This will be an exclusive concert. There is seating space for just around 25 guests  and standing room for about 10 more. I ask that younger people, who can do so, elect to sit on the floor directly in front of the staging area. There will be two 45-minute sets with a 15-minute intermission so if you don’t want to stand the entire time, you’ll need to reserve early. I suggest reserving early anyway, because I’m already hearing from people. If you don’t reserve a space and show up anyway, you’ll probably have to sit out on the front porch or back step. Just a little side note: if you do make a reservation, but do not show up by showtime (8:30), your seat will be forfeited to an SRO guest.
  • The good news is, this is a FREE concert—my birthday gift to you—and because it’s a house concert/birthday party, I ask that, in lieu of gifts, you simply bring something for the bar or the fridge. Munchies will be supplied.
  • Because this is a listening experience, I humbly ask that you bring no children, please.
  • Location: Bookends Cottage, Stillwater, OK. You will be given the address when you make your reservation, if you need it.
  • Date & Time: Saturday September 23, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

As the title of the concert suggests, I’ll be performing not only some of my own songs, but covers from the late Sixties and early Seventies, including Bob Dylan, Donovan, Joni Mitchell, John Sebastian, and others. I’m really looking forward to taking you back in time!

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Wild Bil X-ing

I’m extremely proud and pleased to announce that my friend, Wild Bil McCombe, who played bass and resonator guitar on my song, A Polite Little Madness, has been nominated for Best Blues Artist by the Ventura County Music Awards. Bil is one terrific man and about six amazing musicians (!) and he deserves to win. Let’s keep all our digits crossed!

I’m currently trying to work up the nerve to ask him to contribute his considerable talents on another song on my CD, but that may take me a little while. I just admire him so damned much and I don’t like imposing on people I admire. Yeah, I know. This is a problem and it’s held me back in my life, but I’m getting better.

Anyway, congrats, Bil. No one deserves this more than you!

Check Bil’s Facebook page (linked above) to find out when and where he’s performing next. If I still lived in Ventura County, I’d be following him and his band around like a puppy!

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Are We Angels

I’ve gone to many concerts in my life, and there are many concerts I wanted to go to but couldn’t for one reason or another, but if there ever has been one concert I really wanted to attend it was one that was held on April 1st. No, it wasn’t in an arena and it didn’t feature a world-famous artist. It was a one-hour concert held in a tiny chapel in an easily missed (if you blink whilst driving by) parish in West Sussex, England, where a local indy artist performed her songs for a few caring friends and neighbors.

As quaint as all this sounds, the cause was an important one. The 11th century stone church of St. Mary’s, Trotton with Chithurst, is in need of a new roof, a cause that local resident Tobiah took to heart. Her benefit concert, called Are We Angels, raised much needed money while providing her angelic music with help from special guest, award winning accordionist, Colette O’Leary.

Of course, I’m a bit biased where Tobiah is concerned because she’s a family friend and will hopefully make an appearance on my forthcoming CD, but even if I didn’t know her personally, I’d love this concert, which perfectly demonstrates her generous heart and gracious, enchanting spirit. Colette, whose talents are new to me, added a bit of tastefully refined fun as well.

Apart from weddings, I doubt this chapel has enjoyed this sort of joyous occasion very much through the centuries. Tobiah and her husband, with help from her friends, who include actress Sarah Miles, lovingly decorated its arches and windows with candles and flower garlands, and it’s easy for me to sense a gentle smile—perhaps even a long, contented sigh—rising from its walls.

I wanted so much to attend this concert, but, alas, time and money just wouldn’t allow it. Happily, it was recorded and has been podcast on the Paradigm’s website. I hope you’ll listen and that the concert’s magic will make you smile as well. Please click the link below to access the podcast. (Photos enlarge when clicked.)

The Are We Angels concert featuring Tobiah, with special guest Colette O’Leary


All photos are the property of Tobiah.

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On Opera, Tornadoes, and BBQ

I just looked back at my recent posts and was shocked at how obsessed I’ve been over the redecorating of Bookends Cottage. Enough already! Today, I’ll just make a sort of unbulleted bullet list of some of the other things that are going on around here.

Judging by the picture above, you probably can guess that we saw an opera. Man, did we ever! The Met live-streamed Mozart’s Idomeneo re di Creta to a large number of movie theaters across the country last Saturday and Nettl and I went to OKC to see it. We’ve both been to the Met and, sure, it’s wonderful to be in the actual hall, but sitting seventh row center in plush chairs with an unobstructed view and a box of Twizzlers was pretty cool, too. Oh, come on. In Mozart’s day people ate, drank, gossiped, played cards, flirted, snogged and shagged at the opera! Last time I was at the Met, I was up in one of the balconies and couldn’t see facial expressions at all, and I certainly didn’t have any Twizzlers. We’ll definitely do this again.

I was impressed with the cast, each artist fresh, unjaded, and flawless, but it was mezzo-soprano Alice Coote (Idamante) who totally rocked my world. I’ve long been partial to mezzos (hey, I married one!) and I confess I’ve had no favorite since Frederika von Stade retired. That certainly has changed now. It would be enough that Ms. Coote possesses a rich, emotional voice, and it’s almost too much to ask that she be an excellent actor as well, but she delivers, entirely, profoundly. I spent several hours in YouTube last night listening to her in other roles and in each she owned her character, spot on, fully engaged and strikingly believable. It’s a wonder to behold. Try this out. And then this. You won’t be sorry. The chorus, too was in great form; this opera is really chorus heavy and the Met chorus is phenomenal. After the opera we went to Guthrie to Stables, our favorite BBQ place. Opera and BBQ… culture in Oklahoma. Oh, how my life has changed since my active years as a composer and conductor! Meh, don’t listen to me. I’m much more relaxed about these things these days and I’m perfectly happy with that.

Apparently, we survived the season’s first tornado watch last night. I don’t worry about them as much as I did when I first moved here 17 years ago. Anymore, it’s the fracking earthquakes that get to me. As a native Californian you’d think I’d be better at that, but living in Quakenado Country has a way of keeping one on edge.

I’m still trying to get this house finished, but it’s slow. Also slow (but that’s my own fault) is getting back to my CD. There’s only so much energy to go around these days, and I have to choose my battles wisely.

Have a great week!

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