Thursday, May 3, 2018

Another Day in the life

So, this is what I got from my friends over in Sunland after asking if we were rehearsing again:
Hello Dan:
I apologize for not contacting you after our meeting to follow up. I thought I had and just realized I hadn’t.
(I thought I had?- Who thinks they thought I had?)
Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed the experience and dinner. We certainly enjoyed meeting you and playing some of your songs.
We played this past weekend. (Meaning that I hadn't invited them to any of my gigs.)
We just uploaded a bunch of songs on our Twitter: (Cool, I guess.)
Almost all of our tunes are uptempo songs, Dan. We would need a much more experienced banjo player to accompany us. (They play at in the 60s beats per minute. I play in the 80s, edging into 90s, I was trying to slow down to match their slower pace.)
It didn’t seem possible after playing together that you would be able to reproduce the sort of playing that you do on your CD. For a long time, we couldn’t produce the same sound as on our CD. (He had forced me into hiring the guy I recorded it with- I was supposed to pay him, It would have sounded exactly like the recording if I'm playing with him on it- What kind of idiocy logic is this?)
Unfortunately, Dan, we have a full schedule of shows coming up without much time to rehearse to get these songs up to speed. (60s beats per minute)
We’re going to have to rearrange the schedule of the SunSpace concert/fundraiser with someone who has more experience at this time. We might actually scrub the show altogether and start over since it’s coming up fast.
I’m very sorry about that and I regret being careless and scheduling this gig before playing together to see if there was better chemistry.
We’re open to working with you down the road if we can get there.
I hope there are no hard feelings, Dan. We like you very much and admire your songs and your singing as much.
(The guy is a pimp, he has two boys playing in his band which are unpaid and are living with him. And probably the other two in the band as hired hands. This is what pimps do. They create a situation where you are supposed to feel bad that you have not lived up to their expectations. This ia what he is doing to the two boys that are living with him. (This was my response):
"You know exactly why this wasn’t going to work. I completely understand. I’ll never be one of the boys. It was difficult trying to play down to your stupid covers that are halfway there."
They are doing Tom Petty and "wanta be" Jerry Garcia, and Donovan and sing off key. He told my recording guy that I had cancelled the event. Who does Tom Petty covers? Or Donovan covers? My wife asked me to turn it off about the third time I listened to it.
Ya wanta to hear some really bad singing, check out:…/the-storytellers-sisters-and-broth…

I would have lied, and just said, I'm sorry, its not working out. I've done it myself too many times. I don't try to prove why I think I'm maybe better. Because I never do. I also try to to be responsive to real people. Not people I think are pawns.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Walking down Yosemite One More Time

Got me permit:
Yosemite Wilderness Permits
This confirms your reservation for a Yosemite wilderness permit, made on 04/13/2018. This is not a permit. Please read this message in its entirety.
To receive your permit, you must:
Pick up your permit on 09/25/2018 or by 10:00 a.m. on 09/26/2018. Bring this confirmation with you to any open Yosemite Wilderness Permit Station (check season and hours).
A week of silence, walking, maybe filming, sleeping in the wild, maybe drinking with random folks in same random spot where I've stopped. A night fire. Nothing to dream about except where you are. Bears and deer and whatever else wants to pop in and share your existence. There's few places left where there is no ambition, no god, no responsibilities, no adulthood, nothing but getting up at sunrise when you agree to get up and making some coffee and deciding when to begin walking again. And on a trip that is all downhill. I did this trip before with four teenagers, they are all grown and gone and really happy people I think. I did a different trip years later and came out at Bridal Veil Falls where I found that 3 kids had gone over the falls and died the day before. (This walk comes out at the same place.) I want to write a song about that, this is a way to relive it, reignite it. - Something about the children flying off- they were college kids playing on the the shelf where they weren't supposed to be- There is a reason to relive things. To find a new meaning a way to express it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Where I'll be!

What I decided I couldn't post to a Facebook Page about Bluegrass

I grew up going to the Bill Monroe Bluegrass thing in Southern Indiana and was amazed by the folks sitting around the campfires playing music and having a great time. I began playing at 55 and have taken a while a to develop an ear (which I still don't trust) so its hard for me to just sit down and play with people without charts in front of me. I also realized a jam is a great place for folks who really can't hear or play well, to be buried in the sound that is happening. I wanted to perform, I wanted to get better. I wasn't gifted with an ear so I had to grow one. I'm performing perpetually with charts in front of me. I keep finding myself drawn to blues and other forms of music. I want to do MoTown on banjo these days. I make money by playing Kid Rock on the banjo. I've tried getting into the Bluegrass Festivals as a performer, without luck. But I can perform everywhere else in the world. It's all so white. I watched Rihanna Giddens the night before playing downtown LA Sunday night. She said we stole the music, which is probably true except for the Irish and English stuff. I don't play like Earl and I'm not sure I want to. The banjo is a self inventing instrument and can be played however the hell you want to play it. I enjoy Bluegrass, when its done with finesse and grace. And honestly. But, the truth be told, Dylan and Elvis and The Band and the rest of the music world went back and stole blatantly from those black blues guitarists that really created the world of roots music.