18/30

I thought I’d try to chart the comings and goings of the various guitars in my life…I have bought and sold many an instrument.

The top of the heap is still my trusty Martin OM-15. It sounds amazing and looks like a fudgsicle. What more does one need?

Martin guitar: check. Little Martin guitar: check. Lady Gaga saint candle: check. How can I lose at this gig? @lemon_atx 8 PM!

Note: I included basses in this list (because, the term is “bass guitar”) but not other stringed things like mandolins, which I only play in the dark, alone, with no one around anyway.

17/30

I have been a huge Tori Amos fan since 2003 in college, when my friend Laura got upgraded to front row seats and took me along and I got to witness the Scarlet’s Walk album tour RIGHT UP FRONT. It was incredible. I have since seen Tori in several formats…solo at SXSW, with a string quartet at Bass Hall…and every time she is a consummate pro.

This time it was at the ACL Moody Theater, and Tori was solo with her grand piano and keyboards, entertaining us with song after song of awesomeness. Today’s blog is just a group of colors that pop up in my brain when I listen. Her music is a lovely mixture of ethereal floating fairy and grounded, organic, earth. I know, I sound like a weirdo. I’m just a big Tori fan.

As always, @toriamos was incredible. Every time I see her...incredible.

16/30

My new age as of yesterday, 35 (!), is mentioned in this fabulous Mary Chapin Carpenter song…listen.

The line…”35 makes us pause but we’re still undeterred.” That seems pretty true.

Everyone I ran into this week said, “Yay 30’s! Wait until your 40’s, they get better!” Same for the 50-somethings. I hope that’s accurate. I joke that I am the oldest 35-year-old you know because I am proud of my crotchety streak (only applied in useful applications like going to bed at a decent hour, cussing at rude drivers under my breath, and griping about music that is too loud in restaurants).

The crotchety, however, balances out with my 30-somethingness, so I think it all works out. It results in things like making a folk-rap track and listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, and coloring for my blog. I’ll keep at it all, undeterred.

Hey hey, it’s my birthday! Seemed like a good excuse to launch a big ol’ piece of art…so here it is…the new single called Money & Heart.

I played a gig out at Tips Concert Series earlier this year, with Susan Gibson and Kelley Mickwee. Mark Addison, producer extraordinaire, co-hosts these shows with Wendy Colonna on the property where his studio is located, in extreme South Austin. (How many names did I just drop good grief).

I played the folk/rap like I always do, and afterwards Mark comes up and says, “Have you recorded this yet?” I replied I had not because it’s kind of a different beast. He said, “Come over, we’ll do it.”

WE DID IT. Working with Mark has been an adventure and a joy. We had Susan come in and play banjo (punk banjo comes in at the end if you listen closely) and then we put a bouzouki in her hands and she made that sing, too (the chimey thing in the chorus? Part bouzouki).

Then, a few weeks ago, I had coffee with my friend Chris Taylor, an amazing singer-songwriter and also a stunning visual artist. He said, “Hey yell if you need anything,” and I said “I NEED ART FOR THIS SONG.” That’s why this looks so cool, because Chris is cool.

Once again it takes a village, and I am excited to get this song out into the world. It’s a little about my journey through music, but it’s a lot about the people who support artists and creativity and music every day. It’s essential, and necessary, and we need to spread the word that every share, every word-of-mouth recommendation, and every sale is keeping something good in our world.

Thank you everyone for coming along.

14/30

Who cannot help but viscerally react to Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” when that guitar riff starts?!? It’s iconic. It’s perfect. The song holds up. It’s in my 90’s high school nostalgic sweet spot. What if God was one of us, indeed?

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Just keep yourself safe on the internets, kids.

12/30

This is pretty self-explanatory, but…it was a grand weekend of driving to Dallas for the gig, hanging out with friends and sleeping in their comfy guest bed (thanks Amy&Cheryl!), driving to La Grange, Susan‘s awesome show at The Bugle Boy, and the drive home.

The whole way? The new T-Swift. I told you, I was nervous, and very wary of this new album creature entering my life. 15 new songs, most of which I knew nothing about.

GUESS WHAT. It’s an awesome album. Start to finish, a grounded piece of work, an exciting batch of synth pop, smart words and twists of phrase, heart-thumping bass. A winner in my book. You can’t stream it yet but go BUY IT and listen in order, but pay attention to “Delicate,” “Getaway Car,” and “New Year’s Day” for starters.

11/30

Many thanks to Wallbangers Photographic Memories for this photo from my set at Six Springs Tavern in Richardson on Friday! We had a blast, and it was an honor to play this stage with Susan and Marian. I broke in my new kicks which can be described as “bright” and we had ourselves a time. Then it was off to The Bugle Boy for Susan’s annual show there, and I just got home.

Reputation, the album that sold 700,000 copies its first day, was spinning in my car throughout the drives this weekend. It holds up, and it’s most excellent.

10/30

This is my music transport device today, as I am driving up to Richardson to play a gig with SusanG! and my car doesn’t have bluetooth and whatnot. Old fashioned CD burning it is…thank goodness my laptop can still burn a download, is all I’ll say.

It’s new T-Swift album day (congrats, Taylor!). I am excited for it and I listened to it one time through last night, and I will dive in on my drive today. From what I can tell, there’s still the lyrical smarts I long for, but with a LOOOOOT of lung-shaking electronic Swedish pop. I’m into it. What my Mustang lacks in music playing devices, it makes up for in bass boost.

I’ll admit, I got nostalgic a little bit. Taylor’s last album, 1989 (you may have heard of it), really made its place in my life over the last 3 years. I got it the night it came out, too, and have spent the subsequent 36 months taking it with me almost everywhere. It was one of my go-to’s for spinning on repeat when I needed to shut things out, hence it played on a loop whenever I absolutely could not sleep, it shut out the noise in the Dublin hostel where we roomed with 20 loud travelers, it’s spun on countless 12 hour drives to New Mexico, and I sang it at the top of my lungs in person with 80,000 other folks at the F1 track last fall. It’s IN THERE.

So while I am beyond psyched for seeing how reputation will seep into my life’s corners, it’s got a lot to live up to in my world.

End the sappy music reflection…it’s time to crank the bass.

I often wonder how I would survive in a world without Waze maps, the Kindle app, and Google in general. HOW DID PEOPLE KNOW THINGS? As I ponder this, the promise of just “unplugging” slips further away. I am attempting to find a balance between “overly stimulated” and “able to use technology as a tool.” The line gets thin sometimes.

9/30

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