Thursday, January 28, 2010

Renton, WA: Nelsen Middle School 'Impact' Day

Nice that musician made the cut here at Nelsen, and honored to be asked. Maybe should've gone a little more media-heavy, though I made a conscious choice to try to show just how many music careers exist between here and what you'' see on the Grammys this weekend (rather than impress with audio/video). Favorite question: "Are you married?" Easy, ladies...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seattle, WA: The Children's Museum

I like these little Children's Museum engagements, probably because they're unlike anything else I do...and they're apt to be different each time through. In fact, today was a perfect example of what a day-in-the-life of this calling can look like: 30-minute set for the young'uns; walk across the street to the Northwest Folklife offices to meet in my capacity as community coordinator for singer/songwriters (i.e. cat-herder); drive down to Renton to play bass behind the Lindbergh High School jazz choir (directed by WW organist, Brian Hoskins), then home via Mercer Island and the last half-hour of Youth Theatre Northwest's Dracula rehearsal, which features my sound design. And I'll get up tomorrow and hit it again!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Seattle, WA: House Concert

Tonight was supposed to be a film screening, not another Joe Jencks-Wes Weddell performance, but the producers didn't ship a copy out in time... Oops.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snoqualmie, WA: Isadora's

Okay, this doesn't really count as a performance--it's rogue-logger-fiddlin'-friend Bob Antone's birthday, and he's invited friends to hear him play and to heckle--but I'm struck by two things worth sharing. One, Isadora's is a wonderfully funky spot, the kind of place that caters to everyone and seems in ever-shorter supply; and two, there are likely dozens of people and places in Seattle right now trying noticeably hard to be this real.

Bob's got the artist's soul, and plays and writes great music unlike anything I've encountered anywhere else. He and his brother, Mike, play host tonight to an unusual scene: everyone is captivated and dead-quiet fascinated while they're playing, but as soon as they finish a song and everyone whoops then people (pursuant to the heckling ground-rules in place) start yelling really dirty things. Thankfully, this mood subsides by the time I get up for a few (Bob insists).

Oh, and a third thing: you must hear this man sing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Seattle, WA: Egan's

Egan's Ballard Jam House is one of my favorite rooms in town, and it's exciting to see folk start to discover it; reminds me of a much-smaller take on the Iridium, the Midtown Manhattan club where I was blessed with the chance to see the late, so-great Les Paul in 2005: such a great listening room, and such without sacrificing comfort or amenities! And, of course, always a treat to play/sing with Joe Jencks--we even practiced some for this one!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Everett, WA: House Concert

2009 was an awfully transitional year for this songwriter, and at some point in the spring I realized that I'd likely need a project into which to pour myself during choice stretches. Said project became By the Side of the Lake, a new album whose audio lies finished and perches just a couple of design/administrative steps from release. Indeed, I am thrilled to welcome 2010 with a house concert performance full of new tunes and old friends--a double-bill with Joe Jencks.

The cuts from Songs to Get You From Here to There were all tunes that I'd been playing quite a bit before hitting the studio (a process that limped mightily along itself), and thus even though I'd applied full-band treatment to several songs, I had solo arrangements secured prior to release. Kinda fun to work backward with this one: many of these tunes came together with the band, and I find as I toss them out there just-me that I'm still learning where some of the holes are and how they move. Plus, always interesting to see how (and to what specifically) people respond, and how it's never quite what I anticipate.

Joe was riffing between songs at one point about Woody Guthrie and "This Land is Your Land" contrasted with Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," which--as can happen 'in-the-round'--led me to introduce and play "Got Out Some," one of the new tunes (in which the bridge borrows from both aforementioned pieces). I know what I meant to say, and I don't know if I somehow swallowed a word or what, but what people heard was something regarding Irving Berlin's Woody. And a new bit is born...