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It's All About the Song

The Coffee Gallery Backstage Show This Friday August 11, 8 pm 

Hello all, Here's an update about my upcoming show on 8/11/17 with Michael McNevin

I had the privilege of recording two songs from two very talented female songwriters that will be included on a CD available this Friday night called "The Backstage Deal". 

I also recorded one written by my friend Michael McNevin, who I am sharing the stage with for our very first co-billed show together at The Coffee Gallery Backstage, a wonderful listening room in Altadena California. 

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Our idea was to share new material with our fans, in a casual way. A casual tangent, if you will; (think unplugged house concert in your living room) three new songs from each of us, on one CD. 

All will be performed live, this Friday night. My grateful thanks to Claire Holley and Brandy Zdan for your wonderful songs! And as always, thanks to my pal, Michael McNevin for giving me Carte blanche access to your musical stories and landscapes. 

Just a reminder as well, that the wonderful Tim Fleming will be joining us on pedal steel. 

See y'all Friday; show starts at 8 pm.

 

Show details here

 

 

http://claireholley.com/

https://www.brandyzdan.com/

http://michaelmcnevin.com/

 

 

Musings of a Song Catcher 

I was paid a nice compliment at a recent song circle by a talented and well respected member the local songwriting community. I had just finished my turn in the round with a song called "Longing Road" written by John Smith, from Wisconsin, who taught at a camp I attended last year. My friend Dave said, “What? Do you have a whole corral of songwriters somewhere that sit around and write songs just for you?” 

Well the truth is, they are written for me, and I find them in secret. Secrets are hard to keep, so it's time to let this one go. I have to listen for them. They are discovered by a meaningful word, phrase, melody, or feeling that I am able to recognize to be my message, and then I know this is the song written for me. 

Next, as to acknowledge the message, I quickly reply by soaking the song in; listening to it over and over until the whole message reaches something deep inside my soul. Waiting, marinating, maturing, and when it's ripe, I am finally able to share it. 

The icing on the cake is when I can share, regift if you will, the song back to the writer by playing it for them in person; those are sacred moments; treasured memories that define me as an artist and musician. 

For me it really is "All About the Song", and I'm grateful for the corral of writers at the water trough, on the road, willing to share their deepest joys, sorrows, and everything in between with this song catcher. 

Come on out to my show on Saturday 6/18; I'll be playing "Longing Road" and a few other new ones, along with songs from my debut album "Lady in the Moon". Show details here.

A special thank-you to Jim, for this blog prompt/outline! 

Thank-you also to Jana Stanfield for encouraging me to name this blog..."It's all about the Song". JanaStanfield.com
 

Lady in the Moon 

Well here it is, the new website, with all the updated information to keep track of what I'm up to, where I'm playing, and how to order my new CD "Lady in the Moon". 
I will try and write something as often as I can;  my idea is to take a song each time, and talk about why I chose to include it on the record. 

Let me begin by saying that I do not consider myself a songwriter, which is why there are no songs on the album written by me.  I am however part of a songwriting community that I adore and who are so generous to share their songs with me.  Usually I'll be out listening to music and stumble upon a song that I feel like I can wrap my heart around; and wait to see if it continues to take root, . 

I'll begin with "Lady in the Moon"; the title cut.  I knew that one day I would record it;  way back 30 years ago, I knew.  That was when I first heard it from the songwriter, my friend, Ray De La Paz, who had a love for melodic Paul McCartney songs.  I always loved singing it with him; and when the harmony kicked in on the chorus, I felt like this was a song written just for me and filed it under: "songs I would love to record". 

Well in those days I was a pretty new guitar player and the chords he used were way out of my 'folky songs of the day', wheelhouse, so for many years I was content with the special treat of singing it together at parties we both attended.  As time went on and I improved on guitar, I knew I needed to have it in my back pocket;  and I was not about to lose track of this song!  Kids, family, life; the times of running into Ray were few and far between as things got busier for both of us and eventually I lost track of him. 

I was however in touch with a mutual friend who knew how to play it and agreed to show me; so I could write out the structure of these elusive chords.  For years I was missing two chords in the chorus; Ray unfortunately passed away in 2011 and in the meantime I  lost track of our mutual friend. 

Enter the age of Facebook and reconnecting with my last hope to the missing chords for "Lady in the Moon".  To this day I don't know their names....but I can play 'em, and I still have the scribbling of the chord shapes from the 80's where the journey began. 

Before computers and search engines, this is how it was done, and the collection of such material was my lifeline for hanging on to a precious song that naturally fit as the title for the album, Lady in the Moon.  Rest in peace, Ray,  I'll take good care of "her". 

Joel Rafael 

I saw Joel Rafael at Wine and Song on Wednesday, then decided to go to the South Pas Library last night, for a Woody Guthrie event, specifically about the time he spent in the Los Angeles area and the profound effects it had on him. 

Joel played songs during the first half from his wonderful "Baladista" record while sharing insights into the life of Woody Guthrie. He has 4 or 5 co-writes with Woody that the Guthrie family has bestowed on him.---(don't try and do the math on t...hat one--it's timeless) 

Turns out Will Geer, (Grandpa Walton) was a traveling companion of Woody's during that time--1937-40--I believe. 
I remember going to a show at the Santa Monica Civic in celebration of his birthday (1975?) because I wanted to see Arlo mostly, but lots of wonderful singers and musicians were there. At the end of his birthday show, not wanting it to end, Mr. Geer invited everyone over to his house in the canyon, the following day......no kidding....I think the SMC holds 2,000-3,000 people. Of course the next day we packed up and went. There was a really cool outdoor stage area with bleacher type seating made out of rocks and Mr. Geer was milling around enjoying the company of everyone who showed up. A really fun hang for a high school girl totally immersed in the music of those days... 🎶🌙🎶🌙🎶

Shows

The Eclectic

 —  —

Griffins of Kinsale (21 AND OVER), 1007 Mission St., South Pasadena

This is an all day music and art event with over 60 acts performing on multiple stages around town. I will perform a 60 minute set joined by the wonderful Tim Fleming on pedal steel. The festival is family friendly and free to attend. Take the Gold Line to South Pasadena.

http://theeclectic.rocks/

http://www.griffinsofkinsale.com/

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