Every time something horrific happens in this nation, our legislators leap into action, offering thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims. Oh, and moments of silence. Which is terrific, but arguably ineffective, since they keep having to do it over and over.
I try very hard not to get political, on the notion that I’m trying to provide an oasis for folks from whatever problems they’re facing in their lives, a bit of respite from the tribulations. But there comes a point when you just have to speak up.
WPSU Radio out of Pennsylvania State University has released the recording of a concert performed by Tom on May 15, 2015, at Pennsylvania State Theater.
Mel Deyoung of WPSU writes:
It’s no stretch to call the 76 year old Rush a folk legend, as he maintains a busy performance schedule that continues to bring audiences the warmth and energy for which he is well known. And of course, his incredible songs!
Given all the depressing, appalling, frightening, disgusting (I could go on) things that are happening in our world today, I have decided to take refuge in gratitude. Despite all the Bad, every day we are all surrounded by things, people, moments that are wonderful, beautiful, transcendent—and I don’t want to lose sight of them because I’m focused on the nasty stuff. Read the full story . . .
It’s been a while! Life has been way too busy lately — I thought things were supposed to slow down at this stage of life.
The new album, to be called “Voices,” is nearing completion and should be released early in 2018 (though PledgeMusic supporters will be getting their copies around Christmas). The recording was done in Nashville with Jim Rooney as producer and “Rooney’s Irregulars” as the session players — I couldn’t be happier with the results. Here’s a sample: Elder Green.
The original completion date was in early October, but some of life’s curveballs slowed me down, as they seem to do with alarming regularity. The artwork, and then manufacturing, are the remaining hurdles and we’re knocking them over one at a time.
I’m flying home to Maine as I’m writing this. (Did I mention that we’ve moved, again, this time to Maine? So many moves! This Witness Protection Program isn’t as much fun as you’d think.) Much of Maine is without power at the moment in the aftermath of a violent wind and rain storm that went through while I was in DC and Maryland celebrating Tom Paxton’s 80th birthday and Oscar Brand’s life and career—two very excellent musical parties! The next few days will, I expect, be spent dealing with downed limbs, keeping from freezing (it’s supposed to be several days before the lights come back on) and finding drinkable water.
Upcoming shows (all with the fabulous Matt Nakoa on keyboards):
* Friday, November 3rd, Scituate, MA, at the River Club
* Saturday, November 4th, Fall River, MA, at the Narrows
* Wednesday, November 8th, Cleveland, OH, at the Music Box
* Thursday, November 9th, Minneapolis, MN, at the Dakota
* Saturday, November 11th, Green Lake, WI, at the Thrasher Opera House
* Sunday, November 12th, Chicago, IL, at the Old Town School
Check out the upcoming shows page for details about shows later in the year, and stay tuned for the album-release announcement!
All the best,
Scattered thought of the month: I like the line in Elder Green, “He’s got greenbacks, sweet babe, enough to make a man a suit.” I was thinking of having one made for myself, but calculations showed that a 2-piece in $100 bills would take $33,300, a 3-piece $42,800. I’ve determined, then, that I have enough greenbacks, sweet babe, to make a man some shorts. Maybe a thong. Once the kid is out of college. Something to look forward to!
Call me a sentimental fool, but it would seem to me that, in the richest nation on earth, the object could be to give more people health insurance, and better, not less and worse. Who benefits?
Lately, I’m being inundated with email solicitations for walk-in bathtubs, reverse mortgages, electric stair climbers, annuities, bacteria that will grow me a full head of hair, wrinkle creams, a product enticingly called “SnorBGone” and cannabis gummy bears. Are they trying to tell me something?
When a mermaid gets the crabs, it’s serious. Stay away!
What’s Wrong with America (youtube)The new album project is moving forward, thanks to those of you who’ve gone to PledgeMusic and generously participated. The recording part is done (though I may tweak a bit) but the artwork, the manufacturing—all that stuff—remains, and help is still needed and very much appreciated!
Gigs coming up, all with the amazing Mr Matt Nakoa at the keyboards:
The roller coaster picks up speed, and thoughts are even more scattered than usual.
First and foremost, some misguided souls have taken my comments about the Big Record Companies, and how they want your soul and at least one kidney, to apply to the little labels, and to Appleseed in particular. WRONG! There are folks out there like Jim Musselman, running small operations because they love the music, and they are the heroes! I’m only down on the multi-nationals who regard artists as a disposable commodity and profit as the only goal.
Second, I got mentioned in the New York Times Science Times section last week. Not because of my towering intellect, or because I discovered a cure for anything (except boredom), but because I was misconstrued—again!—as disparaging a dog, or, more accurately, a breed of dogs.
The Ugliest Dog in the World was, for years, a Chinese Crested named Sam, who lived near us in Santa Barbara, and was a source of great civic pride. When an interviewer writing his obituary speculated that Sam, in spite of his looks, was probably very sweet, his owner said, “No, he was a really foul-tempered son of a bitch.” Sam has now gone to his reward and his title has passed on to another, who, hopefully, did not also inherit his temperament. (Our family’s Chinese Cresteds have all been extraordinarily lovely and/or handsome, intelligent and sweet!)
The Pledge Music campaign is hitting its stride! We’ve reached our goal of funding the recording sessions and are now working on paying for the artwork, the manufacturing (we’re going to do an LP as well as the CD!), the promotion and all that stuff you didn’t plan on. We’ve added a cool new enticement (a video greeting from me to your loved one on a special occasion), and for those who still haven’t visited the site, there is still some pretty cool stuff, including rare, out-of-print LPs and cassettes—check it out! (For those of you who have pledged, you’ll be getting exclusive behind-the-scenes from Nashville, including rough mixes and session pictures.)
And for those of you in the Boston area (or who have a computer or smartphone) I’ll be on WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio” 89.7fm, this Friday at 12:30 PM Eastern, with hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Give a listen.
No shows coming up, just recording sessions next week. Send positive energy!
All the best,
One more scattered thought: It came to me in a vision—why not open up Central Park to logging, oil and gas extraction? It breaks my greedy little heart, seeing all those trees just standing there, going to waste. The Boston Common? Why not? These are, from a certain point of view, wasted resources! I’m just sayin’ …
Tom has been name-dropped again, this time in a recent New York Times article about the surprising genetic ancestry of some dog breeds. Those of you that have been following Tom’s work will recall his stories about walking his families two Chinese Crested puppies on retractable leads while they were living in the ‘Big Dog’ town of Moose Wyoming. This story was the inspiration behind his 2003 album titled “Trolling for Owls”. Apparently, there’s no longer any need for any embarrassment, as they can trace their heritage a full 10,000 in the Americas!
You guys are amazing! Two weeks into a 10-week campaign on Pledge Music, we’re 83% of the way to our goal. (P. M. says they like to see their campaigns reach 25% in the first week—we got there in the first 2 hours! So some very special thanks to you first responders.)
I don’t want to get all gooshy on you or anything, but it really does mean a lot to me that you have stuck with me over the years, through a lot of adventures (and, admittedly, a mis-adventures or two). I was asked recently, “Why are you still doing this?” (I think he meant in the nicest way, but he might have been saying, “Where’s Jack Kevorkian when we really need him?”) The honest reason I’m still at it is that making music for you guys is still a thrill for me—I’ll keep at it as long as you keep listening. You make me feel good!
As a way to entice you back to PledgeMusic (or maybe get you there for the first time) we’ve added a couple of things. While rummaging about in a storage locker I happened upon a box of cassettes from years gone by. (One of these, “Work In Progress,” never made it on to any other format, others have been out of print for decades.) I have not yet found the mother lode of wax cylinders or 8-track tapes, but will continue to search.
I’ve now used up my allotment of exclamation points and parentheses, so I’ll close by mentioning that I have four upcoming dates, so check them out on the shows page. As usual, if you can’t attend, send a friend.
Thanks again, gang. Enjoy the Spring …
Quote of the month:
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
–– Maya Angelou
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