Sunday, September 29, 2013


 First, open the link below in another tab or window and start the player, then come back here and read while you are listening. (You should be able to right click on it and pick 'open in a new tab' or something like that.) (Sorry, Blogger won't let me imbed it.)

 With all the words available, that is the most accurate one I can find to describe the experience we had last night at Rushad's gig at Rocky Top Gardens.Opened up by Sam Weiser and Gabe Terracciano with beautiful dual fiddle material composed by both themselves and others, we enjoyed a marvelous evening, which this time included the Mouse Princess who joined Rushad for a butt kicking rendition of one of the tunes on his brand new solo CD.
 Before I go any further, a few words about that CD. For a long time Rushad's fans and friends have been awaiting a release like this, and although I have barely had 2 run-throughs of listening, I can give you some idea what to expect. The CD it titled "The Rushad Eggleston Radio Show" and as you might imagine, is based on that format. There are 27 tracks on the CD, some quite short, others longer. Lots of content, for sure. I have to say, if you enjoy Rushhad's stage performances you will love this CD. Folks who have had a 'Rushad Experience' know pretty well what it looks like and will have little problem providing the mental picture that must accompany this piece of work. If you have not been so fortunate yet, you will still enjoy the work, I'm sure, but you may have a hard time getting the full value without the benefit of that picture in your head. Rushad uses his face, movements, and expressions to communicate a lot of information. Trying to guess at that is, well, impossible without some context. None the less, you can listen and find great enjoyment with this audio offering. Rushad is creative, fun, and thoughtful in this presentation and I am pleased to have it in my collection. It is, to date, the best representation of his stage show and persona I have heard. There are bits and pieces for everybody in this work from children (yes, it is VERY family firendly) to seasoned performers. One of my favorite tunes on the CD is called 'One Part Song' and is only 20 seconds, none the less it cracked me up. The entire CD is available for download at .
 Now, back to the gig:  One of the reasons I enjoy participating in these type events is watching everybody else have a great time and enjoy themselves. Laughing hard, hearing great music, and enjoying good company are all food for the soul. I over ate a bit at this one. The performances, as I said were just great and as house concerts go, this one was exceptional. Everybody had a blast, musicians included. When Rushad was performing I had a blast watching Gabe and Sam take his work in. Some of his stuff, especially in-depth musical references go by pretty quick and don't mean a lot to the non-player, but Gabe and Sam, didn't miss any of it. I had a lot of fun watching them watch Rushad.
 Yes, a good time was had by all. What I never would have guessed at that point was that the best part of the evening was yet to come, for me anyway. Most folks were gone, everybody was chilling, having coffee or a beer. Sam and Gabe were sitting on the corner of the stage doing some jamming and about 6 folks were sitting around enjoying that. Several of us were over at the bar chatting with Rushad about 'stuff'. Something Sam and Gabe hit on caught Rushad's ear and in a blink he was up on the stage, pulling his cello out and in the middle of the music. Sam and Gabe started to feed off of Rushad's vibe and the jam that followed was pure unadulterated bliss, wending it's way through some pretty damned brilliant stuff. The recording you are listening to is part of that jam. It is a messy mono recording, everybody is having a good time singing, dancing and stomping, as you can hear, but if you listen to the music, it is brilliant stuff, and wow, this was something to behold. Near the end you will hear some mando work which is actually Rushad. These guys were all just having fun and messing around, there were a lot of smiles and laughing. It is a testament that this recording sounds as well as it does and that is largely due to the superb acoustics Russ has built into this barn. What a fantastic place to play, it is a musician's building, built by a musician, for musicians. An incredible night, for sure.
 I got home around 2:30am too wound up to sleep and listened to that jam tape all the way through. It starts to get pretty brilliant at around the 20 minute mark, but the whole thing is just a joy.
 Our host Russ Bonk probably summed it up best when I was leaving around 2am. He said "I could close this barn up right now for the winter and not come back here until spring and I would feel as if I had gotten a year's worth of use out of it after tonight." Don't worry, nobody is closing anything. Russ is working like mad to finish the beautiful bluestone fireplace he has half done so that we have heat. There is more to come, stay tuned.
Sam and Gabe warming things up.
Rushad explaining the ways of the world.
The jam after the gig.
 Keep the Beat,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This is the final plug for the Rushad Eggleston CD release Tour coming to Clinton Corners on Saturday Night, September 28th at 7:00pm. You can read the original post, with some background HERE. We have a little bit more information to whet your apetite for what we all know will be a specatacular evening and special treat right here in our little Valley. First, here is the entire Tour Schedule For Rusahd's swing through the northeast:
 As you can see, he has crammed 10 gigs into 11 days which is fairly typical for our friend Rushad. He also has a heck of a lot of driving miles in there too. I know he is on the plane to Boston as I am typing this and I am very glad to see that the Clinton Corners gig is the 3rd on his tour. Hopefully he will have plenty of CD's, T-shirts, and other goodies. I mention this because it is rare that Rushad has this stuff. So if you decide during the evening that you would like to take home something from the event, and knowing that peeling floor boards up will be frowned upon and sternly discouraged, I suggest you make a purchase then and there. You might want to bring a sharpie and get it autographed whilst you are there. No telling when he might present the same opportunity again.
 If you yourself are a cellist, or have an interest, Rushad has produced, through Homespun Tapes (right here in Woodstock) a very fine instructional DVD which he may or may not have, but can be purchased through Homespun at any time.
 To say we are excited about this is understated and I know you think that because he is my friend and I find him inspirational, I might just overstate a bit. Well, I suppose that's possible. But if you don't believe me, perhaps you might believe this article which appeared in The Boston Globe on Monday morning.
 We are also hopeful that Rushad will introduce the Mouse Princess for her first appearance at the Rocky Top Barn, and I can tell you she is a lovely gal who can hold her own with the pace Rushad sets for the evening.
 Of course, we all look forward to meeting Sam, Gabe, and Danny. Put it all together and we are in for a heck of a night! Please keep in mind that these artists make their living off of what we take in, and plane tickets aren't cheap these days. Drop a few extra bucks in the bucket if you are so inclined at the end of your evening. Please also say thanks to our host family for allowing us the use of their home for the evening. They are most gracious, kind, and sharing folks, those Bonks. We have some other folks in mind for gigs like these, all artists we would be most fortunate to have a chance to see in a small setting. However, if we can't make it worth their while, we really can't ask them to come.
 As I mentioned somewhere, if you run Rushad's name on you tube, you get over 8,000 hits. That's a LOT of videos to wade through (and I have watched most of them). Here's a video to warm you up from a while back out in South Dakota just after dawn, you see they found this parking garage and well... Oh, I'll just let Rushad explain it:

I tried to imbed this other one, but I can't, so if you click on THIS LINK, you will get a sneak preview of the Mouse Princess. Mouse princess videos are quite rare, in fact, this is the only one in which I can find her performing except the Grey Fox 2013 videos, and there are 1,200 people in that crowd, so those videos are a bit rough. I think there is a fair chance we may hear this rap on Saturday, so learn the word now, OK?

 We (I) hope to see you Saturday, and if I don't already know you, please come up to me and say hello. (I'll be the guy with the biggest grin. Wait, that doesn't narrow it down much. OK, I'm the guy with the longish stringy mustache, cowboy boots, and a banjo belt buckle. That should narrow it down to a dozen or so.) We have folks driving as much as 4 hours (each way) to attend this event. I hope you can join us.
Keep the Beat,

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Just a short post here to bring your attention to the top of this page where you will see I have added some tabs (additional pages). The venues page is one wherein I try to give you a little information about the places I have been to and provide some 'before you go' advice. These are of course, my perceptions, and your mileage may vary. I will be adding to this in the future, too much to do in one shot. I am just getting warmed up on these and should have something worth bookmarking in a few weeks. In the meantime, it's a beginning.
 The other page lists the events I would recommend to a friend. We are so blessed with a large variety of musical and other opportunities around here that there is no way I could list them all. What I list here is the events I would go to if I had the time and money to attend what I wanted. It is my way of providing a little extra support to those artists who I find most enjoyable. Certainly I am open for suggestions and additions if you would care to send me along the details.
 The events listing is in reverse order and begins with today at the bottom of the page so that the 'expired' dates will eventually scroll off the screen and the latest dates remain on the top. I invite you to check the links I provide to the various events and venues before you go. I'm just providing awareness, you need to make your plans and buy the ticket.
Keep the Beat,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Have you ever tried to learn how to play a musical instrument? Perhaps you've tried, or in fact, play a few. Can I ask you to think back to that first instrument and those first lessons. Probably, you were a youngster at the time, but if you think hard you can recall how you struggled to understand this new gadget and how it worked. Forcing yourself, perhaps, to make your fingers do things that were not normal or natural. Trying this and trying that, never quite being able to do what the teacher asked, dealing with the confusion of reading music, and no matter how hard you tired, it never came out prefect and it was always a little off. At the least, it was frustrating right? Now if you never had any issues like that and just picked up the instrument and started playing, please skip the rest of this post and move along. Please also do not introduce yourself to me if our paths cross. I don't want to know you. You are a freak.
 If however, you have suffered in some manner as I have described, please do read on.
 I began learning to play an instrument just a little over 2 years ago, at age 56. The background I will leave for another story. I started on the 5 string banjo, but after a year, moved to the mandolin, hoping to gain a little more skill and understanding before going back to the banjo. I haven't gotten back there yet, but I am working on it. One thing I am fairly proud of is that I have been consistent in my practice. I put in at least an hour a day with 20-40 minutes at lunch time and another session in the evening. On the weekends, I can get in more and try to break it into 1/2 hour sessions with 10-15 minute breaks. Sometimes I can do this for a few hours. The fingers are tuned such that there is no pain, just weariness and when I get tired and make lots of mistakes, I take a break, then try again.
 I learn VERY slow, but the persistence seems to pay off and I can hear progress. I have about 5 tunes that I can play well enough to enjoy myself and I would consider only one of them a beginner tune. I play that one because I love it so and it gives me peace. Ashokan Farewell has much significance for me and it gets played a few times a day.
 The tune I am working hardest on is Opus 57, written by David Grisman back in the mid-sixties (there's another story in there I might share at another time). David pretty well rips along on this one and plays at a speed which approaches over 200 beats per minute. I'll never hit that speed, but if you can play it at 180 or so, it sounds pretty good. I have been working on this tune for about a year now. I play it for up to 40 minutes a day working on speed, tone, and accuracy. Mostly it's the accuracy that kills me. Whenever I get it up to a good speed, my accuracy and timing go all to hell. It's frustrating, but I keep at it. Now, to be sure, I have bitten off a big  chuck here to take this tune on as a beginner, but because the tune is significant to me I work especially hard at making it happen.
 Here's a video of the tune as David and his group played it right around the time I began working with it. You can skip to the 2:30 minute point to catch it exactly where I pick it up with the same intro:
As I said, I'll never hit that speed. My goal is to play it well and fast, just not that fast, but fast enough to be able to try it with my favorite banjo player.
 So last night I was practicing, and here's the part all my fellow frustrated students will appreciate:  I got it rolling along and wasn't making any mistakes. The timing was fairly good, I didn't miss any notes, I didn't miss any frets. Sure, some of the notes blurred and the tone wasn't very smooth, but the melody came through and there were no hesitations. It was bliss as I was screaming along at a blistering pace without feeling all tensed up and the melody was coming though. I felt empowered, like I could do no wrong and it was grand!
 I tell you, in the entire 2+ years I have been working, that was the best minute and a 15 seconds I ever had.

Keep the beat,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Missed this one, So Don't miss the next one, OK? The Summer Hoot was just that.

On occasion, about 4-6 times a year, I have the good fortune to spread the word about a musical event I feel is significant, has some special quality, or presents just the right mix of components that it will likely generate something very memorable. When I talk to friends about these things or throw up a Face Book post, I sometimes use the words “You Don’t Want To Miss THIS!” Of course, many folks do either because they were washing their hair, or never bothered to read my post or email. When they hear me talk about the event after the fact and share some details about what transpired, they say something like “Damn! I wish I knew about it”, or “Damn, I meant to go to that”.  Of course I remind them that they had notice and probably own a calendar they could have noted it on, but I realize that we all have busy lives and can’t do everything.
Sometimes these events are publicized well in advance, but don’t make it through to all the right circles, but some of the things I share don’t get any advance notice at all, and those are really hard to plan for. For instance, I might get a text message during the day that ‘So and So will be sitting in at our gig tonight’, or I’ll walk into a club and somebody will say “Hey, guess who I ran into at the post office today?”, sure enough, an hour later they walk through the door. Many times, it just happens, and you have to be in the right place at the exact right moment. Many times I have been sitting at the Harmony CafĂ© in Woodstock and somebody will walk in, a few heads turn, a few smiles are exchanged, and a few people, like me, are saying to each other “Hey, is THAT…..?”. Yeah, it is. (OK, I know you want names, right?  In the last year or so I have ‘run into’ John Sebastian, Eric Weisberg, Marc Horowitz, Ryan Cavanaugh, Rosie Newton, Richie Stearns, Maria Muldaur, Tom Pacheco, Tony Trischka and a few others. If you don’t know who these folks are, you can Google any of them.)
Pete Seeger at center stage, Jay Unger and Molly Mason backing him up on stage left, Mike Merenda sitting on the rail.

I told you that so I can tell you this: Just a little less than a month ago I attended a kick-ass little local Festival called The Summer Hoot. This was one of those events where I spread the word as best I could in the weeks prior, but only saw a few folks I knew. If you weren’t there, then you really missed something. It’s right here in the heart of the Catskills, so don’t whine to me about long drives. I know some who drove from Boston (OK, Cambridge) for this event, and it was very much worth their while.
To begin with, there were 33 stage slots scheduled between Friday evening and Sunday night. Not only were they all filled, but there were a few more squeezed in as well. In addition to that, there was a full screening of “Ain’t In It For My Health” on Friday Night, a song circle with campfire on Saturday, followed by a Square Dance and jam on Saturday night, and the opportunity to rub elbows with some fine musicians. This was, for sure, a Musician’s Festival, as they all had a good time sitting in on each other’s sets and making some really memorable music. I almost forgot to mention that in addition to the 2 stages, there were also some small mini-concerts going on in the Hoot Store all weekend with groups of 20 or much less. Talk about intimate. The food was great and the setting, lodging, and camping opportunities provided by the Ashokan Center, it’s wonderful staff, and all the volunteers could not be beat. For a first time run, it sure was close to perfect. As for the lineup, well I am not going to list everybody here. You can go see the whole list and schedule RIGHT HERE.  Natalie Merchant was certainly a big draw on Saturday, as was The Dirt Farmer Band for the close on Sunday. I have to say, that for me, the highlight of the entire event was seeing, and singing along with Pete Seeger again on Sunday afternoon. It’s always a special treat to see Pete, and in such a wonderful venue on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t think of anyplace I would have rather been. I should also add that this was a very family friendly event and we had little kids all over the place. There was plenty for them to do as well. At times it was hard to tell who brought the most children, the audience, or the performers, but I could see clearly that the kids were having a great time as were their parents.
Although this was the first Summer Hoot, it was not the first Hoot. That happened back in February of this year, and I missed that one, but am told it was a great time for everybody. The next Hoot will be in February on the 7th, 8th, and 9th, a great time to come out and shake off the cabin fever that will no doubt grab you by then.  The dates for next Summer’s event have not been set yet, but will most likely be in mid-August. You can be sure that I’ll let you know when the dates are set because I can’t wait to get this one on my calendar. Just don’t say I didn’t tell you about this one.
Festivals such as this take a lot of courage to pull off, and they also require a hell of a lot of work to make happen. For sure, The Hoot fits in this description and it’s continued success depends on a lot of support from the community, the volunteers, the performers, and especially the organizers. The Hoot is the brain child of Mike & Ruthy Merenda, who felt that with all the local talent we have in our little region, there should be some platform for the local artists to perform with each other and share that music with the communities in which they live. Theirs is a vision we can all get behind with very little effort. I hope you come out to The Hoots of the future. I don’t think you’ll have any regrets. Better live music you are not gonna find anywhere for twice the price.
On a personal aside, I would like to thank Mike & Ruthy for making me feel instantly welcome and part of the team as one of their last minute volunteers. I watched them work continuously all weekend keeping it all running smooth, doing their own sets and sitting in on many others, while at the same time keeping Willy and Opal (their wee ones) happy, fed and content. All the while, they never lost that big smile on their faces and the enthusiasm they carried was infectious. Sometimes it’s not all about the music (did I just say that?), sometimes it’s about having a good time working together to achieve something good and wholesome for the benefit of others. The Hoot, for me, was one of those times.
Keep the beat,

Sunday, September 15, 2013


9/28/13 Rushad Eggleston, Clinton Corners, NY 7:00pm

It is by no small coincidence that my first musical opportunity announcement here happens to be for a friend of mine. I must say that I am honored and humbled to share this with you all, as I am always humbled and awed by Rushad's performances, whether in public, or sitting around a camp site just goofing around. Let not that fact that Rushad and I are friends dissuade you from pursuing this opportunity. If you be a traditional music fan, or that of a more classical pursuant, this will be a night to enjoy. Assuming you are not familiar with the talents of Rushad Eggleston, let me regale you with some details of note. Classically trained and practiced, Rushad is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, and to my knowledge the only person to have been awarded a full cello scholarship at that prestigious institution.
 Cello? You say, well thats not for me. Hold on there just a doggone minute partner and hear me out. First, let me point out that unless you have actually seen Rushad in performance, you have no idea what this will be like. NOPE, Not a clue. But that's OK, because I will give you a little primer.
 Hailing from Monterey, CA and currently living in LA, Rushad was a founding member of Crooked Still, prior to that  he played with Fiddlers 4 which relaeased a Grammy nominated CD and he also played with Draol Anger's Republic of Strings which brought him national prominence. Rusahd released "Plyahouse of the Universe" in 2006 with The Wild Band of Snee. Rusahd is also known for his current band, Tornado Rider which is aptly named for sure, playing a wild combination of music that wends between head banger heavy metal and sublime, if not jazzed up classic derivations.
 As for his performance style, well that is hard to describe accurately. I have seen folks hear his music and in the first 2 minutes discount him as a comedian, but then after listening for a few more minutes, they begin to pay attention to his playing and the complexities and realize this in 'no gimmick'. In a few more minutes they are wrapped in his web and joining the growing crowd of people who are laughing clapping, singing, stomping, and dancing. Such is his magic, that it takes both the youth and the aged along his path. I have seen him do this with the sophisticated classical fans as well as with a class of 8 year olds, both with equal results. If you are in fact, a skilled strings musician, you can lose the whole evening just watching his left hand. It would take another evening to understand what he does with that bow and how he makes those sounds. Some folks have a hard time wrapping their brains around a cellist who plays his instrument as if it was a guitar, including the use of a pick (if I'm lyin', I'm dyin'). I don't even mention here that athleticism enters into what Rushad does (you will have t see that for yourself). (Wait, WHAT? Did he say 'athleticism' in a post about a cello performance? What is THAT all about?)
 Rushad has played with such a huge list of people that I won't even attempt to mention them here, he is widely sought after as an instructor at various high end strings camps around the country, not the least of which are the Mike Block string camps. Rushad has also recently released and instructional video from Homespun Tapes (June 2013), and it is rumored he has a new CD which we are all hoping he will have with him for this very concert.
 Having schooled in Boston, he has many friends in that area, and we are extremely fortunate that Rushad is also friends with Dean Seabrook, who lives right here in Woodstock. Dean was kind and thoughtful enough to set up a house concert back in September of 2012 which I attended and met with Dean for the first time. Following that Dean set up another, as a fund raiser at a middle School in Lake Katrine, then another, which I tried to help find a venue for and wound up, fortuitously  in a small barn in Clinton Corners, NY. I say fortuitously because that's just what it was. We were desperate for a place and Dean and I were calling everybody and every venue we knew of. They were all booked or unavailable. As we spread our reach out further and farther to friends of friends, Dean came in contact with Russ, who had the P-E-R-F-E-C-T place, New friendships were formed and great joy was had by all. This will be the second time that Rushad will appear at this barn and nobody who was there before will opt out of this one, for sure. (This venue is so nice, that I am trying to get some other performers to check it out in the hope that they might choose to do some recording there, or try out some new tunes in a low key setting.)
 IN ADDITION to Rushad, as if that were not enough, we will also be blessed with the presence of 3 other great musicians: Sam Weiser, Gabe Terracciano, and Danny Fishman will be coming down from MA to open and possibly (probably) play with Rushad. I think I may have met Sam at a festival in passing, but I really don't know these guys except to note that Sam is what all consider to be a prodigy on the violin. You can check out some stuff he has on you tube. You can also check out Rsuahd there as well, but you will get over 8,000 hits for his videos because when folks see him perform they all say "Wow, I gotta get some video of this guy!"
 Please note that I don't provide a more detailed plan of what will transpire that night. If you know Rushad, then you know that to do so, or attmpt it, would be folly. Nobody knows what Rushad might do, or not, and to try to predict anything would be folly indeed. But I will say this, Rushad works in the moment, and this can be confusing and disorienting to the casual observer (It's supposed to be). He tailors his work to what the moment demands which includes the environment, the audience, his mood, even the weather. I can also say that what he has offered, at every performance I have seen, has never disappointed me or anyone else that I can tell. This is an unusual and exceptional opportunity.
 But wait, there's more... this particular date, September 28th, has turned out to be a busy one, and many of the other invited musicians are working elsewhere. In addition, the IBMA awards and convention are on that same weekend, so we have lost a large number of folks that would like to attend, and perhaps, cut a tune or two. None the less, there are others who have been invited and may attend if they are not working other gigs, so you never know who might show up. Just sayin'.
 If you would like to attend, and you should, Clinton Corners is just 15 minutes from the Kingston area, as well as Poughkeepsie. The entry fee is damned cheap if you ask me. Send an email to the address on the poster below and we'll get you on the list. This isn't a big venue. In fact, it is a barn on private property. This is a house concert, not a club event. Please keep that in mind. (It might not be a bad idea to throw a bag chair in your car, because seating (that is, chairs) might be in short supply.)
 So, you can follow the instructions on the flyer below, or if you are a Face Book person, go here and join the party.
Keep the Beat,


I imagine this post will wind up as the “About” page in some form or other, but for now it will serve as this first post on the new blog. I say ‘new’ because this is my second blog, I have another out there somewhere which is anonymous and shall remain so. It has little or no related content to this blog.
 As a reader of many blogs, I hope that I can be sensitive of the little time you, the reader can afford to dally here. So let me cut as quickly as possible, ‘to the chase’, as they say and let me give you the critical information you require to make a ‘stay or go’ decision.
 To Whit:
What’s my motivation?
 Well, as stated, I have written a blog before and there was a lot of dark stuff contained therein. It was a form of therapy for me, and it worked, to a point. I also managed to share information with a target group that met with varying amounts of appreciation and that too, gave me satisfaction. This work, however, is intended to allow me to share some of the more positive aspects of my existence, particularly as those apply to the area of music and entertainment. More specifically, those opportunities to which I have been witness or had close association with in some form. As I live in the Hudson Valley of New York State, you can expect that these writings will center on events in that area.
 So who is this guy?
 I’m nothing to write home about, for sure. Just a guy, an old guy, who has been around the block a time or two. I like to think I have learned some things on a few of those trips. You want specifics, hah? OK, I am a Husband, Father (2, both grown), Volunteer Firefighter and EMT, First Aid, CPR, & Fire Instructor. I have worked as a dishwasher, food handler, summer camp staff, carpenter, machinist, draftsman, Design Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Manufacturing Manager, shop foreman, machine shop owner, and a few other things I may have forgotten. I also struggle, daily, with the skills of a musician as I try, with limited success, to learn to play the Mandolin and Banjo (5 string) in a socially acceptable manner.
 We don’t need no stinkin’ rules.
Well, yeah, we do, but lets keep it simple. Here’s the deal, I will write for this project in a manner that for the most part will be rated “G” and in a few cases, might be “PG”, but not much more. If you are looking for over the top rants, keep looking, nothing to see here. I maintain that one should be able to express oneself without resorting to the obscene or profane. I ask, that any comments you would care to leave are kept within these simple guidelines. Seem fair?
 I do not, at this writing, anticipate anything negative being posted here. I don’t see the point in spending my time writing that sort of thing, there is nothing served except my own ego, and that’s not within my purpose. You may, occasionally see some non-positive writings here, but they should be very few and have a clearly stated purpose, such as raising awareness. I will try to keep them short and to the point.
 Why should I read this tripe?
 Good question. I don’t know. In the past some folks have expressed enjoyment at some of the pieces I have written, some have reprinted my ‘stuff’ in other publications, and some have asked me to write specifically for their publications. So I am guessing it doesn’t all suck. In addition, I have been very blessed to make the acquaintance of some very neat folks, and I intend to tell you something about them, something a little more intimate than what might show up in a Face Book post. On occasion, it might appear that I am doing the old ‘name dropping thing’, however, it is pretty hard to tell a story without the names. I live in an area that is over ripe with well know folks. I run into them at events, clubs, other friends homes, in the local supermarket, and at the gas station. Leaving out the names is leaving out part of the fun. I assure you, I am not throwing names out there to raise my own importance. Everybody around here knows it is a fairly routine occurrence to run into what most would call ‘a celebrity’. Also, it should be noted that everybody has a different definition of that term, and what might be a celebrity to one person, is an unknown to another. We have many such folks of both ilk’s in my neck of the woods, and it’s all relative.
Content, tell us about the content!
OK, so here is the crux of it. I go to a lot of musical type events, even help get one or two going myself. Here in our little slice of the world there is always something happening, quite often, many things happening. As I said I have made some very nice acquaintances and I very much enjoy seeing them perform. Quite often, I miss these events because I didn’t know about them until too late or after the fact. I have, likewise, tried to inform my friends about events only to find out later that they were upset to have missed it because they got the word too late. One of my hopes is that I can maintain yet another listing for local and semi local folks to learn about these events and possibly make more of them. So if you know of something, please pass it on to me and I’ll get it up here in some form. I will, of course, be focused on things and people of interest to me, but if you send it along, than it is of interest to you and I will share it. You can also expect that I will be directing you to some internet resources that I find of interest and value because a lot of folks ask me how I know things and where I found it, or they ask me about certain musicians or bands, so I figure that might be useful to more than a few folks. There is a world of information and learning opportunities out there, I hope to help collect some of that for you.
Anything else we should know?
 Well yes, thanks for asking. First, the types of music I focus on tends to be a little broad so you might have to skip a post or two if I can’t on a jag that is not your cup of tea. I like Bluegrass, Folk, Old time, Country, Swing, Blues, Jazz, Indie and some that transcend simple descriptions. I also like classical, Chamber, Rock, Rap, and even a little Metal here and there. I like what sounds good to me and I don’t get hung up on names. If I am exposed to it in a meaningful way, such as a live opportunity, I can decide if it works for me or not.
 Second, I write this ‘thingy’ for fun. I don’t make any money from it, nor does any of my income derive from the music or entertainment business. More bluntly, all of this stuff I write of here is listed on the debit side of my balance sheet. I am considered ‘middle income’ which is the same as ‘working poor’ these days and the costs of following the folks I write about comes out of our nearly non-existent ‘household fund’ meaning I skip a lot of lunches to save up for a ticket to a good show or some CD’s. I told you that so I can tell you this. I would not be averse to someone sending me a CD to review or putting my name on the guest list at a local gig. I would make a lot more gigs if I could afford them. But to be honest, those $15 - $25 gigs add up pretty quick and I just can’t do many of them, as much as I would like to be there. I am a firm believer in ‘paying your way’ and have turned down offers of a freebie when it was within my means to buy a ticket. But sometimes getting ‘comped in’ can be a real big help, and of course I'll be sharing my experiences here, so it's a win-win.

 That’s it, I hope you enjoy some of the offerings you will find here. Let me know what you think, or what you would like to read about.

Keep the Beat,