Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A New Site? Hmmmm

I've created yet another site. This one a direct result of my daughter Chloe asking if I'd ever heard of I had not. So I went there and saw it's a place where you can create a free website or pay a little for a little more functionality.

This is what I did.

It was pretty easy, and I send Chloe a link to what I did. Then I just kept on going. That was fun.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Long Awaited Update?

Hello Kind Reader,

It's been quite a while (again) that I've written anything here. But, here's what's going on lately...

50/90 is currently on-going and I'm having great difficulties getting to the tasks of creating music. I think it's that I feel a little guilty being out of work. You know, "How can you put time into that when you have a job to find?". I'm trying to work out all the demons and get something written though. Check out my latest efforts here.

A couple of non-musical items:

My lovely daughter, Chelsea, flew off to New York City yesterday to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and acting. She had Trader Joe's transfer her to the new Manhattan store and has a temp. place to stay until she finds a room. Watch for her, she will successful!

My friend Grego got a job at Nike up in Oregon and left yesterday to start work and find a home to buy.

Everyone's leaving!

So here's what I'm thinking: I've been toying with the idea of starting voice acting classes and try to get into voice overs. I already have a studio and many connections in the entertainment biz, so this wouldn't be too much of a stretch. There is a ton of competition out there, but you never know. I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My QR Code


Hey there. Just scan this code with your smart phone and it'll take you right to my website.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Birthday Movie for my dad

This is a video I'm working on for my Step-dad's 80th birthday. The music is one of my instrumental tunes called 'Sunday Afternoon'. Thanks to all for the great pictures - and thanks to those who ignored our requests, but let me take what I wanted from your FB Pages.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lucky Man

Every once in a while, I get these really lovely little inspirational stories from Derek Sivers, who is more and more becoming a hero of mine. He is probably best know as the founder of CD Baby. Lately, he just does what he wants in an entrepreneur kind of way. A music business folk hero.

All of his stories and ideas really gets me thinking of all the wonderful things that have happened to me when I decided to put some time into music. I am truly a lucky man.

It started for me way back in 1993. I was on the toilet reading the latest copy of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. There was a small ad near the back of the magazine for Bread and Roses, a small non-profit organization that provides live entertainment to folks in institutions. Up until then, I had just played guitar and sung for myself and family and friends. I felt that I needed to take things to the next level and getting a little gig with B+R might just do it. I answered the ad and got an audition. I couldn't believe it! On the day of the audition, I took the day off work - I wouldn't have been able to think. I was really nervous, but I practiced those cover tunes until my fingers hurt.

When I got to the Bread and Roses offices in Mill Valley, they put me in a conference room at a very large table. The two interviewers sat on one side, and I sat on the other. I played those tunes so well, but my nerves got the best of me and they could see it. So they said, "At this time, I don't think we can use you." My heart sank. Then, they said, "But your enthusiasm makes us want to use you in some way, would you be interested in 'hosting' other musicians at these shows".

So that's what I did for about 3 months - until they had a performer that canceled a show at the last minute. They called and asked if I'd step in, and that's how I started performing at hospital, day care centers, and psych wards around the Bay Area. That was 17 years ago. It was this ongoing gig that inspired me to start writing my own songs.

NOTE: I have been a very lucky man in many other ways as well, all due to my association with Bread and Roses. I have met some pretty amazing folks and been backstage with some notable musical luminaries. Really! Look for those stories next...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting Back in The Groove... two ways. First, it's high time I write something on my blog here. I know that the three people who follow this are wondering if I'd ever write again! I have not put finger to key here since we came back from Hawaii. So here we go.

I have been contacted again by a guy that I've worked with before. He's a christian songwriter in North Carolina who seems to like my guitar playing enough to pay me to play on his projects. He's asked me to play a little acoustic lead and another pass with electric lead on a country gospel tune of his. I laid down a first couple takes and sent them along. There was a little noise on the electric track - probably from me standing to close to the computer monitor whilst recording. It's funny, I didn't hear it when I played it back. So I'll redo the electric part tonight. The acoustic part was okay, but I'm still going to redo the key change part of the song again. That was a little tricky. I'll send him a couple new files later on tonight.

I have recorded my two new songs, Earline and Politics By Other Means. Both songs from the last FAWM, I've re-written them and finally laid down some trackage for those. I'm not quite down with either of them yet, although Earline is on my webpage at the very bottom of the page.

That's it for now, kind blog follower. Namaste'

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back from Hawaii


I just spent a lovely week on the Big Island in the small rural town of Makapala on the North Kohala Coast. We got a nice Vaction Rental using VRBO and stayed in big house down a hidden little dirt road. It was very quiet and secluded with a view of the ocean. What a drag to come back to reality and have to sit in a cubicle all day... but I digress.

Whilst there, we happened on a little retail shop called Just Ukes. They don't have a website, so here's the info:

79-7412 Mamalahoa Highway
Kealakekua, HI 96750
(808) 322-0808

I bought a nice Lanikai Baritone Uke for $175 ($205 out the door with the soft case)
There's a picture of it up there. I've already recorded a little piece on our camera while we were still in Hawaii. It's got a nice tone and it will be incorporated into my general setup and when I play with the band.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

I've had a little good fortune here... A couple months ago, Acoustic Guitar Magazine (String Letter Publishing) contacted me through e-mail that they had seen a photo of me that Jane took while I was recording some music. We were staying in a vacation rental in Cambria, CA (down near the Central Coast). It was late in the afternoon and the light was very nice for a photo. Anyway, they asked me for permission to use that photo, my name and a quote for an ad campaign for their 20 years of publishing Acoustic Guitar.

In anticipation of this little bit of free exposure, I changed my website to something a little more streamlined. It was an easy design process through my Reverb Nation account. They are now hosting Check it out.

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Time For Old Men

Or, more to the point... this particular old man. FAWM started 19 days ago and all I have to show for it is two demo'd tunes and a four pages of lyrics (or potentials, as I call 'em). Dismal! I was so excited to get going on this years FAWM output, and my enthusiasm has mostly fizzled out. What happened, you might ask? Life.

Right around the start of FAWM, my lovely and faithful Honda CR-V gave up the ghost. Not completely, but it'll cost more money than I want to spend on it to make it go again. So I bought a NEW CAR!!! My first new car in my entire life. No small task, this... it took a couple arduous and tedious weeks. (I could go on for paragraphs on that, believe me.)

My sister Janine has been battling breast cancer and is now into the chemo phase. She's lost almost all her hair. She is in remarkably good spirits I'm happy to say, but it hasn't been easy for her. Last weekend, my other sister Julie came to visit from Las Vegas. We spend the weekend visiting and seeing the "Cali" sights, including the ocean.

This coming weekend, though, we have nothing planned. Jane in fact is going to visit a friend on Sunday, so I'll have to entire day to record and create music. I'm really looking forward to it.

Julie Ray took these pics.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I just figured out how to take old VHS tapes and convert the video on there into DV files that I can store on a hard drive. More to the point, that digital video can be used and edited in bits and pieces in Final Cut. But as I sat there in a nerdy haze creating content, I had to watch the tape as it was streaming in. My face hurt from smiling at the stupid antics of 5 siblings with their wives and children hole up in a cabin in 2002. The uncomfortable people dynamics and weird family jokes that aren't funny to anybody else but this group of people linked by genes and living together for a time.

This was the perfect project to do as I shift into hyper-songwriting mode. I've straightened the spare room/studio up a bit and started pulling out the microphones and headphones. All that family video got the creative plasma to start coursing through the writing muscles and I'm starting to think like a songwriter. Everything in front of my eyes is fair game as I make up little stories and fantasies using people I know and see as the characters.

Well, that's the plan, anyway, But it never really works that way. It's an organic thing, it is what it is. Watch this space - I'll post some songs here from my output at FAWM.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

19 Days from now: FAWM

It is closing in on that time of year when an old man's fancy turns to writing and producing 14 demos in front of an eclectic community of songwriters around the world. It is a phenomenon called FAWM. February (is) Album Writing Month asks us to write and share 14 songs in the 28 days of February, (29 in leapFAWM), a task that gets easier every time that I do it. There is another challenge calle 50/90 that I have done as well (26 and 24 songs respectively), so writing 14 is pretty easy for me.

But it is a challenge, nonetheless, and I am looking forward to the collaborations and listening to the output of all my "watchlisted" friends there. - My FAWM page: phylo