Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The postponement bug.

How strange. Turns out my own show was postponed last night! I was scheduled to play for a group coming in by tour bus at The Margate. Apparently the bus broke down in New Jersey. So we've moved the show to this Wednesday.

So last night was spent in the studio, with a bit of extra time at the day job. Things are kind of busy there right now, so it's just as well I was able to put an extra hour or two in.

Tonight I'm thinking about checking out an open mic at Lago in Meredith. It's strictly original material, and that's pretty unique around here. Hope I can work out a trip down there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another flashback.

I was supposed to see the Crunchy Western Boys on the Second Stage at Meadowbrook last night, 'opening' for Sugarland. When we got there we found out the show was postponed. So Stacey and her dad and I found ourselves in the Lakes Region with nothing to do. I suggested we check out the open mic at Giuseppe's over in Meredith, and so we did.

I hadn't played the open mic there in quite a few years. Lou Porrazzo has been the host there for a long time, and it was good to see him again. Since the last time I'd been there, they've put in a new piano - a Kawai digital baby grand. It was gorgeous. But other than the piano, the place was pretty much like it had been twenty years ago when I was just starting to play out. Oh, I guess twenty years ago I had more hair.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More car trouble.

A few hours before my show at The William Tell, smoke started pouring from the front driver-side wheel well. I limped the car to the shop, where they told me it's probably a caliper, and they can't do anything until Monday. With a bit of good luck (and an extremely generous friend) I was able to borrow a car, get the gear switched over, and get to my show on time.

The show went well, actually. A little tough to focus at first, but once I got into it, it was business as usual. Lots of Billy Joel and Elton John. It was well-attended too, and I was able to fill the gas tank of the Blazer I borrowed with tip jar money. Good thing; these car repairs have set me back a bit, and the next few months are looking pretty lean as it is.

Anyway, after my show I stopped by The Lucky Dog to see the Stema/Spyboy reunion show. It was seriously like walking into a room and finding myself back in 1990. The bands were spot-on, and the crowd was full of so many distantly familiar faces. The whole experience was a gift from the past. Just what I needed at the end of this day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Back at it.

Looks like it's gonna be a rainy weekend. I don't know about you, but I'm spending it at the bar. Tonight I'm playing a solo show at Shooter's Tavern in Belmont, NH. The show starts at 8pm, and goes until about 11. I've got sheets for a lot of new songs to try out tonight. I'm gonna give a few of them the ol' test run today, and we'll see what I can get away with.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'll be at The William Tell in Thornton from 6pm to 9pm, and then I think I'm stopping in at The Lucky Dog in Plymouth to see the Stema and Spyboy reunion show. Lots of old friends coming into town for that one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Feeding the muse.

The urge (maybe even the ability) to write comes and goes. Spring and fall seem to be more productive. That might be due to the slowdown in the show schedule, I don't know. Anyway, I'm coming into it now, and it's frustrating. Because it doesn't come as a flood of ideas, it comes simply as the URGE to have a flood of ideas.

So it's my job to keep the muse well-fed. I'm listening to a lot of different stuff these days, and allowing it to influence my work. I'll worry later about whether the results are too derivative. For now, I just want to try to compose some stuff that moves me, and that speaks the idea as soon as it arrives, without too much distillation or second-guessing. Of course, if it were easy to do I'd be doing that instead of sitting here writing about writing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Irons in the fire.

The show schedule slows down in Sep/Oct/Nov, so I get to spend some time going around to clubs and looking for new gigs. I've had pretty good luck the last couple days, and I should be posting some new shows soon.

I have solo shows this weekend though. Friday I'm at Shooter's Tavern in Belmont, and Saturday I'm back at The William Tell in Thornton. I love the Tell shows because they're heavy on the piano stuff.

And I've got this one big gig opportunity that's still not quite official, so I can't announce it. Suffice it to say it'll be the biggest thing I've ever done if it goes through. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hey Ruth.

This is a song that will be on the next CD, whenever that is. I didn't have time to get it recorded for Permanent Record. This performance is from the 7/15/08 Second Stage show at Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion, where the trio 'opened' for Weird Al Yankovic.

Most of the songs from that show can be seen over at the ol' Youtube. It was a good show. We didn't get to meet Weird Al, though. We did meet R2-D2, so that's something.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nathaniel's song.

I did a cover of Nathaniel's Song (by the band For Squirrels) recently. It's part of a project over at TheSixtyOne.com, where a bunch of us are covering the whole For Squirrels repertoire as a show of support for a guy there who goes by the name of Supergrover. You can check out the story (and the song) right here.

In other news, the open mic went pretty well last night. It was fairly well attended by drinkers, but only one other musician showed up. So, as usual, I played a lot. I got to try out some new stuff, and I hit on a couple songs that went better than expected, so that was nice.

No shows for me until this coming Friday. I'm hoping to get back in the studio this week; I feel like I've finally got the setup dialed in, and now I wanna play with it. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Woke up tired.

I'd go back to bed if I thought I could sleep. Unfortunately, I've never been able to find the alarm button on my biological clock. But yesterday was another longer-than-expected affair. I got to the Cancer Walk to find that the afternoon band had cancelled. So the Jim Tyrrell Trio played our original slot, and then I did a solo set right up until I had to drive down to Shooter's for the evening show. And somehow, in September in New Hampshire, I managed to get myself a pretty good sunburn in the process. I'm not very skilled at being outside.

But the Cancer Walk was, of course, fantastic. There were a lot of walkers, and quite a few people donating their hair to the Locks Of Love program. It's a great event, and I'll be there next year.

I've got the day today to get myself back on track. I see a trip to the studio (and maybe a nap) in my future. Tonight I'm hosting Open Mic night at the Sunset Grill in Campton.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A night on the road.

I took full advantage of my Friday night off, and stopped in at a bunch of venues between Plymouth and the seacoast. My travels took me to Dover, where Johnny Doogan was playing the Dover Brick House. A band called When Geeks Unite opened the show, and I dug 'em. Johnny Doogan was fantastic. I recorded their set. They closed with Godzilla. Awesome. A band called Saluting The Rockies closed the show, and I didn't get to hang around for their full set, but they were super tight and loud and good.

Long ride home. Some unlucky driver hit an unlucky moose on Route 4. I got in around 3am. Rock 'n Roll!

Back at it today, though: at 2pm the trio is playing the Cancer Walk, and tonight is a solo show at Shooter's Tavern in Belmont.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy little night.

I ended up on three different stages last night. The show at The Country Cow was pretty good, if sparsely attended. Thursdays are hit-or-miss over there, and this one just happened to be a quiet one. That's a great room though. I'll be back there on October 30. And the buffalo chicken was as good as it always is. Sweet potato fries, too. Mmm.

After the show I went out to Bullwinkle's in Ashland to meet up with Steve Hinchey, the guitarist from No Limitz. He and his crew were doing some karaoke, and I hung around for a while. I like karaoke. The bar patrons weren't really into my Offspring cover, but whatever.

Then it was off to the open mic at The Common Man, where Jay Moskowicz and Jim McHugh were finishing up a set. There were no other musicians lined up, so they asked me to play for a while. I love that room. They're always interested in the original stuff, which is a nice break from the Margaritaville bit.

Tonight is my first Friday night off since the 13th of June. I'm gonna go check out a few venues down south, I think. There's a couple bands playing tonight that I've wanted to see.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back to business.

It was a much better night in the studio. I came out of there (way later than expected) with the best-sounding tracks I've recorded yet. I felt like laying down some funk because I recently listened to the first Commodores album (Machine Gun, I think it was called) and I was really impressed. I don't have lyrics for this new piece, but the music came out pretty good.

But enough messing around with that; I've got a show to play. Tonight I'll be at The Country Cow right here in Campton, playing from 7pm to 10pm or thereabouts. It's not too early to start the weekend, is it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another night in the studio.

I do love the new studio space. Can I still call it new? My six-month lease is almost up. I'll be re-upping on that for sure. For one thing, I don't know where I'd put everything if I decided to move.

But man, I gotta put some work into the monitors. They're apparently placed all wrong, because what sounds good in the studio does NOT translate well to other sound systems.

Right now I'm working on a cover of a song by the band For Squirrels. It's for a project over at TheSixtyOne. I'm happy enough with the takes I recorded, but the mixdown is still a problem. So it looks like I'm going back tonight to give it another try, after I move the furniture around a bit.

If I can get my flat tire fixed in time, that is. I ran over someone's muffler in the road on the way home last night, and I woke up to a flat. The car was in the shop all day yesterday, too. Grr.

UPDATE: Man that was expensive. The tire couldn't be saved, so the whole thing ended up being over 200 bucks, with road service figured in. Ouch. Anyone need a musician tonight?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping You, Me, & Memories Alive

This Saturday (September 20) the Jim Tyrrell trio is playing a set at the Cancer Walk in Plymouth. We'll be on the outdoor stage from 2:00-3:30pm. I urge you to participate in the walk if you can, as it's obviously for a good cause, and it's a whole lot of fun. This is my third year with them, and it's been a great time each time.