Monday, April 29, 2013

Recent musical happenings and Obligatory Commercial Outreach (Links to Demos within)

 It was my great pleasure to open up the musical festivities at the PSU Farmers Market this year. I'll be back there on June 24th at 11 am.
Special thanks to Yurs Bar & Grill, for hosting Sunday night music and to Tommy Suitcase for pushing that particular wheelbarrow.

I'm overjoyed to be approaching local venues once again looking for opportunities to bring my live music to their patrons. Rooted in Chicago and  Delta Blues, I play songs from a wide variety of sources, reimagined for resophonic slide guitar. Here's a link to a Soundcloud clip of me playing one of my favorite songs, Alberta, during a recent live online broadcast.

   Short clips from my CD releases can be heard here, and of course the CD's and the MP3's can be purchased here
I'm looking to contact interested venues in the Portland and Beaverton areas and can be best reached through my Email, Mention the name of the venue in the Subject please.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sitting on the Hogline

 That's Hogline fishing, on the Willamette not far from our Beaverton home. A chummy bunch, with several generations of one area family distributed in boats around the hog line known as "The Welfare Line".

Saw the Patriarch of the river clan lose a salmon to a sea lion - who nabbed it right off of the line and ate his prize in plain sight of us, clearly gloating. Caught the first salmon of my life, having angled for trout  on the Pennypack prepared me for the theory but in practice, the first fish I reeled in was a whole other thing. A large native fish, without the notch that shows a hatchery fish.  Steve, that's my neighbor, quickly returns the shining flash of fish to the river. Steve has been bringing me out on his boat lately.I'm liking the new neighborhood.
Some hours later, I reeled in the tasty looking Chinook seen here. The first fillets were eaten with a bottle of Crement - bubbly to celebrate my first salmon.

Monday, April 01, 2013

A tight spot

Yesterday was a spectacular spring day, and we came into Portland to take a walk up the hill to the Japanese Garden, then to wind our way up to the Maxx station by the Zoo.

We got off the Maxx train at the ballpark, and noticed an unusually noisy flock of crows. While saying things like 'huh, wonder what's got them riled up" we crossed the street - and a thump impacted against Jane's backpack. Looking down - a fat, dead pigeon on the ground. Looking up into the boughs of a small, leafless tree - an angry, frightened kestrel who had bitten off more than he could chew. The crows were mobbing the tree, keeping the small bird of prey trapped. They'd swarm at the tree, back off, regroup and fly back at the tree, karking and squawking as they swirled in flight. The kestrel's head darted this way and that, then centered his gaze, focused on distance. I was right there with the kestrel as we stood under the tree watching him. Surrounded by enemies, stuck in a tight place. How long could the crows stake the tree out? I thought that the only way out would be split second timing, waiting until the crows were at their most dispersed and - at that moment, like an arrow from an archers bow, the kestrel took off, west, with the alarmed, murderous crows in truly hot pursuit.

A few minutes later, as we approached the trailhead on Burnside, we saw the crows harrying a Red Tail. I imagine that the kestrel got away, and hope he had better luck hunting on the other side of the hills.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hip and swinging, Daddy-O

Breaking in new bodyparts - a full hip replacement, recovering great.

I was awake during the operation - my memory is of the clanging of  a  hammer driving the metal implant into my femur while the anesthesiologist and I discuss Portland area restaurants.

Now my studio stands in a new house, I'm not in pain and I have to take stock before a bit of a musical relaunch. I have a Farmers Market booked on April 20th - the PSU Market. Should be ...pretty hip.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Another East Bay Xmas

We spent the Holidays down in Berkeley, visiting friends and a few favorite restaurants. A bowl of Mussels at Point Reyes Station, the phenomenal Tropical Lamb Burrito at the Albany Hot Shoppe (An Afgan-style dish wrapped in a tortilla, now THAT's fusion), the best falafel I've ever tasted at Zand on Solano, a romantic sunset moment at Skates on the Bay, none of which could overshadow lunch at the Cafe upstairs at Chez Panisse where the duck and the oysters were better than passable. Especially good was a piece of smoked salmon from our good friends at Hudson Fish, crusted with red pepper flakes, eaten reverently back at our rented rooms.

A holiday party on Albany Hill, replete with lovingly hand crafted tamales with more especially dear friends.

We welcomed the New Year at the Albany Eagles Lodge - Captain Mike Hudson dishing up more fresh and lively goodness with his band The Sea Kings joined by local guitarist Roger Brown and my very good friends Doggie Jomo and Harlan Hollander. The crowd here, with quite a few seldom seen friends,  was enough to justify the train ride down from Oregon.

I'm afraid that these days, I've only touched my guitars to move them out of the way. I hope I haven't become hopelessly obsessed with feeding my face and I hope that I haven't given that impression. During these days leading up to my hip replacement surgery, fine and healthy eating is my main exercise, my landscape and my best pastime. Made a pot of bone broth and beans this week; let that pass for virtue for the moment.

  Below I'm putting a bit of writing towards a vague memoir of my early life in which food figures somewhat less.

Lines Of Transit

Lines of transit ran from every direction – bottlenecking from New Jersey to the east over a few bridges and tunnels – dumping into the shallow basin of Center City. You could hide in your neighborhood all of your life and nearly never see a person with skin a very different color than your own. But once you rode the El or the Subway into Center City, you might meet anyone at all - with skin potentially any conceivable color at all.
My childhood was spent crouching in the weeds by the Pennypack Creek, miles past the northeastern terminus of the Frankford El, in a neighborhood to which the adjective “Lilly White” was often added before the geographically descriptive “Northeast”. Skin tones ranged from bone pale to olive, with one visible family of dark brown – a Pulitzer prize winning playwright in an area settled by industrial workers and cops – to prove the point.
Sometime around the age of seven or so, we had roofers repairing the top of our red brick house, and my Dad got me up on the roof to take a look around. Our flat, tarred roof looked like a patch of asphalt road that went half a block to the East before coming to an unjumpably wide gap between one part of the block and the next, all suspended two stories above the  streets below. Identical linked houses as far as my young eyes could see, with little appreciable rise or fall to the land and few trees higher than the two story houses. Far in the distance I saw a church steeple – not our church, which was a low cinderblock device with no steeple or any other proud projections.  (American Catholic churches at that time played at a protestantish austerity, coupled with a lazy attempt at a “Modern Art” sensibility that one assumes  left more of the Parish donations available for the Lord to use in other ways – or maybe just as walking around money for his oh-so –wayward priests.)
This vision of the world as flat and regular was far from the varied view given by picture books. When an Uncle took us north to see the mountains, it was plain to see that some places were barely places at all, with no snow- capped pyramids looming in the distance, just the endless red brick maze punctuated by deep woods. At least there were plenty of places to hide.