Monday, July 27, 2009

What I did this weekend.

Let's see. Friday night I had my three boys for a sleepover. It's kind of a rarity for me to have a Friday night off, so that was fun. We played a lot of old-school video games on the Wii. It's sweet to see young kids (8, 5, and 2) as excited about Galaga as I was when I was their age.

Saturday was Stacey and Anna's Redneck Birthday Party. Lots of music, hula hooping (not exactly a redneck pastime, but Jagermeister works in mysterious ways) and general mud-trompin' mayhem. I'll post a picture or two if I get 'em. We camped in the van and headed out in the morning, with just enough time to get cleaned up and go to Sunday's shows.

Sunday afternoon was a challenge. I played the beach bar at the Margate, and I had to break down and set up three times because of rain showers blowing by off the lake. But we did get some music in, and a good time was had by those hardy enough to brave the elements. Mike B and Sara were there, as always. I don't think an earthquake would stop them from coming down to the beach bar. :)

From there, up to Campton to host the open mike night at the Sunset Grill. Chris Downing (of RhVibe) came by to play a set, which was a nice treat. Haven't seen that guy on stage in... over a year, maybe? Still sounded good, too. Nik was there, and he and Pete played some blues with me. Buddy closed the night out with an extended set. A good solid night, and I was home by 11.

I don't have a show until this Saturday! And that's a wedding over in Danbury. I'm going to try to hit a couple of the open mikes in the area that I've been neglecting due to my busy schedule. The Hong Kong has a jam night on Wednesdays, and the Common Man in Ashland has a Thursday open mike. Hoping to hit one or both of those.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not available in stores.

So, the one store that carried my CD (Music For A Song in Tilton, NH) has closed down. I ended up with some extra CDs in hand as a result, so I'm havin' a sale!

For $15 you can get 2 CDs -- a copy of the 2007 album Permanent Record AND the 2008 drinking songs compilation Time For Another Round: Gold Edition. And that price includes shipping (within the continental United States). Order by clicking the handy-dandy button below:

The proceeds from this sale will all be going toward production of the new CD, which is still in the 'recording' phase. A little behind schedule, but still moving forward. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another double.

My Sundays this summer are the most consistent part of my schedule. At 1pm I begin a three-hour set at the Margate beach bar in Laconia. It's a great little spot by the water (obviously). If you're on the lake, you can even pull up to the dock! It's strictly a guitar gig for me, since there's no room for the keyboard. And I have to slather myself in sunscreen. But those are small complaints. I get to spend Sunday afternoons on the lake playing music. That works for me.

From there, I head to the Sunset Grill in Campton to host open mike night. The Grill is one of the first places that took a chance on me when I started, and I always love going back. The open mike draws a small group of regular musicians, and the occasional guest appearance. It'd be nice to see more new faces over there, but we fill the house with music from start to finish. It starts at 7pm, and usually wraps up by 11. This is another one where I usually leave the keys at home, for space reasons.

I did bring the keyboard out to last night's show at the Jack O'Lantern, but hardly anyone was there to see it. They had a lot of people staying at the resort, but they must have been too wrapped up with bachelor parties and the like to make their way down to the lounge. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catching up.

So. Smokey Bones last Thursday was great. They were happy with it too; I'll be back there on August 6. Friday was a solo show at the Jack O'Lantern. Pretty fun night, with a different crowd than I'd gotten the last couple times there.

On Saturday I played the Open House at the Veggie Art Girl Boutique, and that was the most fun I had over the weekend. I got to play pretty much whatever I wanted, so I got real experimental with the loop pedal. Learned a lot. Oh, I learned to hula hoop, too! Not while playing the guitar, of course...

That night I went to the Totem Pole Campground to play with No Limitz. Gotta love the campground gig. A couple hundred people with coolers, and your band is the only thing going on? Yeah, that works. The band was in good form, too. Great vocal harmonies that night.

On Sunday, I played the beach bar at The Margate in the afternoon, and then hosted open mike night at The Sunset Grill after that. The Grill was good, but I wish we'd see some more musicians coming in to play. We've got a good group of regulars, but there's plenty of stage time if anyone's interested.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I played a short set at the Franklin Community Farmers' Market. What a nice bunch of people. They sent me home with a bag of veggies (and a lemon square...mmm) from all the vendors there.

This week is similar but different: Thursday at the Country Cow, Friday at Tony's in Thornton (my first time there), Saturday at the Jack O'Lantern, and the Margate/Sunset Grill double again on Sunday. Onward!

Friday, July 10, 2009

That weird time thing.

This morning I realized it was Friday, and I experienced that weird time thing. Sometimes it seems amazing that it's already Friday, and in equal part, it seems like it took forever to get here. I guess that's what sleep deprivation does to you.

I did get a few hours of sleep under me, but not as much as I'd like. Totally worth it though. The Smokey Bones show was a lot of fun. By the time I was ready to start, my song list had been pored through by everyone at the bar, and there was a full night of requests already checked off. The only disadvantage there was that the process gave them no opportunity to acquaint themselves with the tip jar. Oh well. It was a paid show anyway, and the dinner they gave me was fantastic.

They wanted to hear a good eclectic mix of stuff too. I played songs by They Might Be Giants, Johnny Cash, Gloria Gaynor, and the Toadies (the end of the song Possum Kingdom, with its loudly repeated 'do you wanna die', is always weird to play in a restaurant/bar, but they dug it).

Tonight is a solo show at The Jack O'Lantern Resort in nearby Thornton, NH. This is my first season playing for them, and it's turned into a nice little show. Stop by if you can!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blog of the Week.

Hey, would you look at that: my blog is the Blog of the Week at Fun!

This blog has been a good way to keep people updated about what I've got going on, and it's also been a great personal reference for me. I've never been one to keep a journal or anything, so it's neat to look back and see a chronicle of my musical state-staggering.
Normally the posts drop off a bit in July and August because I'm so busy, but with the leave from the day job coming up, I intend to put more time than usual into logging tales from the road. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weekend recap.

Hey, better late than never, right? It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and here's how it went down.

On Saturday I drove up to Dixville Notch to play a solo show at The Balsams. One of my favorite places to play for sure; not too many of the venues I play have a grand piano waiting for me. There was a good crowd up there, and they were in the mood to dance, so we had a good time.

I stayed overnight and headed out at daybreak. A quick stop at home, and then it was off to The Margate for the first of the summer's beach bar shows. About 12 hours previous, I'd been in a suit jacket playing a grand piano, and now I found myself in a tropical shirt playing guitar on a dock overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. You'll never hear me say the job is boring. I played from 1pm to 4pm and got a peculiar-looking sunburn on my left forearm. The beach bar was packed with people, all grateful that the rain had finally taken the day off. After the show some friends in attendance offered to buy me a beer, and I told them I had to hit the road but they could buy me one at the next show if they were there.

a quick load-out and off to Campton, where I host the open mike night at The Sunset Grill. It was a small crowd there, and I was the only musician there at the start, but I did get a few takers by the end of the night. A young guy named Pete played some blues guitar with me for a while, then Buddy did a solo set, and then Nik played us out. And my generous friends from the Margate show did indeed follow me up to Campton and buy me a Guinness. :)

This weekend promises to be just as busy, if not more so:

Thu 7/9 - Smokey Bones, Tyngsboro MA (solo 9pm)
Fri 7/10 - Jack O'Lantern Resort, Thornton NH (solo 7pm)
Sat 7/11 - Veggie Art Girl Boutique, Holderness NH (solo 2pm)
Sat 7/11 - Totem Pole Campground, Ossipee NH (band show 7pm)
Sun 7/12 - The Margate, Laconia NH (solo 1pm)
Sun 7/12 - The Sunset Grill, Campton NH (open mike 7pm)

Hmm. Yeah, more so. Good thing I'm taking leave of the day job for a while...

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Starting July 13, I'm going to take a six-week leave of absence from the day job. I'm going to spend the rest of the summer making my way exclusively as a musician. With all the shows I've got on the books, you might think I wouldn't have a day job in the first place. Not so; I work as a graphic designer by day (for a wonderful company called MegaPrint). But my boss has graciously agreed to let me go for the summer to see what I can make out of the music thing.

So I'm excited and a little nervous. It looks like I've got enough booked to get the bills paid, but I'm definitely gonna be trying to fill every open day/night I can. My weekends are already solid. I'd love to find some Wednesday night work. And now that the day job doesn't have me at 8 every morning, I can travel any (driveable) distance to play a show. So, suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smokey Bones.

Just added another show in July. I'll be playing a solo show at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill in Tyngsboro, MA on Thursday, July 9. The show starts at 9pm. It promises to be a good time, and I'm always excited to play a BBQ joint. :)

That brings the show count up to 22 for the month. I played 30 in July 2005, I think. Always a busy month. See you out there!