yes, I'm still here, jetting around, playing shows, eating coffeebread, surviving the subzero temps

Who's that bearded middle-aged man playing guitar on stage with awesome vocalist Rachel Kurtz? Uhh, holy cow I guess that's me! Once again my non-stop schedule of parenting prevented me from taking the extra 20 minutes I need to shave, and the beard got a little out of hand again. So I went to California a couple weeks ago looking kinda scruffy, and man, seeing it in pictures, I just can't continue to "let myself go" like that. Part of this showbiz life requires me to appear somewhat youthful (to the best of my ability) and I'm a bit shocked to see just how "baby-boomer" I appear in these photos. Needless to say, I got rid of the beard and will try to avoid it from now on. No sense looking 50 before turning 40 if I have any choice in the matter.

I DID have a great time in Los Angeles, where I performed at the ELCA Extravaganza. My friend Rachel jumped up to sing harmony with me on a song, and we always have fun singing together. During my set on the main stage I played a few songs, including:
The Serious Kind
Hey Hey Samuel
If You Have a Question...

I also facilitated a workshop entitled "Freshening Up the Liturgy" and that was a real hoot as well.

Left the 80-degree sunshine of CA, and came back to Minnesota, in the grips of a multi-week sub-zero deep freeze. Played a cool gig for the Finnish American Cultural Activities monthly gathering...their annual Laskiainen Potluck. The crowd was mostly senior citizens, but they were really into the music, especially instrumental versions of the traditional melodies "Kuortane" and "Nyt Ylos Sieluni," and my first-ever solo piano interpretation of "Cold, But I Don't Mind." We ate Finnish coffeebread called pulla, and it blew my mind with deliciousness.

Got some stuff done in the studio, too. Had my multi-instrumentalist band director friend Sam come over with a trombone and trumpet, and we arranged and recorded a 5-piece horn section on one of my new songs, with Sam playing all the parts. I was inspired by the cool horn arrangements in songs like "Keep the Customer Satisfied" by Simon & Garfunkel, and "Got to Get You into My Life" by The Beatles. It worked like a charm, and now the song will be done once I shake a tambourine on it.

March shall be rolling around soon, and I've got zero gigs for the whole month. I intend to use my free time to complete my taxes, finish up some recordings, and....hmmm....what else? We'll just have to see.

Music I've been enjoying of late:
Jason Falkner
Sheryl Crow
random Finnish music sent by my cousin Micke from Helsinki

Oh, and do yourself a favor and go to Petra Haden's webpage and download (for free!) her breathtaking vocal interpretation of the Beach Boys' brilliant "God Only Knows." You can thank me later. Petra rocks (the woman, not the band).


Bridget Delaney said…
Yes, to listening to your brother's stuff, and going to the gal Petra's download,and reading your interview - just not when I'm so tired. It's relaxation time for me right now.

I've been writing and writing and writing lately - because I need to write.

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